Attorney General Announces Top Five Consumer Complaints
National Consumer Protection Week, March 2 - 8
MD (March 4, 2008) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas
Gansler released the top five Maryland consumer complaints from
2007 to highlight the importance of financial literacy during National
Consumer Protection Week. The Consumer Protection Division (CPD)
was able to acquire more than $4 million for consumer reimbursements
and received 15,661 complaints in 2007. The CPD works to mediate
disputes between consumers and businesses such as car dealers,
repair shops, landlords or debt collectors. Landlord management
topped the list with 3.8% of complaints.
Consumers are faced with daily financial questions ranging from managing their
to understanding their credit reports. Without being financially aware, consumers
can make mistakes resulting in serious consequences such as foreclosure or
“National Consumer Protection Week is a great time for
Maryland consumers to renew their efforts at becoming financially
savvy,” said Attorney General Gansler. “Armed with
the right information, Marylanders will make smarter decisions
to build a solid financial foundation.”
The top five consumer complaints for 2007 include:
Manager - 629 complaints (3.8%) were filed on landlords and property managers with
varying tenant issues such as failing to return security
deposits to not providing a habitable place to live with lack of maintenance
or excessive damages deducted from deposits. Consumers can download the pamphlet, “Landlord
and Tenants: Tips on Avoiding Disputes” at http://www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/landlords.htm or order one through the Consumer Protection Division at (410) 576-6500.
- Auto Repair - 628 complaints (3.8%) concerned consumer experiences on
auto repair. The most common complaints were unsatisfactory workmanship,
misdiagnosis of services needed and cars held for servicing damaged or not returned.
top issues in auto repair were failure to honor express warranty and
billed for goods/services not requested or received.
Merchandise - 572 complaints (3.5%) from Marylanders were on
general merchandise issues. Failure to deliver any goods or provide any
the top complaint in this category. Billed for goods/services not requested
or received came in second and other complaints varied from failure
to honor refund requests to price gouging.
- Used Auto
Dealer - 516 consumers (3.1%) filed complaints on their experiences
while buying a used car. Defective/damaged goods, failure
implied warranty of merchantability, misrepresentation of material fact and
omission of material facts were all big issues. Before purchasing,
the pamphlet “Buying a Used Car” by calling the Consumer
Protection Division at (410) 576-6500.
Agency - 474 Marylanders (2.9%) complained about collection agency
practices. Consumers often complained of collection agencies
to collect debt not owed and inaccurate information reported to credit reporting
agencies. Consumers who have trouble with a collection agency
Consumer’s Edge issue #117 or online at http://www.oag.state.md.us/Consumer/edge117.htm.
The Consumer’s Edge is a bimonthly newsletter focusing
on consumer issues. To be added to the mailing list, call (410)
Maryland consumers can file complaints through the Consumer
Protection Division at (410) 528-8662 or toll-free in Maryland
at 1-888-743-0023. They may also
file their complaints online at www.oag.state.md.us/consumer/complaint.htm.