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Better Business Bureau releases 2013 complaint, inquiry statistics

Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota (BBB) has compiled a list of the top 10 industries for consumer complaints and inquiries, according to their final statistics for 2013. For the year, the local BBB set a new record by providing over 3.6 million instances of service to the public. 

BBB handled just over 24,000 complaints in 2013, about the same amount as the previous year. They resolved roughly 90 percent of them.

“Our complaint levels have remained steady now for the last few years,” said Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota. “One way we hope to see that number decrease over time is by encouraging people to visit  before making purchasing decisions, to locate reputable companies and help ensure satisfactory experiences.”

Complaints against auto dealers/used cars and auto repair shops took the top two spots in 2013, followed by complaints against auto dealers/new cars. 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 involved issues with 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 91 and 99 percent, respectively – both above the average resolution rate for BBB complaints. Five separate categories in the construction industry made this year’s Top Ten complaint list.

Collection agencies topped the list of inquiries from the public in 2013, with general contractors coming in second. Property management companies continue to move up that list, rising to number six from number 10 on last year’s list - most likely due to the increase in demand for rental properties in our area.

Top 10 industries by volume of complaints:

1.      Auto Dealers – Used Cars

2.      Auto Repair & Services

3.      Auto Dealers - New

4.      Siding Contractors

5.      Construction & Remodeling Services

6.      Contractors - General

7.      Roofing Contractors

8.      Property Management

9.      Banks

10.  Windows- Installation and Service

Top 10 industries by consumer inquiries:

1.      Collection Agencies

2.      Contractors - General

3.      Roofing Contractors

4.      Construction and Remodeling

5.      Auto Dealers – Used Cars

6.      Property Management

7.      Internet Shopping

8.      Home Builders

9.      Plumbers

10.  Auto Repair & Services

“Lists such as these are quite helpful as they allow us to track trends,” added Badgerow. “However, it’s always important to look at these statistics – especially regarding complaints – in proper context.”