No wonder car salesmen get a bad rap: it’s very much deserved! At least that’s according to a new report by the Consumer Federation of America of the top 10 consumer complaints. “Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars, lemons, faulty repairs, leasing and towing disputes,” top the list. It’s almost enough to make you want to switch to a velocipede!
Here’s the other “terrible ten” from the report (PDF):
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, mortgageâ€related fraud, credit repair, debt
relief services, predatory lending, illegal or abusive debt collection tactics
3. (tie) Home Improvement/Construction: Shoddy work, failure to start or complete
Retail Sales: False advertising and other deceptive practices, defectivemerchandise,
problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, failure to deliver
4. Utilities: Service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite, Internet,
electric and gas service
5. Services: Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licenses, failure to perform
6. Internet Sales: Misrepresentations or other deceptive practice, failure to deliver
7. Household Goods: misrepresentations, failure to deliver, faulty repairs in connection with furniture or appliances
8. Landlord/Tenant: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent disputes, illegal eviction tactics
9. Fraud: Bogus sweepstakes and lotteries, workâ€atâ€home
schemes, and other scams
10. Home Solicitations: Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in doorâ€toâ€door,
telemarketing or mail solicitations, doâ€notâ€call violation
So how do you protect yourself? As far as the number complaint goes, the group said one big way to save yourself a lot of problems is to make sure to only use a trusted mechanic with recommendations from other people you know. If you start having problems with one mechanic, take it to another instead of beating your head against a wall and possibly risking getting ripped off multiple times.
When buying a car, besides again only going to a dealership with a good recommendation, you can watch their eyes explode by showing up with your financing already taken care of through your bank or credit union. That’ll save you some shenanigans in the showroom.
Cars and credit top list of top consumer complaints [Star Tribune]