2018 CONSUMER COMPLAINTS

The Missouri Attorney General’s Office received 116,912 complaints in 2018. The Consumer Complaint Unit received 66,927 complaints and the No-Call Unit received 49,985 complaints.

Attorney General Schmitt encourages consumers to file complaints with his office so he can mediate complaints when possible, investigate scams, and take legal action when necessary to protect consumers who conduct business in Missouri. Consumers can register complaints by calling the toll-free number, 800-392-8222, or online, or by mail at P.O. Box 899, Jefferson City, Mo., 65102.

The top ten scams reported to the Attorney General's Office in 2018:

Top 10 Consumer Complaints

No-Call & Illegal Telemarketing Complaints (49,985)

The Missouri Attorney General received 49,985 complaints from consumers regarding no-call violations and illegal telemarketing calls in 2018.

Retail/Wholesale (2,842)

Most of the complaints involve purchases made through the internet, telephone or mail, and involve late deliveries or products never delivered. Other complaints involve the purchases of appliances, furniture and other items in which there have been warranty problems, defective products or did not work as advertised or was never delivered. Other retail related complaints included issues with rebates, coupons and gift cards.

Solicitations/Publications/Subscriptions (2,419)

Consumers receive mail and phone solicitations regarding sweepstake and lottery scams, and other types of solicitation scams. Most involve scammers promising a valuable prize or high dollar award to entice consumers to send money, buy overpriced products or services, or contribute to a phony charity. In other scams, you may receive a flyer that looks like and invoice or bill. It is important to never give out personal information such as your social security number, bank and credit information, pay money to individuals you do not know, and to closely review all bills.

Financial (2,197)

Complaints under this category involve loan modifications, foreclosures, and debt collectors. Our office works with consumers regarding complaints on loan modifications and foreclosures and will attempt to defer fees or foreclosures when appropriate. Debt collector complaints range from harassing collectors who threaten and repeatedly call attempting to collect a debt. Consumers should never authorize direct bank account debiting or reveal their bank account number over the phone. Consumers are encouraged to provide information only to merchants contacted directly by the consumer.

Automotive (1,598)

Automotive complaints involve failure to deliver titles in a timely manner from the dealership. Other complaints involve shoddy repair and service issues.

Communications/Technology/Online Services (1,342)

Telephone cramming and billing practices involved consumers who received a phone bill for services that they did not order or unauthorized fees on their telephone bill from third parties. Additional complaints reflect billing disputes and misleading promotions.

Real Estate and Construction (1,248)

Construction complaints involving home repair contractors are our most common type of complaint. These types of complaints may involve storm chasers going door-to-door asking for money up front and providing little to no work. Other complaints involve contractors who accept upfront fees and do not provide any of the work, shoddy workmanship, and/or fail to honor warranties. The Attorney General is aggressive in pursuing contractor scams and those that take advantage of the elderly.

Travel/Timeshare (1,109)

Complaints allege consumers were guaranteed resale of previously owned timeshare; failing to provide deeds, maintenance fees increasing continuously, undisclosed fees, as well as other services. The Attorney General warns consumers to not rely on verbal representations and to ensure all representations are outlined in a written document.

Health (847)

Complaints in this category allege billing issues concerning hospital and doctor visits and supplemental purchases. Many complaints involved consumers who paid for health club memberships only to have the club shut down soon after accepting their money. The Attorney General continues to pursue these types of companies who do not properly register with his office and those who take money knowing they will not be operating at a later date.

Professional Services (597)

Most of these complaints involved moving companies, towing, job services, special events, auction companies, funeral homes and cemeteries, etc. The Attorney General’s office will mediate these complaints or forward to the proper entity for further review.