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Wisconsin Consumer Complaints: Telemarketing Again Tops List

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The Wisconsin Consumer Protection Bureau fielded and followed up on more than 4,000 complaints about telemarketers last year. (Wikimedia Commons)
The Wisconsin Consumer Protection Bureau fielded and followed up on more than 4,000 complaints about telemarketers last year. (Wikimedia Commons)
February 5, 2018

MADISON, Wis. – Wisconsin consumers are tired of telemarketers who violate the state's Do No Call laws, and try to sell them stuff over the phone.

The annual top ten list of consumer complaints has just been released, and complaints about telemarketers still reign at the very top of the list.

The state's Consumer Protection Bureau got more than 4,000 complaints about telemarketers in 2017, an increase of 12 percent over 2016 and 62 percent more than 2015.

"This year, the top categories of telemarketing complaints really dealt with consumers receiving calls to renew an extended auto warranty service contract and, again, to lower their credit card interest rates," says Michelle Reinen, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

Landlord-tenant complaints were second on the list, followed by telecommunications complaints, identity theft and home improvement scams.

There were two newcomers to the top ten list this time: complaints about the quality of fuel sold at retail gas stations and complaints about medical services.

"It's about billing disputes and what they're being charged, or services that they may dispute actually happened, or being charged for things they didn't authorize,” Reinen explains. “The medical services category doesn't have anything to do with the actual doctors and performance of work."

Complaints about gas pump accuracy, car repair and car sales round out the top ten.

Reinen says it's critical that consumers continue to report their complaints to the agency.

"To file a complaint, contact us at Consumer Protection, 1-800-422-7128, or you can file your complaint online 24/7 at DATCP.WI.Gov," she advises.

She says the agency follows up on every complaint made.

Tim Morrissey, Public News Service - WI