Top Consumer Complaints (and how to fight back)

Whine, whine, whine.  No one likes a complainer or whiner.  But sometimes we not only have the right to whine, we should.  You know what I’m talking about.  Those harassing calls from debt collectors,  car repair nightmares, fly-by-night roof contractors that do shoddy work and then vanish with the money.

These are just a few of consumers’ biggest complaints of 2009, according to a new survey.  Here’s the top 10 list (drum roll please):

  1. Auto: (also #1 in 2008) Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars; lemons; faulty repairs; leasing and towing disputes
  2. Credit/Debt: (3) Billing and fee disputes; mortgage-related fraud; credit repair; debt relief services;predatory lending; illegal or abusive debt collection tactics
  3. Home Improvement/Construction: (2) Shoddy work; failure to start or complete the job
  4. Utilities: (4) Service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas services
  5. Retail Sales: (5) False advertising and other deceptive practices; defective merchandise; problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates; failure to deliver
  6. Services: (6) Misrepresentations; shoddy work; failure to have required licenses; failure to perform
  7. Internet Sales: (9) Misrepresentations or other deceptive practice; failure to deliver online purchases
  8. Household Goods: (7) misrepresentations; failure to deliver; faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances
  9. (tie) Landlord/Tenant: (8) Unhealthy or unsafe conditions; failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities; deposit and rent disputes; illegal eviction tactics;  Home Solicitations: (9) Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in door-to-door, telemarketing or mail solicitations; do-not-call violations
  10. Health Products/Services: (10) misleading claims; unlicensed practitioners; failure to deliver

Sometimes it’s healthy to complain and fight back, especially  against deceptive practices, shoddy work and scams.  Check out the “Ten Ways To Protect Yourself From Scams and Rip-offs”.   And be sure to enjoy some cheese with that whine.

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