Attorney General Steve Marshall announced the top five complaints from Alabama consumers received by his office’s Consumer Interest Division over the last year. The total number of consumer complaints rose slightly from 2,779 in 2016 to 2,967 in 2017.
“While National Consumer Protection Week is a time to remind everyone to be on guard against scams and fraud, my office is focused on consumer protection year-round,” said Attorney General Steve Marshall. “My Consumer Interest Division staff work hard each day to help consumers resolve disputes with businesses as well as investigate incidences of fraud. Not every case necessarily involves illegal activity, however, my office is always available to assist consumers with questions about potential scams and unscrupulous business practices.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Interest Division received 2,967 consumer complaints during 2017 with the top five as follows: 1. Automobiles, 2. Internet Purchases, 3. Landlord/Tenant Disputes, 4. Home Repair, and 5. Debt Collection.
Attorney General Marshall’s office maintains a consumer protection hotline, 1-800-392-5658, to take reports of fraudulent activity and to provide information and tools to equip consumers to protect themselves. Alabamians may also file a complaint online at http://ago.alabama.gov/ConsumerComplaint.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Interest Division cannot serve as an individual’s private attorney or provide consumers with legal advice. However, in many instances, the Attorney General’s Office has been successful in mediating complaints to the mutual satisfaction and benefit of the consumer and the business. If circumstances warrant, the Attorney General may initiate legal action, either civil or criminal, to represent the interests of the State of Alabama and to enforce the various laws designed to protect consumers from con artists and unscrupulous practices by businesses.
Information on National Consumer Protection Week is also available by visiting the Federal Trade Commission’s web site: http://www.ncpw.gov/.