Thursday, January 1, 2004
More Bang for Your Buck: Top Consumer Complaints Of 2003
Each year, millions of people fall for frauds and scams. But we want to make sure you don't become the next victim in the New Year. That's why in tonight's More Bang For Your Buck, we've compiled the Top Consumer Complaints Of 2003.
Last year, millions of Americans found a steal can often be a scheme.
"These are the areas where people are having the greatest problems."
Topping the list of complaints by the consumer federation of America - automobile sales.
According to the organization, many people still found themselves suckered by misleading ads, warranty disclosures, and mechanical problems.
Larry Kaplan of Broward County Consumer Affairs Divisionsays, "If you know a model, the equipment, you can get a pretty darn good idea what you should pay for the car and go in and tell the dealer this is what you want."
Next on the list - home improvements.
In fact, contractors were named the most likely to go out of business and then re-open under a new name.
Other common complaints include failure to use a written contract and failure to complete work.
"They will take your money. Do very little work. Use not quality in material. And you will be there sitting without your money."
Also high on the list - telemarketing - including deceptive advertising, mail order fraud, and bait and switch tactics.
Plus don't forget landlord-tenant issues such as an increase in rent, not responding to repairs, and not responding to health issues.
"Agood deal isn't necessarily the price. It could be the quality of the merchandise."
So before making your next big purchase, always shop around, ask for a second opinion, and do your research.
"Don't wait for the emergency. Have it lined up that you know who you're going to be dealing with and what their reputation is."
And remember - just in case - pay attention to what you pay.
"Keeping your receipts, your records - very important and documenting everything."
If you think you've been a victim of a vendor scam or have questions regarding your rights, contact your Consumer Affairs Bureau.
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