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Top 10 New York Consumer Complaints

Consumers make the economic world go ’round. Especially here in the metro New York area, how much people spend and where they spend it is always tracked.

Especially in the current economic climate, consumer rights in New York is a critical issue. Because precious dollars are few for many people, getting what you pay for is critical.
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According to the Better Business Bureau, there were more than 844,000 complaints against businesses in 2010. That’s compared to 948,305 in 2009. Most of the complaints are related to television, cell phone companies, auto dealers, banks and collection agencies, the BBB reports.

CNNMoney recently reported about the most common complaints that consumers make, showing that protections from all sectors of business must be in place. Businesses sometimes accidentally, and sometimes intentionally, ripoff customers. That’s why hiring a New York City consumer attorney can help sort out problems between the customer and the company. Sometimes it takes litigation in order to hold companies accountable for shady practices.

  1. Autos: People shopping for cars or getting auto repairs reported that they got swindled by false advertising, lemons, or received faulty auto repairs. Autos typically rank as the top consumer complaint over the past three years.
  2. Credit/debt: Consumers complained about credit card billing, fraudulent mortgages, credit repair and debt help services, predatory lending and harassing debt collection agencies.
  3. Home improvement/construction & retail sales: These two types of complaints tied for third place on the list. Consumers complained that home improvement and construction companies didn’t finish work they started or the quality of the work they did was low.
  4. Utilities: Consumer complaints included problems with service and disputes with bills relating to phone, cable, satellite, Internet, electric and gas services.
  5. Services: Inadequate work, misrepresentations about services and lack of licenses were were chief complaints.
  6. Internet sales: Consumers complained that Internet retailers didn’t deliver products that they ordered or misrepresented items that were purchased.
  7. Household goods: Consumers complaint about faulty furniture or appliance repairs. Other complaints included goods companies failed to deliver.
  8. Landlord/tenant: Renters complained about unhealthy and unsafe conditions, landlords who didn’t make repairs. Deposit and rent disputes and evictions were also cited.
  9. Fraud: Fraud is new to the list, with many consumers complaining about a range of scams including work-at-home schemes and fraudulent sweepstakes and lotteries.
  10. Home solicitations: Telemarketers and mail solicitations fail to deliver their services or violate do-not-call rules crack the top 10.


The Law Offices of Ira S. Newman provides consumers rights counsel in New York City, Long Island, Great Neck and throughout the area. Call 516-487-7375 or contact us through the website.

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Additional Resources:

Top 10 consumer complaints, by Blake Ellis, CNNMoney