The Tennessee Attorney General’s Consumer Affairs Division has revealed the top 10 complaint categories for 2020.
DCA received 4,053 complaints in 2020 and received services and funds back for Tennessee through working with consumers and businesses. Overall, the number of consumer complaints decreased slightly in 2020 compared to 2019, when 4,250 consumer affairs complaints were examined. The department works to speed up complaints so that appropriate action can be taken if fraudulent business practices, fraud, or fraud are discovered.
2020 top 10 complaint categories:
Home improvement, home repair, home guarantee: 497 complaints
House guarantees as well as hiring a contractor for services to repair or improve the quality of your house. The most common complaints concern the quality of work, incomplete work after receiving payment and structural damage by workers or companies. Many of these complaints are referred to the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors.
Price gouging: 343 complaints
Complaints about unreasonable increases in the price of essential items such as food and medical supplies. Price increases are generally accounted for by evaluating several factors, including pre-existing price agreements and cost increases by suppliers.
Personal / Professional Services: 329 complaints
Services provided by professionals working in Tennessee including hairdressers, massage therapists, locksmiths, exterminators, photographers, and surveyors. Common complaints are the quality of the service, fees for services not received, and problems redeeming gift cards for services offered. Complaints in this category are sometimes referred to the Division of Regulatory Boards of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance and the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.
Landlord / tenant: 289 complaints
The most common complaints relate to security deposits and the conditions of the rental property. These complaints are usually forwarded to the enforcement of the city and county building codes and to the office of the state fire protection commissioner.
Internet sales: 281 complaints
Consumer dissatisfaction with items or services purchased online. Common complaints are issues with refunds and returns, or the product or service is not provided after payment. Often times, the product or service was requested via email or social media advertising. The Consumer Affairs Department is working to mediate these complaints.
Sales and advertising of used cars: 266 complaints
Consumer dissatisfaction with the purchase of used vehicles. Disputes about the condition of the vehicle and deception in sales, advertising and titling are the most common complaints. Consumer Affairs works closely with the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission in this category. Additionally, these complaints can be referred to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.
Health services and products: 228 complaints
Complaints include inaccurate billing and incorrect pricing. The department can mediate complaints or refer related complaints to the Tennessee Department of Health.
Debtor / Creditor: 225 complaints
This category includes matters related to debt collection companies, payday loans, credit repair companies, and check cashing services. Consumers report harassing phone calls or billing issues. These complaints are often referred to the Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions and the Regulatory Boards Division of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance.
Timeshare / Vacation Club: 223 complaints
Complaints related to the purchase and sale of real estate under a timeshare agreement. The most common complaints report high pressure sales tactics, misrepresentation of contracts and resale fraud. The department will frequently refer these complaints to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission and the Tennessee Board of Professional Responsibility.
Travel: 183 complaints
This category includes consumer disputes involving travel-related issues such as hotel or cabin rental stays. Many complaints were related to COVID-19 reimbursement requests.