Consumer Complaints Up, But Resources Are Down

The latest survey of front-line consumer agencies shows that while complaints went up, the resources to help consumers went down. 62% of the agencies reported that they received more complaints in 2008 than in 2007, and 47% of the agencies suffered budget cuts just prior to or during the survey period, with one being eliminated entirely.

Top consumer complaints for 2008, with 2008 ranking in 2007 in parenthesis:

  1. Auto: (1) Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes
  2. Home Improvement/Construction: (2) Shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job
  3. Credit/Debt Collection: (3) Billing and fee disputes, mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt settlement, predatory lending, illegal or abusive collection tactics
  4. Utilities: (5) Service problems, billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas services
  5. Retail Sales: (4) False advertising, defective merchandise, problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, nondelivery
  6. Services: (9) Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform
  7. Household Goods: (6) Major appliances and furniture, problems with nondelivery, misrepresentations, faulty repairs
  8. Landlord/Tenant: (10) Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent disputes, illegal eviction tactics
  9. (tie) Internet Sales: (7) Misrepresentations, nondelivery in online purchases; Home Solicitations: (8) Misrepresentations, nondelivery in door-to-door, telemarketing and mail solicitations, do-not-call violations
  10. Health Products and Services: (not in top 10 in 2007) misleading claims, failure to deliver

2008 Consumer Complaint Survey Report | Consumer Federation of America (CFA), National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA), and North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI)