These were Wisconsin's top 10 consumer complaints in 2022

·2 min read

Wisconsinites reach out to the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for many things, including help resolving conflicts with landlords, telemarketers, healthcare businesses, telecom providers, and car warranties.

In 2022, DATCP worked to resolve more than 11,000 complaints, reached settlements in several investigations, and returned millions of dollars to consumers.

Here are the top 10 reasons why people filed consumer complaints with the state agency:

More: Wisconsin consumer complaintsHere are resources if you have a complaint

1. Landlord-tenant issues

DATCP received 1,912 complaints, up slightly from 2021. Issues included security deposit returns, evictions, unauthorized entry, mold damage, inadequate disclosures, and unsatisfactory service. DATCP said it had more than 50,000 visits to its landlord/tenant online consumer resources.

2. Telemarketing

1,651 complaints including robocalls, phishing and spoofing, impostor scams and harassment, and violations of Wisconsin’s Do Not Call Registry.

3. Home improvement

1,216 complaints, more than double the year before. The top issues were failure to provide services and materials, failure to honor warranties, failure to properly disclose lien waivers, deceptive and misleading representations, poor workmanship, improper installation, billing disputes, and incorrect charges.

4. Telecommunications

655 complaints including billing disputes, unfair termination of service, deceptive and misleading representations, refund adjustment policies, and failure to cancel services when requested.

5) Identity theft

513 complaints, down considerably from 2021. DATCP says it helps victims recover and secure their identity against further fraud.

6. Medical services

440 complaints, up 60% from the year before. Consumers reported billing issues, deceptive and misleading representations, and unsatisfactory service. In 2022, new federal consumer protection laws went into effect against “surprise billing,” when an insured patient unknowingly receives care from an out-of-network provider and subsequently receives an unexpected medical bill.

7. Travel

224 complaints on a variety of issues including vehicle rentals, hotels, and travel company services bundling.

8. Health and medical products

217 complaints involving billing, delivery failure, refunds, and more.

9. Furniture and home furnishings

189 complaints including failure to provide services or deliver goods, deceptive and misleading representations, and refunds.

10. Auto sales, new and used vehicles

184 complaints. Common among them were reports of inadequate disclosures, deceptive and misleading representations in direct mail flyers.

In 2022, DATCP said, it reached settlements in investigations related to the top-10 list of complaints including an extended vehicle warranty telemarketer, telecom provider Frontier Communications, and misleading COVID-19 test advertisements.

This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Top 10 consumer complaints in Wisconsin in 2022