(Phoenix, Ariz. – Feb. 29, 2008) Business opportunities, business services and used car sales topped the list of more than 22,000 consumer complaints filed with the Arizona Attorney General’s Office in 2007. Debt collections and auto repairs rounded out the top five complaint categories.
Complaints about cable and satellite television (ranking seventh), prize notifications (eighth) and mortgage lending (tenth) showed the biggest increase from the previous year.
Attorney General Terry Goddard released the complaint list to mark the start of Arizona Consumer Protection Month, which begins March 1. In calendar year 2007, the Attorney General’s Office received more than 46,000 calls into the Consumer Information and Complaints Unit (CIC). Nearly half of those calls led to complaints being filed with the Office.
In 2007, CIC helped consumers recover more than $3 million in refunds, rebates, services or merchandise. The Unit works with consumers and businesses to resolve complaints through the exchange of letters and other conciliation efforts.
“We have a great team comprised of staff and volunteers who work hard to help consumers become whole,” Goddard said. “I encourage consumers to call us if they have concerns regarding possible fraud or scams. If we don’t know about the problem, we can’t help.”
Almost every day, consumers face financial questions that require an educated decision: understanding and reconciling credit card statements and utility bills; choosing savings and retirement plans; comparing health insurance policies; shopping for a mortgage or auto loan; understanding their credit report and how it affects their ability to get credit, or simply deciding how to pay for a purchase.
During March, Goddard will be encouraging people to master the financial facts of life. Savvy consumers are likely to make smarter decisions about managing their money, using credit wisely and building a solid financial foundation for their future.
Consumers can also find practical tips and information online at www.azag.gov.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763; in Tucson at 520.628.6504; or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1.800.352.8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has 36 satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours are posted on the Attorney General’s Web site at www.azag.gov. Please visit the Web site to sign up for scam alerts and weekly messages from Attorney General Goddard.