LANSING (WWJ) – Credit and financial scams top the list when it comes to consumer complaints in Michigan.
The state Attorney General’s Office on Monday released its list of top complaints, noting that more than 10,000 complaints were filed last year.
Some of the other top complaints were personal service providers like gyms and dating services, and telecommunications and television for telemarketing calls, and cable service.
“This is a significant milestone for the National Consumer Protection Week and a great time to remind Michigan citizens about programs available to protect consumers,” said AG Bill Schuette, in a statement. “From teaching students how to be safe online to bringing actions against unscrupulous companies and prosecuting elder financial exploitation, the Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection team is working every day for Michigan consumers.”
Here is the complete Top 10 List for 2017:
- Credit and Financial Concerns: The top complaint category for 2017 holds on to the spot that it has had since 2006, generating 1,788 complaints in a variety of areas including debt collection and reporting, credit repair, payday lending, and mortgage brokering. Schuette’s Consumer Alert on the Equifax Breach and the differences between a Credit Freeze; Fraud Alert; & Credit Monitoringprovide helpful guidance for those struggling with fallout from the Equifax breach while the Consumer Alert of Debt Collection and Debt Collection Scams details prohibited debt collector practices and provides tips on avoiding scams and disputing bogus debts.
- Personal Service Providers: Jumped last year from number six to the second highest slot with 1,047 complaints. This jump is directly attributable to the large number of complaints against western Michigan-based gym chain Family Fitness sued by Attorney General Schuette in September. Complaints in this category additionally range from dating services and beauty shops to home security, and tax preparation services.
- Telecommunications, Cable, and Satellite TV: Drops to the third spot this year. This category includes complaints involving issues like robocalls, telemarketing, wireless communications, and cable and satellite TV services. Complaints in these categories were up 200, nearing 900 in 2017.
- Motor Vehicle and Automobiles: Dropping down a spot to number four in 2017, disputes with used car dealers continue to top this category, with other top complaints involving motor vehicles and car bodies, new car dealers, and repair shops.
- Internet: Staying at the fifth slot for a third year, complaints in this computer-based category numbered more than 740. More than a third of these complaints involved online purchases while other complaints include computer communication services and issues with internet service providers.
- Retail: Also not moving this year, retail complaints stay at the number six slot and include complaints about general merchandise, food, and furniture stores, business services, and eating and drinking places.
- Contractors: Moving up a spot from last year’s list, are complaints about residential building construction services, landscaping services, plumbing, heating, and air condition services, and special trade contractors.
- Landlord and Tenant: Dropping down to number eight, this category had more than 400 complaints. A majority of the complaints in this category involved apartment owners and managers.
- Health Service Providers: Staying at the number nine spot, this category’s total complaints increased by more than 100 from 300+ to more than 400 complaints about different health service providers like doctors, dentists, hospitals, and medical clinics.
- Gasoline, Fuel, and Energy: Not surprising with this year’s continued lower gas prices, this category remains at the number ten spot, with complaints against gasoline service stations and gas and electric services dominating this category.
Want to make a complaint? Schuette encourages any resident with questions or concerns to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division toll-free by calling 1-877-765-8388. To file a consumer complaint, Michigan residents can submit an online complaint through the Attorney General’s website or mail a letter explaining the problem and desired resolution to:
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette
Consumer Protection Division
P.O. Box 30213
Lansing, MI 48909