'Do Not Call' Complaints Top List of Consumer Grievances in NC

'Do Not Call' Complaints Top List of Consumer Grievances in NC
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April 1, 2014

In 2013, 19,865 consumers filed complaints with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office. Although the total number of consumer complaints was down from 23,205 in 2012, consumers continued to report many of the same problems.

At the top of the list for 2013, there were 5,076 complaints about 'Do Not Call' violations. Many consumers complained about continuing to get unwanted telemarketing calls after they'd placed their number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Often these were illegal robocalls, which ask consumers to press a number to speak with a representative.

North Carolina law makes it illegal for a business to call you using a recorded message, and the North Carolina Attorney General's Office has been able to use consumers' complaints to identify the culprits behind some illegal robocalls and take action to shut them down.

Complaints about lending were number two on the list, with 3,366 complaints filed. Common problems include high interest rates, charges for late or missed payments, adjustable rate mortgages, prepayment penalties and loan fees.

Many consumers complaining about lending problems had taken out online payday loans. payday loans are illegal in North Carolina, and North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper and the North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks forced the last storefront payday lenders out of the state in 2006. But lenders outside the state continue to try to reach North Carolina consumers through the Internet.

Complaints about telemarketing fraud were number three on the list, with 3,056 complaints filed. The scammers making these calls are usually located outside the U.S. and attempt to get consumers to send money or share their personal information. Complaints included schemes involving sweepstakes and lotteries, phony government grants, advanced fee loans, sweetheart scams and grandparent scams.

Complaints about health care, home repair, motor vehicles, credit and collections, television services, Internet and computers, and furniture rounded out the top ten.