The 2010 Consumer Complaint Survey Report was published last Wednesday. The report is published by a group of government and private consumer advocacy groups. The study indicates that American customers are most upset by automobile purchasing and repair problems. Credit cards and debt collection comes in 2nd. Fraud made a first-ever appearance in the annual survey’s leading ten.
Survey is done each year
Every year, the Consumer Complaint Survey Report is done. It is sponsored by the North American Consumer Protection Investigators, the Consumer Federation of America and the National Association of Consumer Bureau Administrators. The survey was done between March and May of 2011 in 18 states. It included 31 state, county and city consumer protection agencies. There were over 252,000 complaints collected by the agencies. They also got over $208 million in restitution in them.
The difficulties were anticipated
“Given the lingering recession, it is not surprising that credit and debt complaints remain second only to auto problems,” said North American Consumer Protection Investigators president, Anna Huddleston-Aycock. “Many of the complaint examples that agencies provided were related to the difficult financial situations that consumers and businesses faced last year.”
Car purchases and repairs tops list
In the 13 years the survey has been done, the same complaint has been at the top. It has always been difficulties with vehicle purchase and repairs. This year was no exception. Probably the most frustration has been with “misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes.”
The second complaint on the list this year involved debt collection issues with credit/debit cards: “billing and fee disputes, mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt collection tactics.”
More in the top 10
Rounding out the other top 10 complaints was home improvement, utilities, services, Internet sales, household goods, landlord/tenant conflicts, fraud and home solicitations.
Fraud has not appeared in the top 10 previously, which hints that customers are increasingly unhappy with predatory practices and Internet scams.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau starts right before report
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will probably use the report in the future to decide how to proceed about its responsibilities. It opened up right before the report was published.
All about the agency questions
The agencies surveyed were asked what laws they imagined should be enacted to guard customers. The top two answers both had to do with regulating contractors to curtail home improvement fraud. There were many other things brought up. This involved “lemon laws” for used vehicle buyers, abusive debt collection practices and assessing penalties for Internet fraud.
Economy remains sluggish
More individuals in America are becoming aware of financial predators as they’re still struggling in the economy, as shown by the Consumer Issue Survey.
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