RALEIGH, NC -- What is your biggest consumer gripe? Chances are it is on the NC Attorney General's Top Ten Consumer Complaints list for 2013. 19,865 consumers filed complaints last year. The number is down from the number of complaints in 2012-- 23,205.
Do Not Call complaints topped the list. There were 5,076 of these types of complaints. People complained they were getting the calls even though they have registered on the Do Not Call Registry. NC law makes it illegal for businesses to call you using a recorded message. The NC AG Roy Cooper suggests you hang up on robocalls. He says pressing a number to get more information or to try and stop the calls is likely to result in more calls. You can register on the Do Not Call Registry.
At number 2- Lending problems 3- Telemarketers 4- Health Care. These health related complaints included problems weight loss products, hearing aids and other medical equipment. But people also had problems with medical billing or collection practices and overcharges for medical services.
Back in February 2WTK talked to Nancy Metcalf a health expert with Consumer Reports. She had a lot of great ways to save you time, money and frustration over bills.
"Wait until you see all the bills before you start paying. You'll want to wait for an explanation of benefits from insurance company, you'll want to wait for the final doctor bill that reflects what the insurance company has paid and then you can start thinking about paying whatever balance you owe."
When it comes to prescriptions, you've heard you need to shop around for the best price. 2 Wants to Know has done several price comparisons over the years. Usually Costco and Sam's come in cheapeast. And here's the great thing, you don't have to be a member to use the pharmacy!
Completing the list of complaints from the AG:
5. Home Repair: We received 1,354 complaints about home construction and repair work. Consumers complain about shoddy work as well as contractors who abandon the job after getting paid, miss deadlines, or go over budget. There are also scam artists who target homeowners, especially seniors, with expensive and unnecessary repairs.
6. Motor Vehicles: 1,279 consumers who had problems with car repair and purchases filed complaints with our office in 2013. Common complaints include mechanical problems with used cars, difficulties getting a car title when the dealership has gone out of business, and failure to honor warranties. People also complain about car repairs, especially pricing, improper diagnosis, unauthorized repairs, and slow repair jobs.
7. Credit and Collections: 1,177 North Carolinians filed complaints about credit repair scams, incorrect credit reports, debt collectors and identity theft. Under North Carolina law, it's illegal to charge an upfront fee for credit repair or debt settlement help. Consumers also complain about threatening calls from debt collectors as well as calls about debts that aren't really theirs. Identity thieves continue to steal personal financial information and use it to run up debts and commit fraud in someone else's name.
8. Television Services: We heard from 788 consumers last year about service and billing problems with their cable or satellite television. The Consumer Protection Division is authorized by statute to handle only complaints about state-issued cable franchises.
9. Internet/Computers: 750 consumers complained about Internet service providers, unsolicited e-mails, computers, computer software, and Internet auctions as well as merchandise they ordered online that was never delivered.
10. Furniture: We fielded 728 complaints from consumers about home furnishings last year. Consumers often contact us when an item they've paid for never arrives, or when their piece of furniture arrives damaged or defective.
To make a formal complaint with the NC AG's office Call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or submit a complaint online.