McDaniel’s Consumer Protection Division handled more than 10,000 total complaints from concerned Arkansas consumers in 2010. Atop the list were grievances about automobile transactions, followed by complaints regarding debt collection agencies.
“Our office deals every day with a wide variety of calls and complaints about disputes involving business practices, or sometimes, just out-and-out scams,” McDaniel said. “It’s important to me that consumers know we are here to help them navigate through any potential pitfalls in their consumer transactions. We will also investigate any improper activity.”
The Top 10 most common consumer complaints last year, by category, were:
- Debt collection services
- Check-cashing and payday-lending services
- Cable TV and satellite services
- Home and business telephone services
- Home improvement, repair and construction
- Cellular phone services
- Credit and credit repair services
- Internet services and Internet auction sites
Other automobile complaints involve pressure to buy high-priced add-on services like gap insurance, credit-life and extended warranties; and misrepresentations about the condition of the automobile, such as its salvage history.
Debt collectors often raise the ire of consumers through harassing tactics, attempts to collect old, time-barred debt, or by seeking add-on fees. Sometimes, the debt collectors misidentify the party from whom they are seeking money.
“These types of complaints are the same issues we’ve seen for years and will continue to see across the country,” McDaniel said.
“The best way to avoid these common problems is for consumers to be well-informed and know their rights.”
To that end, Arkansans may call the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline at (501) 682-2341 or (800) 482-8982; or click here to visit the Attorney General’s website.
National Consumer Protection Week is observed each year in an effort to promote awareness of consumer rights and help consumers make better-informed decisions. Click here for more information about the observance.
Tuesday, McDaniel will announce the Top 5 scams investigated by his office in 2010.