JEFFERSON CITY, MONTH – The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 126,100 total consumer complaints in 2021, submitted in writing or by telephone. The Consumer Complaints Unit received 86,856 complaints and inquiries and the No Appeal Unit received 39,244 complaints.
The Attorney General’s office has advocates who receive complaints and actively work to mediate those complaints between consumers and businesses or individuals. When mediation efforts fail and there are credible allegations of potential violations of Missouri’s Marketing Practices Act, the Attorney General’s Office has investigators to investigate fraud cases and attorneys to prosecute. prosecution or criminal charges, if any.
In 2021, the Consumer Protection Section obtained $17,342,241.90 in judgments/settlements for the State of Missouri and recovered $13,365,467.61 in restitution for Missouri citizens.
“The Missouri Attorney General’s Office continues to be a strong advocate for Missouri consumers,” Attorney General Schmitt said. “Each year, my office strives to address thousands upon thousands of consumer complaints, to seek redress for affected consumers where possible, and to hold bad actors accountable.”
Consumers who wish to file a complaint can do so online at ago.mo.gov or by calling the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-392-8222.
The top 10 consumer complaints in 2021 by industry were:
1. Complaints without appeal (39,244)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 39,244 consumer complaints of illegal telemarketing calls and no-call violations in 2021. The complaints relate to telephone calls to Missouri residents by businesses or organizations soliciting the purchase of goods or services.
2. Retail/Wholesale (1,727)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 1,727 consumer complaints about retail and wholesale businesses. Most of the complaints related to purchases made over the Internet, by telephone or by mail and related to late deliveries or products that had never been delivered. Other complaints were about purchasing appliances, furniture, and other items that had warranty issues, were faulty, or didn’t work as advertised. Other retail-related complaints included issues with discounts, coupons, and gift cards.
3. Automotive (1,611)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has received 1,611 consumer complaints about automobiles, car dealerships and auto repair shops. Automotive complaints often involve a failure to deliver titles in a timely manner by the dealership. Other complaints relate to shoddy repair work and service issues.
4. Solicitations/Publications/Subscriptions (1,512)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 1,512 complaints regarding mail and telephone solicitations for publications and subscriptions. These complaints typically involve receiving mail and telephone solicitations regarding sweepstakes, sweepstakes and other solicitation scams. Most of the scammers involved promise a valuable prize or high dollar reward to trick consumers into sending money, buying overpriced products or services, or contributing to bogus charity.
5. Real estate and construction – (1,427)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 1,427 consumer complaints about home repair, construction and real estate. Complaints involving home repair contractors are among the most common types of complaints received by the office. These types of complaints involve asking for money up front and providing little or no work, poor quality work, and/or breaching home warranties.
6. Financial (1,212)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has received 1,212 consumer complaints about debt collection companies, credit repair and disputes with financial institutions. Complaints in this category relate to foreclosures, debt collection, loan servicing and other products, services and practices of banks, mortgage companies, debt collectors, service providers and other financial institutions. Our office negotiates complaints about loan modifications and foreclosures and will attempt to defer charges or foreclosures where appropriate. Complaints from debt collectors include allegations of harassment of debt collectors who threaten the consumer. Complaints about financial institutions and banks involve the imposition of fees and other charges without notice or consumer consent.
7. Communications/Technology/Online Services (1,081)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 1,081 consumer complaints about online communications, technology and services in 2020. Many of the complaints were about phone jamming and billing practices where consumers received a phone bill for services that they didn’t order or were being charged unauthorized charges on their phone. third party invoice. Other complaints related to billing disputes and misleading promotions
8. Travel/timeshare (895)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office has received 895 consumer complaints about timeshare companies, timeshare companies and travel clubs. The complaints related to allegations that companies promised to resell timeshares and failed to do so, companies failed to provide deeds for timeshares purchased by consumers, and companies charged undisclosed fees or unexpectedly and continuously increase the cost of maintenance and other related services. Complaints also related to the sale of travel club memberships that promised discounts, opportunities or services that were worthless or less than promised.
9. Health (797)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 797 health-related consumer complaints in 2020. These complaints related to health-care industry complaints, including billing issues regarding hospitals and doctor visits, purchases and disputes regarding health insurance payments.
10. Professional services (689)
The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 689 complaints related to professional services. These complaints related to moving companies, towing, funeral homes/cemeteries and special events.