Better Business Bureau releases Top 10 complaint categories

NEW YORK (WABC) -- The Better Business Bureau Serving Metropolitan New York on Tuesday revealed its annual Top 10 Complaint Categories, listing those business categories that received the most customer complaints in 2016.

The announcement comes during the National Consumer Protection Week campaign to raise awareness of consumer issues, and it was made with federal, state and city agencies.

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 second highest consumer complaint category, "telecommunications," received 4,165 complaints, while complaints about online retailers jumped by 33 percent (2,901 complaints) to enter the top five 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," BBB New York President and CEO Claire Rosenzweig said. "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 10:
1. Financial Services

2. Telecommunications
3. Online Retailers
4. Health, Beauty and Fitness
5. Department Stores and Apparel
6. Automotive
7. Electronics and Appliances
8. Home Improvement

9. Travel
10. Mail Order and Sweepstakes

The BBB says 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, and that 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, as well as 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 here to view a mini-site with more details about the Metro New York BBB's Top 10 Consumer Complaint Categories.
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