Nation’s Top Ten Consumer Complaints: Credit/Debt Issues Rank High

July 31, 2012

By Katie Bryan, America Saves Communications Manager

Cars, credit, and home repair and construction once again topped the list of complaints made to state and local consumer protection agencies, according to a survey by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI). Thirty-eight agencies from across the United States provided information about the most common, fastest-growing, and worst complaints they received in 2011.

“The information compiled in the survey helps us as consumer protection agencies follow trends in consumer fraud, educate the public, and share information with each other, which will ultimately assist us in our investigations against fraud,” said Tonya Hetzler, Interim President of NACPI.

 

Top Ten Complaints

  1. 1. Auto: Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes
  2. 2. Credit/Debt: Billing and fee disputes, mortgage modifications and mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt collection tactics
  3. 3. Home Improvement/Construction: Shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job
  4. 4. Retail Sales: False advertising and other deceptive practices, defective merchandise, problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, failure to deliver
  5. 5. Utilities: Service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas service
  6. 6. Services: Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform
  7. 7. (Tie) Internet Sales: Misrepresentations or other deceptive practice, failure to deliver online purchases; Landlord/Tenant: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent disputes, illegal eviction tactics
  8. 8. Fraud: Bogus sweepstakes and lotteries, work-at-home schemes, grant offers, fake check scams, the grandparent scam and other common frauds
  9. 9. Real Estate: Timeshare sales and resales, retirement communities and assisted living facilities, real estate fraud
  10. 10. (Tie) Household Goods: Misrepresentations, failure to deliver, faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances; Home Solicitations: Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in door-to-door, telemarketing or mail solicitations, do-not-call violations

Other Key Survey Findings

  • The top five fastest-growing complaints were about fraud, debt collection abuses, Do Not Call
  • New types of consumer problems that agencies dealt with last year covered a wide spectrum of subjects, from bedbugs in apartments to penny auctions on the Internet, from gold buying companies to telemarketing and mail solicitations for home repairs disguised as “free” energy audits. Some agencies also noted that scammers are exploiting a new form of payment, prepaid card products, to get cash from consumers.

Additional articles to help you save:

 

 

Tip of the Day

  • Written by Guest Blogger | March 14, 2014

    Shop around for auto and homeowners' insurance: Before renewing your existing policies, check out the rates of competing companies whose annual premiums could be several hundred dollars lower. 

Saver Stories View all »

Setting a Goal Leads to Success

Written by Super User | May 24, 2019

Growing up, Marisa’s dad had always talked about saving first, but she said she didn’t really internalize it until much later. “I was drifting along with no plan, carrying a little bit of revolving debt, saving some money here and there, but without a real plan for it.”

Read more...

Making Saving Automatic Leads to Personal Success

Written by Lila Quintiliani | May 27, 2020

Ryan’s savings journey started when he was an active duty airman. Frequent deployments and temporary duty assignments gave him the opportunity to save. By the time he transitioned out of active duty, he had built up a healthy rainy-day fund and had started to aggressively save for retirement.

Read more...

How Smart Financial Decisions Can Create Opportunities 

Written by | November 22, 2019

Written by Stephen Ross, America Saves Program Coordinator | November 22, 2019

Of the many stories Military Saves shares, most describe how someone was in dire straits financially and worked their way out of it with the help of Military Saves. This time we want to highlight a different kind of story. This is a story about how responsible financial decisions can build on one another to create opportunities you thought only the super-rich enjoy.

Read more...