Missouri residents were plagued with spam calls this previous year, so much so that they were the No. 1 complaint to the attorney general’s office.
Overall, the attorney general’s office fielded 114,417 consumer complaints with Consumer Protection Unit advocates obtaining $15,642,322 in restitution for consumers through their mediation process in 2022.
Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey released the top 10 consumer complaints for National Consumer Protection Week. The top three include no-call complaints; real estate and construction; and automotive issues.
“Fighting scammers will continue to be a top priority of my office, as we seek to safeguard Missourians against fraud,” Bailey said in a news release.
Here are the top 10 consumer complaints by industry in 2022:
- No-Call Complaints (39,102): The Attorney General’s office received 39,102 complaints from consumers regarding illegal telemarketing calls and No-Call List violations in 2022. Complaints involve phone calls to Missouri residents by businesses or organizations soliciting the purchase of good or services;
- Real Estate and Construction (1,989): The Attorney General’s office received 1,989 complaints from consumers regarding home repair, construction, and real estate. Complaints involving home repair contractors are among the most common type of complaint received by the office. These types of complaints involve who ask for money up front and provide little to no work, shoddy workmanship, and/or fail to honor home warranties;
- Automotive (1,975): The Attorney General’s office received 1,975 complaints from consumers regarding automobiles, automotive dealers, and automotive repair shops. Automotive complaints often involve failure to deliver titles in a timely manner from the dealership. Other complaints involve shoddy repair work and service issues;
- Retail/Wholesale (1,699): The Attorney General’s office received 1,699 complaints from consumers regarding retail and wholesale companies. Most of the complaints involved purchases made through the internet, telephone, or mail and involved late deliveries or products that were never delivered. Other complaints involved the purchases of appliances, furniture, and other items with warranty problems, that were defective, or that did not work as advertised. Other retail-related complaints included issues with rebates, coupons, and gift cards;
- Financial (1,392): The Attorney General’s office received 1,392 complaints from consumers regarding debt collection companies, credit repair and disputes with financial institutions. Complaints under this category involve foreclosures, debt collection, loan servicing, and other products, services, and practices by banks, mortgage companies, debt collectors, service providers and other financial institutions;
- Communications/Technology/Online Services (1,302): The Attorney General’s office received 1,302 complaints from consumers regarding communications, technology and online services in 2022. Many complaints related to telephone cramming and billing practices where consumers received a phone bill for services that they did not order or were charged unauthorized fees on their telephone bill from third parties. Other complaints related to billing disputes and misleading promotions;
- Solicitations/Publications/Subscriptions (1,117): The Attorney General’s office received 1,117 complaints regarding mail and phone solicitations for publications and subscriptions. These complaints generally involve the receipt of mail and phone solicitations regarding sweepstakes, lottery, and other solicitation scams. Most involved scammers promising a valuable prize or high-dollar award to entice consumers to send money, buy overpriced products or services, or contribute to a phony charity;
- Health (885): The Attorney General’s office received 885 health-related complaints from consumers in 2022. These complaints involved healthcare industry complaints, including billing issues regarding hospitals and doctor visits, supplemental purchases, and disputes regarding health insurance payments;
- Travel/Timeshares (873): The Attorney General’s office received 873 complaints from consumers regarding timeshare exit companies, time share companies and travel clubs. Complaints involved allegations that companies promised to resell timeshares and failed to do so, that companies failed to provide deeds for time shares that consumers purchased, and that companies charged undisclosed fees or unexpectedly and continuously increased fees for maintenance and other related services. Complaints also involved the sale of travel club memberships that promised discounts, opportunities, or services that were worthless or far less than promised;
- Professional Services (829): The Attorney General’s office received 829 complaints related to professional services. Those complaints involved concerns with moving companies, towing, funeral homes/cemeteries and special events.
Complaints can be made online ago.mo.gov or by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222.
Register for the Do Not Call Registry by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s website.