Car Sales, Home Improvements, Debt & Credit Top List of Consumer Complaints

Cars are the No. 1 complaint for the seventh year.

Car Sales, Home Improvements, Debt & Credit Top List of Consumer Complaints
Photo by Obi - @pixel7propix / Unsplash

People don't agree on much lately. But when it comes to car sales and repairs, nearly everyone seems to agree they're the most annoying of the many issues that annoy consumers.

“It is no surprise that auto sales and repair are the number one complaint category, now for the seventh year in a row,” said Erin Witte, Director of Consumer Protection at the Consumer Federation of America. “Consumers rely on cars to get to work, school, doctors’ appointments and more, and these agencies serve a critical role to help consumers when they have suffered harm at the hands of dealers and repair shops.”

Home repairs and contractors jumped to the number two category, and landlord/tenant complaints fell to fifth place in the CFA's annual roster of consumer beefs.

State and local consumer agencies recovered over $743 million for consumers and handled nearly 600,000 complaints in 2022, according to research by Consumer Federation of America (CFA).

The report is based on information from 36 agencies in 25 states. Agencies responded to a survey from CFA asking for their top ten complaint categories and their greatest achievements for the year, and agencies also provided real life examples of complaints from consumers.

Counting down the hits

The top ten complaint categories made to agencies in 2022 are:

1 – Auto Sales & Repair
2 – Home Improvement Repairs and Contractors
3 – Consumer Debt & Credit
4 – Retail Purchase Issues
5 – Landlord Tenant
6 – Frauds and Scams
7 – Healthcare/Wellness
8 – Home Furnishings & Appliances
9 – Utilities
10 – Travel & Moving

Agencies reported a wide variety of successes in 2022, including the creation of a consumer protection education website hub for foster youth by the Los Angeles Department of Consumer & Business Affairs. The San Francisco District Attorney’s Office helped resolve a $300,000 cryptocurrency scam, and the Florida Department of Consumer & Agriculture Services resolved nearly $1 million in travel-related complaints alone.

The full 2022 Consumer Complaint Survey Report is available here.