Construction- and home improvement-related complaints made the top three of the Consumer Federation of America’s (CFA) top 10 list of complaints in the last year, with consumers reporting home professional grievances such as failure to start or complete a job and shoddy work. The worst complaint on the list is debt collection, and the fastest-growing complaint is identity theft.
According to the CFA survey, conducted in conjunction with the North American Consumer Protection Investigators (NACPI), debt collection issues run the gamut from callers trying to get consumers to send money to satisfy loans that don’t really exist to abusive practices to collect debts that consumers legitimately owe. Other credit-related complaints include billing and fee disputes, mortgage modifications and mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services and predatory lending.
Tax identity theft is also particularly troublesome. “Government benefits fraud resulting from identity theft makes it very difficult for the victims to claim benefits that are rightfully theirs,” says NACPI President Amber Capoun, who is also a legal assistant in the Office of the State Banking Commission in Kansas.
A newer consumer complaint involves businesses closing and reopening under the same name but with new owners refusing to honor agreements that the original companies had made.
Rounding out the top 10 list of complaints are:
Landlord and Tenant Complaints
– Includes unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promises amenities, deposit and rent disputes and illegal eviction tactics
– Includes misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes
Retail Sales and Utility Complaints
– For retail, includes false advertising, defective merchandise, problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, failure to deliver; for utilities, includes service problems and billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas services
Professional Service Complaints
– Includes misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform
Home Solicitation Complaints
– Includes misrepresentations or failure to deliver in door-to-door, telemarketing or mail solicitations and do-not-call violations
Health Product/Service and Internet Sales Complaints
– For health products/services, includes misleading claims, unlicensed practitioners, failure to deliver; for internet sales, includes misrepresentations or other deceptive practices and failure to deliver online purchases
– Includes bogus sweepstakes and lotteries, work-at-home schemes, grant offers, fake check scams, imposter scams and other common frauds
Household Goods Complaints
– Includes misrepresentations, failure to deliver and faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances
Published with permission from RISMedia.