Rise in consumer complaints reminder for customers to be careful - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Rise in consumer complaints reminder for customers to be careful

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN (WAVE) - There is a nationwide push right now to make sure you don't get ripped off. This is National Consumer Protection Week. A time for consumer watchdogs to teach people how to steer clear of scams and shoddy work.

There's been surge in complaints in a few problem areas making it more important for people out there to take steps to protect themselves.

A bad economy meant bad business for some customers. Stores closing their doors may be to blame for a spike in retail complaints to the Indiana Attorney General's office last year, jumping to number two on the AG's top ten consumer complaint list from number eight the previous year.

Remember: always check reviews of a business and read the fine print on store return policies, layaway programs and warranties.

Home repair and construction complaints were also on the rise in Indiana. Issues included poor workmanship, failure to complete or even start a project, and misrepresenting the need for repairs.

That should serve as a reminder to research the contractor, get a written agreement for projects exceeding $150, and never pay more than a 1/3 of the bill up front. If a contractor knocks on your door and pressures you to make a quick decision, just say no.

For the third straight year used car sales and service topped the Indiana AG's list of consumer complaints, from deceptive advertising and non-title delivery faulty repairs and excessive document fee charges.

Always review a vehicle's history and have an independent mechanic inspect the vehicle before you buy. It's a good idea to seek multiple estimates and opinions before agreeing to repair work.

Also, be careful with service contracts or extended warranties, as the cost of covered repairs rarely exceeds the cost of the warranty.

Hoosiers filed more than 15,400 complaints with the Indiana Attorney General's Office last year.

For the complete top 10 list consumer complaint list along with ways you can avoid problems, click here. For more information on National Consumer Protection Week, click here.

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