Top Consumer Complaints Of 2014

Air Date:
Heard On The Larry Meiller Show

Larry Meiller finds out what the top consumer complaints were for Wisconsin residents in 2014.

Featured in this Show

  • State Consumer Protection Agency Saw Uptick In Telecom-Related Complaints Last Year

    Consumer complaints filed in Wisconsin regarding the telecommunications industry saw a 31 percent jump in 2014, according to the state’s consumer protection agency.

    Each year, the Bureau of Consumer Protection — a division of the state’s Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection compiles a list of the top complaints it received from consumers the previous year. In 2014, the bureau fielded a total 11,526 complaints from Wisconsin residents. Of those, telecommunications complaints were the third most-common.

    “Everyone seems to carry around a cellphone and have Internet, so it’s a high-volume industry where we’re going to see complaints,” said Michelle Reinen, the director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection.

    One factor that accounts for the significant increase in complaints over the previous year was that the carrier U.S. Cellular put a new billing system into place with mixed results.

    “It probably didn’t go as smoothly as they had hoped, and we ended up with a lot of consumers with billing problems and disputes who filed with our agency,” Reinen explained.

    Luckily for those 300 residents, bureau officials were able to mediate the situation with U.S. Cellular and got more than $18,000 back in the pockets of consumers in the form of credits, refunds and billing adjustments.

    Reinen said that U.S. Cellular was very cooperative, but even though they were willing to make the customers whole again, but officials did look to see what was at the bottom of the issue.

    “Through our investigation, we did look to see if this was just an implementation problem or whether there was some intent … and we didn’t find evidence of wrongdoing there,” Reinen said.

    The complete list of the top 10 consumer complaints for 2014 is available online.

    Consumer complaints can be made online, or by calling 1-800-422-7128.

Episode Credits

  • Larry Meiller Host
  • Judith Siers-Poisson Producer
  • Sandy Chalmers Guest
  • Michelle Reinen Guest

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