As usual, it's car sales that is in the Number One spot again.
The 2015 top complaint categories were:
- Motor vehicles
- Professional services
- Collections, credit reporting, or financial services
- Shopping, food, or beverages
- Utilities, phone, Internet, or TV
- Home or property improvement
- Identity theft
- Potential scams or other (such as sweepstakes, do-not-call issues, or grant offers)
Car sales fraud continues to dominate consumer complaints and in the past year we've seen some wild ones. Money really does make a car dealer go blind.
Like the Cleveland car sales operation that concentrates on internet sales of high priced and often wrecked and badly repaired vehicles. We've seen internet car sales fraud involving vehicles under $20,000 all the way up to over $100,000 that are bought by people who see online advertisements and after some phone calls and emails trusting consumers get ripped off more often than ever.
And then there's the Dayton-area operation that deals with its customers by packing high-profit "soft add on products" such as window etching they
call theft deterrent that is worse than useless and a so-called concierge service that amounts to a high priced "call us and we'll answer your questions if we can" scam --- and the customer often doesn't even realize what is happening to them at the time because of the 5 finger close the dealer uses to hide the numbers from the buyer's view.
Or the Rv dealer in the Columbus-area who charges what amounts to a $2,000 "delivery" charge for each motorhome sale.
Perhaps the worst rip off we've seen this year was the Cincinnati area Rv dealer who charged $2,500 for prepping the inside of their Rv's with a germ killing spray-down that was just as effective as a $2 bottle of Lysol.
Before you buy, check out the merchant at your local Better Business Bureau, do an internet search for complaints against the company, or you can even check the Ohio Attorney General's office for complaints against them too.
Buy local from car dealers you know and trust. And if you are not sure, then be extra careful. Read everything. If something is not clear or not what you were told, then make the car dealer hand write on the printed documents what they promised you or what they said to you about the vehicle. Never agree to any arbitration document - cross it out big and bold - if the dealer wants your money bad enough (and he does) then he will not argue over it. If they argue with you, then ask yourself "what are they doing to me that they are afraid of me taking them to court for?"
And when all else fails, get a car sales fraud lawyer on your side. Oh yeah, that's what we do.
Burdge Law Office
Helping consumers, every day.