CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey recently released the list of the Top 10 consumer complaints received in 2014 by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
The list is assembled from written consumer complaints filed with the Office’s Consumer Protection Division. The tally does not include phone calls from consumers who did not follow up with a written complaint.
“Our office hopes that this Top 10 list will help educate West Virginia consumers about common issues and problems their neighbors and friends have encountered," Morrisey said. "We hope consumers will in turn educate themselves about their rights and responsibilities so they do not encounter similar difficulties."
The complete Top 10 list is as follows:
- Vehicle purchases and repairs
- Home repair/remodeling services
- Credit complaints
- General sales
- Collection agencies
- Electronic equipment
- Medical services and products
“We encourage citizens to contact our Consumer Protection Division if they have had a problem with a business or believe a company did not live up to its end of a deal,” Morrisey said. “If the issue is legitimate, the consumer can file a complaint and our office can begin to work with the consumer and business to attempt to resolve the dispute.”
Automotive and motor vehicle complaints moved up to No.1 this year after being No. 2 on the 2013 list. Promotion complaints fell from the No. 1 complaint in 2013 to No. 2 in 2014.
“Complaints about auto and motor vehicle purchases or repairs, as well as promotional activities, are very common, as evidenced by their high-ranking position in the recent years," Morrisey said. "Hopefully this will be an alert for consumers, and they will do their homework before entering into any too-good-to-be-true offers."
Medical services and products, which ranked No. 10 this year, did not appear on last year's list. Morrisey said some of the complaints received during the past 12 months have involved diabetes testing supply scams, medical alert scams, and general health care issues.
“Our Consumer Protection Division is always following trends and looking for red flags to help alert consumers and protect them,” Morrisey said. “Consumers should always be wary if a business is using high-pressure sales tactics, does not put terms in writing, or demands that you surrender personal information, such as a Social Security number or banking information, over the phone or via email.
"Our office strives to help consumers stay updated and educated on scams, common complaints, and other business-related issues they may face.”
Consumers who believe they may have been a victim of a scam or have been taken advantage of by a business should call the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-368-8808 or file an online complaint at http://www.wvago.gov.