COLUMBUS — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine released the top categories of complaints filed with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section in 2015, when more than 27,000 complaints were recorded.
“Through our complaint process, we’ve helped people solve disputes, secure refunds, and clear fraudulent charges,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We encourage consumers to contact us when they think they’ve been treated unfairly or when they need help solving a problem.”
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section works with individuals, businesses, and nonprofits to resolve complaints through informal dispute resolution. According to complaint information, more than $2.4 million was returned or adjusted in 2015 through complaint resolution.
The 2015 top complaint categories were:
1. Motor vehicles
2. Professional services
3. Collections, credit reporting, or financial services
4. Shopping, food, or beverages
5. Utilities, phone, Internet, or TV
6. Home or property improvement
7. Identity theft
8. Potential scams or other (such as sweepstakes, do-not-call issues, or grant offers)
Nearly a quarter of all complaints involved motor vehicles. The most common motor-vehicle complaint related to used vehicle sales. Other top motor-vehicle complaints involved vehicle repairs and new vehicle sales.
Identity theft complaints continued to rise in 2015, when more consumers sought assistance from the office’s Identity Theft Unit, which works with creditors and other agencies to correct problems resulting from identity theft. In 2015, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office received more than 1,670 identity theft complaints, an increase of more than 300 from the previous year. It also helped victims clear more than $658,000 in fraudulent charges, according to identity-theft complaint information.
Other areas of concern cited among the top complaint categories were collections calls, wireless services, sweepstakes or prizes, cable/bundling, and in-store or online shopping issues.
Consumer complaints can be filed online at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or by phone at 800-282-0515.