Local consumer agencies nationwide reported an increase in the number of consumer complaints in 2009 over the year before with auto repair and problems related to credit and debt leading the top 10, according to a report released Tuesday.
The Consumer Federation of America said 28 of the nation's local consumer agencies that responded to its survey logged more than 300,000 consumer complaints during 2009. Those agencies included the Pinellas County Department of Justice and Consumer Services, one of the state's largest, local consumer agencies.
Here is the list of the top 10 complaints consumers reported:
1. Auto: misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars; lemons; faulty repairs; leasing and towing disputes.
2. Credit/debt: billing and fee disputes; mortgage-related fraud; credit repair; debt relief services; predatory lending; illegal or abusive debt collection tactics.
3. Home improvement/construction: shoddy work; failure to start or complete the job.
4. Utilities: service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas services.
5. Retail sales: false advertising and other deceptive practices; defective merchandise; problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates; failure to deliver.
6. Services: misrepresentations; shoddy work; failure to have required licenses; failure to perform.
7. Internet sales: misrepresentations or other deceptive practice; failure to deliver online purchases.
8. Household goods: misrepresentations; failure to deliver; faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances.
9. (tie) Landlord/tenant: unhealthy or unsafe conditions; failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities; deposit and rent disputes; illegal eviction tactics. Home solicitations: misrepresentations or failure to deliver in door-to-door, telemarketing or mail solicitations; do-not-call violations;
10. Health products/services: misleading claims; unlicensed practitioners; failure to deliver.
To read the report, visit: http://www.consumerfed.org/elements/www.consumerfed.org/File/PR_Consumer_Complaint_Survey_Report2009.pdf