Top 10 Consumer Complaints Nationally, Locally
Last month the results of the annual survey conducted by the Consumer Federation Association found for the sixth year in a row, auto sales and repairs are the number one category of complaints made to local and state consumer agencies in 2021.
“It is clear that auto sales and repairs are a longstanding problem and that consumers rely heavily on these agencies for assistance when they have suffered harm,” said Erin Witte, Director of Consumer Protection.
CFA is an association of non-profit consumer organizations that was established in 1968 to advance the consumer interest through research, advocacy, and education. Today, nearly 300 of these groups participate in the federation and govern it through their representatives on the organization’s Board of Directors, according to its website
Many agencies also reported an increase in landlord-tenant complaints in 2021, the year during which the federal eviction moratorium ended, and states and localities decided whether to enact extended tenant protections.
According to Mike Bannon, Director of Bucks County Consumer Protection, consumer grievance trends nationally hold true for the most part in Bucks County also.
“We are pretty close to the CFA top ten. We have many landlord-tenant cases concerning mold as our northeast region has been getting wetter and hotter each year. Our buildings are old,” Bannon said.
Bannon noted one interesting difference locally.
“Even though we cannot take Dentist complaints due to Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) rules, we have seen increased calls. We usually tell them how to document their fight by sending letters and filing formally with the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Health care unit with HIPPA clearance.”
“Billing can be very confusing” for consumers, Bannon said.
Twenty-three agencies from fifteen states responded to a survey from CFA asking for their top ten complaint categories, the worst and most common COVID-related complaints and their greatest achievements for the year, and agencies also provided examples of complaint narratives from consumers, said Witte
“Collectively, these agencies handled over 208,000 complaints, secured over $119 million in monetary relief and provided unique non-monetary relief and assistance to consumers across the country, according to the national report,” CFA said.
If you have a consumer complaint in Bucks County you can contact Consumer Protection at this link. To file an online complaint click here.
The complaint most often received by Lower Bucks Source in 2021, was about overcharging customers using the drive thru at a local donut and coffee franchise. We received seven on the record complaints from readers.