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Better Business Bureau ®
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West Florida
Complaints to Better Business Bureau Up Nearly 10 percent in 2009
March 10, 2010
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Clearwater, FL – March 10, 2010 – According to an annual report released today by Better Business Bureau, consumer complaints to the organization increased by 9.7 percent in 2009. Not only did BBB receive nearly 1 million complaints filed by disgruntled customers last year, consumers turned to the non-profit more than 65 million times for help researching businesses across North America.

"Last years activity reflects that now, more than ever, consumers are relying on the BBB," said Karen Nalven, BBB President.  "Consumers rely on us to not only help their voice be heard in the marketplace but moreover, to find businesses they can trust."

The cell phone industry received the largest number of complaints in 2009 with 37,477, a 2.1 percent increase over last year. The cable & satellite TV industry ranked second with 32,616 complaints, an 8.7 percent increase over the previous year. Rounding out the top three, banks received 29,920 complaints, a 42.3 percent increase over the previous year.

While the cell phone industry, cable & satellite TV industry and banks received a high volume of complaints, two of the three industries saw improvements in their resolution rates over the previous year. Cell phone companies resolved 97.4 percent of complaints; the cable & satellite TV industry resolved 97.2 percent. The resolution rate by banks declined slightly to 95.2 percent.

The report also reveals that BBB Reliability Reports—which are available online for free and contain information on a business’s accreditation status, letter-grade rating and complaint history—are increasingly popular as a free tool for consumers to research the trustworthiness of businesses.  The nearly 4 million BBB Reliability Reports® on businesses across North America were viewed more than 65 million times in 2009. The most popular industries researched through BBB were roofing contractors, general contractors and mortgage brokers.

Following are the top 10 industries by volume of consumer complaints filed across North America with BBB in 2009:

Industry

 Total
Complaints

 Rank by
number of
complaints

 Percentage
change over
2008

 Percentage of
resolved
complaints

 Cellular phones
service &
equipment

37,477

1

2.1%

97.4%

 Television - Cable,
 CATV & Satellite

32,616

2

8.7%

97.2%

 Banks

29,920

3

42.3%

95.2%

 Auto Dealers -
New Cars

26,888

4

-2.4%

84.1%

Internet Shopping

21,494

5

9.4%

71.7%

Collection Agencies

15,797

6

-3.3%

86.6%

Auto Dealers -
Used Cars

13,686

7

2.5%

70.8%

Telephone Companies

13,470

8

11.2%

96.1%

Furniture - Retail

13,158

9

-2.9%

78.3%

Auto Repair
 & Service

12,736

10

9.5%

65.9%


For a complete industry breakdown of all complaints filed with the BBB in 2009, and previous years, go to www.bbb.org/us/statistics. To learn more about BBB dispute resolution services and BBB Reliability Reports®, contact Alison Southwick at 703-247-9376.