Car Dealer Fraud and Lemons among Top Consumer Complaints

Complaints about annoying telemarketers, lemons, dealer fraud keep on ticking off consumers. North American Consumer Investigators (NACPI) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) presented the “Top 10 Consumer Complaints” list compiled by polling 40 organizations from 23 states. The participants were asked about consumer complaints they got over the past year, as well as what challenges consumer protection agencies face when trying to give a solution to them.

The data provided by the agencies reveals a wide range of problems consumers encounter, including, door-to-door sales, false advertising, etc. The top consumer grievance is car sales, especially false advertising, misrepresentations, lemons and car dealer fraud. Leasing and towing disputes as well as bad repairs are also in the list.

There was a significant growth in the number of complaint related to telemarketing abuses especially regarding violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The federal law protects consumers from troublesome telemarketers, prohibiting companies place calls to cell phones using prerecorded voice or automatic dialing systems. Consumers have right to protect themselves from certain types of unsolicited calls by asking telemarketers not to disturb them anymore. Despite of strict rules and do-not-call registry unwanted phone calls are still annoying consumers in the U.S.

Top 10 Complaints in 2013

  1. Auto: Lemon cars, car dealer fraud, deceptive advertising or misleading sales of new and used cars, bad repair work, leasing and towing disputes.
  2. Home Improvement/Construction: low quality workmanship, failure to begin or complete the promised work.
  3. Credit/Debt: Disputes over fees and billing, mortgage-related fraud and modifications, predatory lending practices, unfulfilled promises of credit repair and debt relief, abusing and/or illegal debt collection practices
  4. Retail Sales: Misleading advertising and other deceptive practices, faulty merchandise, problems with coupons, rebates, gift certificates and gift certificates.
  5. Services: Deceptive practices, misrepresentations, shoddy work, lack of licenses, failure to perform
  6. Utilities: Service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas service
  7. Landlord/Tenant: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, deposit and rent disputes, failure to provide with promised amenities and make promised, illegal eviction tactics
  8. Home Solicitations: Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in door-to-door, do-not-call violations, telemarketing or mail solicitations.
  9. Internet Sales: misrepresentations or other misleading practices, failure to deliver online purchases
  10. Fraud: False sweepstakes and lotteries, work-at-home fraudulent schemes, bogus check swindles, grant offers and other common frauds

The following complaints are classified as the fastest-growing ones in 2013.

  • Violations of do-not-call rights and other telemarketing abuses
  • Home improvement and construction
  • Used car fraud
  • Utility billing issues
  • Internet sales

The following complaints topped the list of the worst complaints in 2013

  • Swindles of all kinds against the elderly
  • Home improvement and construction
  • Business closings that left consumers in the lurch
  • Phony lotteries and sweepstakes
  • Tenant/landlord disputes
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