Financial Services Draw Most Complaints, says Metro NY BBB

March 07, 2017

(New York, NY) - Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York is announcing its annual Top Ten Complaint Categories, listing those business categories which received the most customer complaints in 2016.

BBB and US Postal Inspection Service with officials from collaborating agenciescelebrate National Consumer Protection Week (BBB President, Claire Rosenzweig second from the left)

For the eighth year in a row, Financial Services was the most complained about business category, with 5,243 complaints filed by consumers with the Metro New York BBB. The Top Ten complaint rankings for Metro New York BBB are being announced during the National Consumer Protection Week (March 5-11) campaign for awareness of consumer issues.

The second highest consumer complaint category, Telecommunications, received 4,165 complaints.  In addition, complaints about Online Retailers jumped by 33 percent to 2,901 in 2016 to enter the top five complaint categories for the first time ever in Metro New York. 

In total, consumer complaints increased by 4 percent to 49,134 in 2016. Metro New York BBB received more than 16,000 Customer Reviews from consumers – a 77 percent increase from 2015 - and inquiries from consumers into Metro New York businesses increased by 16 percent to 5.7 million.

Throughout North America, BBBs received close to 33,000 scam reports through our interactive BBB Scam TrackerSMservice, with almost 1,300 of those scam reports originating in Metro New York. The increase in BBB services across the board means that Metro NY BBB helped consumers in more ways than ever before in 2016.

“We see the dramatic increase in Customer Reviews and consumer inquiries to the Metro New York BBB, and the emergence of Scam Tracker, as incredibly positive developments,” said Claire Rosenzweig, President and CEO of the Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York. “When consumers check with BBB they can view both complaint and customer review histories to help them identify trustworthy businesses, and they can also read about report scams that are happening in their community.” 

The full Top Ten Complaint Categories list for the Metro New York BBB for 2015 is as follows:

  1. Financial Services
  2. Telecommunications
  3. Online Retailers
  4. Health, Beauty and Fitness
  5. Department Stores & Apparel
  6. Automotive
  7. Electronics and Appliances          
  8. Home Improvement
  9. Travel
  10. Mail Order & Sweepstakes                           

Complaints about firms in the Financial Services category reflect marketplace issues confronting consumers as they engaged with banks, accountants, insurers and other financial service providers.  Such complaints typically involve non-delivery or dissatisfaction with product or service, credit and billing issues, advertising, failure to provide promised adjustments, selling practices and failure to provide service.

The Telecommunications category covers cable television service, and cellular and traditional telephone service providers. Complaints about firms in this category generally involve credit and billing issues, advertising issues, problems with selling practices and failure to provide promised adjustments.

The Online Retail category generally involves non-delivery or late delivery of ordered merchandise, dissatisfaction with merchandise received, credit and billing issues, advertising concerns and failure to provide promised adjustments.

Click hereto view a mini-site with more details about the Metro New York BBB’s Top Ten Consumer Complaint Categories.

The Metro New York Better Business Bureau, a standards-based organization, maintains a roster of BBB Accredited Businesses and has a listing of its programs, services, and upcoming events which can be found here: