Consumer Complaints

Nation’s Top Ten Consumer Complaints

Washington, D.C. – State and local consumer agencies recovered over $743 million for consumers and handled nearly 600,000 complaints in 2022, according to research by Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

“It is no surprise that auto sales and repair are the number one complaint category, now for the seventh year in a row,” said Erin Witte, Director of Consumer Protection. “Consumers rely on cars to get to work, school, doctors’ appointments and more, and these agencies serve a critical role to help consumers when they have suffered harm at the hands of dealers and repair shops.”

Home repairs and contractors jumped to the number two category, and landlord/tenant complaints fell to fifth place. The report is based on information from 36 agencies in 25 states. Agencies responded to a survey from CFA asking for their top ten complaint categories and their greatest achievements for the year, and agencies also provided real life examples of complaints from consumers.

The top ten complaint categories made to agencies in 2022 are:

1 – Auto Sales & Repair

2 – Home Improvement Repairs and Contractors

3 – Consumer Debt & Credit

4 – Retail Purchase Issues

5 – Landlord Tenant

6 – Frauds and Scams

7 – Healthcare/Wellness

8 – Home Furnishings & Appliances

9 – Utilities

10 – Travel & Moving

Agencies reported a wide variety of successes in 2022, including the creation of a consumer protection education website hub for foster youth by the Los Angeles Department of Consumer & Business Affairs. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office helped resolve a $300,000 cryptocurrency scam, and the Florida Department of Consumer & Agriculture Services resolved nearly $1 million in travel-related complaints alone.

Agencies in Florida reported internal successes, including Pinellas County Consumer Protection’s development of new technology to analyze financial records, and handling more cases and more refunds by the Broward County Consumer Protection Division.

Several agencies were able to shut down bad businesses for good, including a tech support scammer where the Montana Department of Justice obtained over $96,000 of relief for consumers, and New Jersey Bergen-Passaic Division of Consumer Affairs removed a home improvement contractor’s license whose shoddy work caused a home to collapse.

The full 2022 Consumer Complaint Survey Report is available here.