COLUMBIA, S.C. (WCBD) — South Carolina officials released a list of the most common consumer complaints in the state last year, ranging from vehicle problems to canceled travel plans.
According to the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA), the department received 3,977 complaints in 2021.
In resolving those complaints, the department recovered or saved South Carolinians more than $1.8 million.
The SCDCA data was highlighted in the Consumer Federation of America’s (CFA) latest Consumer Complaint Survey Report released Monday. The annual report surveys city, county, and state agencies to determine the most common, fastest-growing, and worst problems facing consumers in the U.S.
Matching the national trend, South Carolina cited vehicle-related complaints as the most common with 622 complaints filed in 2021. According to CFA, auto sales and repair complaints topped the list nationwide for the sixth consecutive year.
“For the sixth year in a row, the number one consumer complaint to agencies involves deceptive conduct in the sale of new and used cars as well as complaints about auto repair shops,” Erin Witte, CFA Director of Consumer Protection said. “It is clear that auto sales and repairs are a longstanding problem and that consumers rely heavily on these agencies for assistance when they have suffered harm.”
In one instance, a consumer in South Carolina purchased a vehicle but did not receive information on where or how to make monthly payments. Months later, the vehicle was repossessed. SCDCA officials said the consumer filed a report with the agency, which worked with the dealership to obtain the owner’s personal belongings left in the vehicle and eventually return the vehicle to the consumer.
Another South Carolina featured complaint involved utilities, the fourth most common type in the state last year with 295 complaints.
In this instance, a consumer filed a complaint against a large utility company regarding lines that had been cut and left dangling in front of their home. SCDCA reported that despite the consumer working for over a year to fix the issue, the agency was able to resolve it within thirty days of the complaint.
In all, 23 agencies from 15 states surveyed handled more than 208,000 complaints in 2021, providing more than $119 million in relief to consumers.
Top 10 Complaint Categories Nationwide:
- Auto Sales
- Landlord Tenant
- Home Improvement
- Retail Purchases
- Consumer Debt and Credit
- Frauds and Scams
- Healthcare and Wellness/Robocalls and Telemarketing (TIE)
- Professional Services
- Travel and Recreation