The Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) compiled a Top 10 industries for consumer complaints and inquiries, according to final statistics for 2012.
For the year, the BBB stated it provided more than 2.7 million instances of service to the public — a new record.
The BBB handled just more than 24,200 complaints in 2012, about the same amount as the previous year. The bureau reported it resolved roughly 90 percent of them.
“Our complaint levels have remained steady for the last three years,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “We’re pleased that’s the case, but, as always, our goal is to have people visit bbb.org before making purchasing decisions, to find reputable companies and hopefully avoid issues.”
Complaints against auto dealers — used cars and new cars — took the top two spots in 2012, followed by complaints against auto repair companies and siding contractors. Used car complaints handled by the BBB typically involved consumer claims that cars were not in the condition promised. Complaints against new car dealers generally touched on issues involving sales of previously-owned vehicles or alleged issues with service or repairs. However, the complaint resolution rates for the used and new car industries were 92 percent and 98 percent, respectively — both above the average resolution rate for BBB complaints.
Five separate categories in the construction industry made this year’s Top 10 complaint list. The BBB reported the construction industry also topped the list of inquiries from the public in 2012, with collection agencies coming in second.
Two new additions to this year’s top 10 consumer inquiries list were Internet shopping and home builders, which reflects the shift in customer shopping habits and would also seem to indicate an improving real estate market, the BBB said.
Top 10 industries by volume of complaints:
1. Auto dealers, used cars.
2. Auto dealers, new cars.
3. Auto repair and service.
4. Siding contractors.
5. Contractors, general.
6. Roofing contractors.
8. Construction and remodeling services.
9. Windows, installation and service.
10. Property management.
Top 10 industries by consumer inquiries:
1. Contractors, general.
2. Collection agencies.
4. Construction and remodeling services.
5. Roofing contractors.
6. Auto dealers, used cars.
7. Internet shopping.
8. Marketing programs and services.
9. Home builders.
10. Property management.
“As always, these statistics tell a story, but not the full story,” said Badgerow. “It’s certainly not to single companies in these industries out or label them as problematic. It’s simply a snapshot of trends we noted in our marketplace over the past year.”