Top 10 Consumer Complaints

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2004 saw an increasing number of complaints being filed with Florida's Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. You may be surprised who tops the list of buyers beware.

The top 10 list is out, and you may be surprised to see which companies are taking the heat in 2004. What typically comes to mind is the common consumer complaint about telemarketers clogging the phone lines.

Liz Compton of the Florida Department of Consumer Services says, “For the first time since I can remember it's been bumped off number one by complaints about travel.”

That's right, we're talking about those all inclusive cruises you see advertised in the paper or the special bargains on air fares. Many consumers buy into the deals without doing their homework.

Jennifer Mitchell, a cruise consultant, says, “Unless they do research, they don't know what's what; what is an ocean view, what is a balcony.”

So people are getting less than they paid for or what they thought they paid for, and complaints are rolling in, but that's not all.

Compton says complaints stem from Florida's four hurricanes and the price gouging statute that's kicking in. Other problems topping the list include credit complaints, communications, business and health studios.

Compton says the list is compiled for consumers to make better decisions come 2005.

Motor vehicle repairs were also among the top grievances. If you have a consumer complaint or want more information on the top 10 complaints for 2004, call 1-800-HELP-FLA.