Attorney General Suthers Issues Statewide Report on Consumer Complaints for 2004

DENVER – As part of National Consumer Protection Week, Colorado Attorney General John W. Suthers today announced his 2004 Colorado Top Ten Consumer Complaint List. The Top Ten List is comprised of information gathered through a number of sources, including the Colorado Consumer Line. The Colorado Consumer Line (1-800-222-4444) is a statewide partnership between the Attorney General’s Office, the Better Business Bureaus serving Colorado, and AARP ElderWatch to better help Coloradans resolve the thousands of consumer complaints filed annually and to improve consumer services.

This year’s Top Ten List includes the following most complained about industries:

  1. Television (Cable & Satellite)
  2. Telephone Communications
  3. Collection Agencies
  4. Automobile Sales (New and Used)
  5. Consumer Credit/Lending
  6. Doll Shops (My Twin Doll)
  7. Moving/Storage Companies
  8. Mortgage and Escrow Companies
  9. Internet Shopping Services
  10. Auto Repair Facilities

This list does not include No-Call complaints.

Consumer Credit/Lending complaints moved from number 10 in 2003 to number five for 2004. Approximately half of these complaints involved questions or concerns about mortgage lending. The increase in volume may be due to increased public awareness of Colorado's anti-predatory lending law, the Colorado Consumer Equity Protection Act, which took effect on January 1, 2004. Since then, the Attorney General has had jurisdiction to review complaints to determine if a mortgage loan was subject to that law’s limitations on negative amortization, balloon payments, prepayment penalties, and certain other loan terms.

In its regulation of collection agencies and debt collectors, the Attorney General’s Office issued 52 cease and desist letters to unlicensed collection agencies, issued 7 letters of admonition, and imposed a total of $19,500 in administrative fines on 15 collection agencies.

The Colorado Consumer Line and the BBB’s closed more than 15,609 consumer complaints in 2004. Consumers requested more than 870,000 Better Business Bureau reliability reports over the telephone or through the Bureaus’ websites. The Colorado Consumer Line received more than 61,011 calls in 2004. The Better Business Bureaus participating in the Colorado Consumer Line are the Denver/Boulder BBB; Four Corners/Western Slope BBB in Farmington, New Mexico; Mountain States BBB in Fort Collins; and the Southern Colorado BBB in Colorado Springs. AARP ElderWatch is a partnership of the Colorado Attorney General and the AARP Foundation.


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