Smart Buying

The Five Top Consumer Complaints

Here are the top five complaints from a survey of state and local agencies from 19 states.

Problems with car dealers, home contractors and retailers topped the list of consumer complaints in 2019, according to an annual survey by Consumer Federation of America (CFA). The survey, which included 31 state and local agencies from 19 states, asked about the most common, fastest-growing, worst and newest complaints agencies fielded last year. Here are the top five complaints. For the full list, go to

1. Auto: Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars; deceptive financing practices; defective vehicles; faulty repairs; car leasing and rental problems; towing disputes.

2. Home Improvement/Construction: Shoddy work; failure to start or complete a job; failure to have required licensing or registration.

3. Retail Sales: False advertising and other deceptive practices; defective merchandise; problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates; failure to deliver.

4. Landlord/Tenant: Unhealthy or unsafe conditions; failure to make repairs or provide promised amenities; deposit and rent disputes; illegal eviction tactics.

5. Credit/Debt: Billing and fee disputes; mortgage problems; credit repair and debt relief services; predatory lending; illegal or abusive debt-collection tactics.

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