NJ Division of Consumer Affairs Announces Top 10 Consumer Complaint Categories

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NEWARK – Complaints related to home improvements generated the largest category of complaints filed by consumers last year with the State Division of Consumer Affairs, representing 7.7 percent of all consumer complaints received.

The Division today released its Top 10 list of consumer complaints in 2011 to mark the start of National Consumer Protection Week. A total of 12,240 consumer complaints were filed with the division last year.

“We encourage consumers to file complaints with us or their county consumer affairs offices whenever they suspect a business has violated their rights in the marketplace,” Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said. “Consumer complaints are a key tool that our investigators use to detect violators of the state Consumer Fraud Act and in identifying emerging scams targeted at consumers.”

The Top 10 consumer complaint categories in New Jersey last year, and the number of complaints for each, were as follows:

  1. Home Improvements — 937
  2. Motor Vehicles — 778
  3. Credit-Debt Collection — 243
  4. Loans — 238
  5. Professional/Occupational Services — 188
  6. Internet Sales/Goods — 166
  7. Home Furnishings/Furniture — 110
  8. Wireless Phone Services — 107
  9. Insurance — 89
  10. Appliances – 82

“Debt collection complaints rose from 8th place in 2010 to 3rd place last year, likely reflecting the difficult economy we’re in,” said Thomas R. Calcagni, Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. “Home improvement and motor vehicles complaints switched positions but continued as the two top complaint categories in the last two calendar years.”

NATIONAL CONSUMER PROTECTION WEEK (NCPW) is a coordinated campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed decisions. NCPW 2012 runs from March 4 through 10 and additional information is available at www.NCPW.gov .

Consumers who believe they have been cheated or scammed by a business, or suspect any other form of marketplace abuse, can file a complaint with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll free within New Jersey ) or 1-973-504-6200.

To learn about upcoming Consumer Outreach events, check the division’s online calendar.

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