Top 10 Common Consumer Problems and How to Avoid Them

Back in March, BBB released information regarding the top industries for complaints received in 2012. Outlined below, the table represents the top 10 categories most complained about by consumers to BBB:

Industry
2012 Total Complaints
Rank by number of Complaints
Percentage Change over 2011
Percentage of Resolved Complaints 
Cellular Telephone Service & Equipment
41,809
1
9 %
96.2%
Auto Dealers – New Cars
27,025
2
4 %
87.7%
Television – Cable, CATV & Satellite
25,714
3
3 %
97.7%
Collection Agencies
25,068
4
38.5 %
85.9%
Telephone Communications
17,508
5
265 %
95.6%
Auto Dealers – Used Cars
17,506
6
7.5 %
73.4%
Telephone Companies
16,010
7
2 %
97.2%
Internet Shopping
14,744
8
14.5 %
67.3%
Auto Repair & Service
14,380
9
-.75 %
66.5%
Furniture – Retail
14,003
10
-3.5 %
78.7%

As a consumer, you deal with many of these industries every day. So what can you do to have the best customer experience?

Better Business Bureau suggests the following precautions to help avoid common consumer problems:

- If you are ever unsure about your rights as a consumer, for example if you encounter incorrect or unfair charges, make sure to contact BBB at bbb.org for more information and help with resolving the issue.

- Never purchase an automobile without doing extensive research regarding the car’s history, the seller’s reputation, and car recalls. Before buying a used car, have a mechanic you know and trust inspect the car for problems that may not be obvious to you.

- When you buy something online, make sure you know the terms of the deal and print out the information about the transaction to keep in case any questions or problems arise later.

- In general, when in doubt or entering any new agreement, always ask questions, do research, and know your rights as a consumer. This will help to deal with any consumer problem that may arise in the future.

Read the full report at www.bbb.org/us/article/in-its-100th-year-better-business-bureau-breaks-all-records-for-consumer-services-40582.

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About Hannah Sassi

Hi, my name is Hannah Sassi and I am the Communications Intern for the Council of Better Business Bureaus in Arlington, VA. My hometown is Hatfield, Massachusetts and I am currently a freshman at The George Washington University majoring in Business with a specialization in Economics and Public Policy.