The Consumer Federation of America just released its annual survey of the top consumer complaints
received by state and local agencies in the prior year. Susan
Grant, CFA’s Director of Consumer Protection and Privacy, said,
“COVID-19 generated complaints about everything from appliance
repairs to childcare, trash pick-up to towing. Business
closings, job lay-offs, supply chain disruptions, social-distancing
requirements and travel restrictions put huge strains on consumers
and businesses, as the survey shows.”
So, what did consumers complain about in 2020?
- Auto —
Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars,
deceptive financing practices, defective vehicles, faulty repairs,
car leasing and rentals, and towing disputes.
- Home Improvement/Construction
— Shoddy work, failure to start or complete
the job, and failure to have required licensing or
— Unhealthy or unsafe conditions, failure
to make repairs or provide promised amenities, deposit and rent
disputes, and illegal eviction tactics.
- Credit/Debt — Billing and fee disputes,
mortgage problems, credit repair and debt relief services,
predatory lending, and illegal or abusive debt collection
- Services —
Misrepresentations, shoddy work, failure to have required licensing
or registration, and nonperformance.
- Utilities — Complaints about gas,
electric, water and cable billing and service.
- Retail Sales — False advertising and other
deceptive practices, defective merchandise, problems with rebates,
coupons, gift cards and gift certificates, and failure to
- Travel —
Misrepresentations about cost, amenities or other aspects of travel
packages, failure to provide promised services, and disputes about
- Health Products/Services — Misleading
claims, unlicensed practitioners, failure to deliver, and billing
- Internet Sales — Misrepresentations or
other deceptive practices and failure to deliver online
- Pandemic — Price
gouging, refunds for canceled events and travel, financial issues,
problems getting repairs and other services, “self-help”