The top 10 consumer complaints of 2011

Signs advertise car sales at a car dealership on November 15, 2010 in Glendale, Calif. The biggest consumer complaint of 2011 revolved around misrepresentations in the advertising and sales of cars, new or used.

What, as a consumer, annoys you most?

Well -- if you're like the rest of us -- it's getting duped into buying a new or used car that turns out to be a lemon.

That's according to a survey of the top ten consumer complaints from the Consumer Federation of America.

Also on the list: Credit card billing disputes; Phone, cable, and Internet billing disputes; and electric and gas billing disputes.

I sense a theme.


Top Ten Complaints in 2011

1. Auto: Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes

2. Credit/Debt: Billing and fee disputes, mortgage modifications and mortgage-related fraud, credit repair, debt relief services, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt collection tactics

3. Home Improvement/Construction: Shoddy work, failure to start or complete the job

4. Retail Sales: False advertising and other deceptive practices, defective merchandise, problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, failure to deliver

5. Utilities: Service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas service

6. Services: Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform

7. Internet Sales: Misrepresentations or other deceptive practice, failure to deliver online purchases

7. Landlord/Tenant: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent disputes, illegal eviction tactics

8. Fraud: Bogus sweepstakes and lotteries, work-at-home schemes, grant offers, fake check scams, the grandparent scam and other common frauds

9. Real Estate: Timeshare sales and resales, retirement communities and assisted living facilities, real estate fraud

10. Household Goods: Misrepresentations, failure to deliver, faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances

10. Home Solicitations: Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in door-todoor, telemarketing or mail solicitations, do-not-call violations

About the author

Jeremy Hobson is host of Marketplace Morning Report, where he looks at business news from a global perspective to prepare listeners for the day ahead.

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