Submitted by Savannah Kimball, Marketplace Director, Better Business Bureau Northwest
Better Business Bureau serving the Northwest has compiled a list (and checked it twice) to see who has been naughty and not necessarily nice. The BBB’s Naughty List highlights the most complained about industries from 2016. You will not be surprised by many of these but a few could raise some eyebrows.
This list does include resolved and unresolved complaints from the past year. The number of complaints does not represent the total number of complaints a company may have received overall.
Since January of this year to Dec. 1, consumers have filed nearly 16,360 complaints regarding the following types of businesses in the northwest territory of Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Western Wyoming:
Top 10 Most Complained About Business Industries:
- Cellular Telephone Service & Supplies 6,277
- Internet Selling Services 3,486
- Computer Software Publishers & Developers 1,887
- Travel Agencies & Bureaus 1,372
- Collection Agencies 855
- Auto Dealers – New Cars 792
- Auto Dealers – Used Cars 584
- Property Management 478
- Skin Care 335
- Animal Hospitals 294
Many of these industries will see an influx in business during this holiday shopping season. According to a National Retail Federation’s annual consumer spending survey, consumers plan to spend an average of $935.58 during the holiday shopping season. This total planned spending is second only to the record total spending in 2015, at $952.58. That means consumers have added a little more to their annual holiday season spending. That also means there may be a surge in consumer complaints as an increased amount of purchases are made.
As you are deciding what gift to buy for your special someone and what business to buy it from, follow these tips to help prevent the Grinch from stealing your Christmas!
- Do your research. Read product reviews, look at the sales flyers and ads, compare prices, look for early promotions and “flash sales”.
- Read the fine print. Some stores only honor sale ads during a certain time frame, or on certain days. Some stores may only allow you to purchase one item, particularly large, popular and/or deeply discounted products.
- Know the advertiser. Some of the best deals are only available online, but be careful. It’s easy for a fake site to mimic a famous retailer’s website, so make sure you are shopping with a legitimate site.
- Sign-up for email alerts. Many stores release their best deals to people who have signed up to receive their emails. Just make sure it’s the real business and not a scammer.
- Ask for gift receipts and save warranty information. A gift receipt can be tucked into a gift item or card so that the recipient can return or exchange a gift if it’s not just right. Be sure to pass along any information about returns, exchanges, repairs, and warranties to the person who will use the item.
For more information on holiday shopping trends and scams visit BBB’s Holiday Helper Guide. Happy Shopping.