BBB Ranks Top Business Inquiries and Complaints During 2003

The nation's Better Business Bureaus (BBBs) this week reported that services provided to consumers and businesses in 2003 surged to 52.9 million, up 27 percent from the 41.5 million instances of service provided in 2002.

Pre-purchase Information: Pre-buying inquiries in the United States increased to 48.8 million in 2003, up nearly 28 percent from 38.2 million in 2002. These requests included 30.8 million BBB reliability reports on businesses located in the U.S. -- member companies as well as businesses that are not BBB members but that have generated inquiries or complaints from the public.

Businesses Ranked by Inquiries and Complaints: The CBBB released its Top Ten, a listing of business categories that generated the most requests for reliability reports from U.S. BBBs, and that accounted for the most complaints processed by BBBs in the U.S. in 2003.

Top 10 Businesses Ranked by BBB Report Requests

  1. Mortgage and Escrow Companies
  2. Work-at-Home Promotions
  3. Roofing and Guttering Contractors
  4. Moving/Storage Companies
  5. General Contractors
  6. Home Remodeling Contractors
  7. Automobile Dealers
  8. Home Builders
  9. Auto Repair Shops
  10. Plumbing Contractors

Mortgage and escrow companies surpassed last year's top ranked work-at- home promotions, with inquiries soaring to more than one million. The mortgage business also recorded the greatest increase in report requests over the prior year, with inquiries increasing by 57.9 percent over 2002 inquiries.

"This increase in activity isn't surprising given the number of persons who bought new homes or refinanced existing mortgages in 2003. It's gratifying to know that so many people checked with the BBB first, before selecting a mortgage lender," Hunter said.

Top 10 List of Businesses Ranked by Consumer Complaints

  1. Automobile Dealers
  2. Mobile and Cellular Telephones
  3. Credit Card Offers and Plans
  4. Internet Services
  5. Credit Collection Agencies
  6. Mortgage and Escrow Companies
  7. Computer Sales
  8. Home Furnishing Stores
  9. Telephone Companies
  10. Banks

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