In conjunction with National Consumer Protection Week, March 5-11, Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced the top 10 most common complaints her office received in 2016.
The 10 most common compliant categories from 2016 were: Automobile sales, service, financing and repair; sales of goods and services; health care; landlord/tenant; home repair, construction and maintenance; satellite, cable and internet service providers; wireless and landline telephone services; credit service, credit repair and other financial services; utilities; and travel and timeshares.
National Consumer Protection Week is a partnership with attorneys general from across the country, along with many national organizations, including the Better Business Bureau, Federal Trade Commission and AARP, to encourage consumers to understand their rights and make educated consumer decisions.
“For the fifth consecutive year, automobile-related transactions have been the most common type of complaint reports to the Attorney General’s office,” a spokesman said in a news release. “Purchasing a vehicle can be one of the most significant purchases a consumer makes, and because the process is complicated, a consumer may not even be aware that a problem exists. These types of complaints often involve consumers reporting financing errors; high-pressure tactics to buy add-on services at the time of purchase, such as gap insurance, service contracts or life or extended warranties; and sales misrepresentations.”
The most common scam reported to the Attorney General’s office in 2016 was the IRS imposter scam.
“Scam artists are still posing as the IRS demanding payment immediately and threatening arrest if payment is not received. Arkansans need to remember that the IRS will never call and demand payment, require taxes be paid in a certain way, ask for credit or debit card numbers or threaten to bring police or other agencies to make an arrest for unpaid taxes,” the spokesman said.
Rutledge’s office resolved 9,000 formal consumer complaints in 2016.
“The Consumer Protection Division includes attorneys, investigators and phone counselors working each and every day to fight for Arkansans,” Rutledge said in the news release. “They mediate all types of complaints, including those filed in response to deceptive business practices, and regularly reach positive outcomes on behalf of Arkansas consumers. I am proud my staff recovered more than $2 million through settlements and mediation last year.”
Residents may file a complaint at ArkansasAG.gov. For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at 800-482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.