Tuesday

More complaints are made about car dealers and car problems than anything else

Welcome to my world. According to the latest survey from the Consumer Federation of America (and a couple of other consumer agencies, NACAA and NACPI), the biggest complaint that consumers have is about their cars and car dealers - everything from dealers who cheat them to lemons and bad repairs and advertisements that mislead readers. Surprise, surprise.

31 agencies from 18 different states were surveyed and asked about the most common and fastest growing and worst complaints they had seen in the last year. And car-related problems came out on top.

A whopping quarter million car-related complaints were logged last year and over $208 million was recovered in restitution for consumers.

And outright fraud is now one of the top ten consumer complaints - often from scammers that operate outside of the US borders - making it far more difficult to track down the thieves and recover stolen funds. Such ripoff artists now take advantage of internet sales schemes that enable them to pick the pockets of American consumers far more easily than ever before.

Here's the top ten categories of consumer complaints:
1. Auto - misrepresentations in advertising and sales of both new and used cars, lemons, bad repair jobs, etc.
2. Credit and Debt - billing and fee disputes, mortgage fraud, credit repair scams, debt relief ripoffs, predatory lending schemes, abusive and illegal debt collection tactics
3. (tie) Home Improvement Companies and Shady Retail Sellers - home improvement companies who perform bad work or take the money and don't even start (or finish) the job. With retail sellers, consumers are complaining more than ever about false advertising and deceptive ads and merchandise, rebates that never get paid, and goods that never get delivered
4. Utilities - billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, internet, and gas and electric companies continue to rise
5. Consumer Services - misrepresentations continue to rise, shoddy work, unlicensed service providers and providers who take the money and don't do the work or deliver the goods at all
6. Internet Sales - deceptive ads on the internet continue to bilk consumers out of millions of dollars, sometimes never delivering paid for goods at all
7. Household Goods - more misrepresentations and failure to deliver complains, along with bad repairs of appliances and furniture
8. Landlord-Tenant - unsafe and unhealthy living conditions and failure to make repairs and refund deposits continue to rise
9. Outright FRAUD - new to the top 10 list this year, bogus sweepstakes and lotteries that are just a scam, work at home schemes also rip off consumers
10. Home solicitations - door to door and telemarketing and mail solicitations continue to rip off consumers, including do not call violations

It's not nice out there, folks. So be extra careful in dealing with anyone who wants your money. Especially over the phone or the internet or at your front door. Fraud happens. And Car Sales Fraud happens more than ever.

When it happens to you, if you can't get it straightened out, call us. Helping the victims of consumer fraud cases, especially car sales fraud, get their money back - that is what we do. And consumer protection laws almost always give you the right to make the fraudsters pay your attorney fees too.

Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers get even for over 30 years