CFA Releases Latest Consumer Complaint Survey

Utilities -- including cable, Internet and phone -- are fifth-most cited category, down from fourth
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Service or billing problems with cable, satellite, Internet
or phone ranked fifth in the top 10 most consumer complaints of 2011, according
to the latest Consumer Federation of America complaint survey. That was down
from the fourth most frequently mentioned complaints in the previous survey.

CFA polled 38 state, county and city agencies from 22 states
for the report.

The cable/phone/ISP services were part of a
"utilities" category that also included electricity and gas. The top
complaints in the report were about car sales and repairs, credit, home repairs
and construction.

According to the Howard County (Md.) Office of Consumer
Affairs, it received "numerous" complaints about the sale of bundled
cable service. According to the office, the consumers said the monthly charges
were either more than was represented or there were additional fees for
services they did not agree to, including games and security suites.

CFA adds a reminder in the report to get all the info before
signing up, pointing out that "bundled service is sometimes a good deal,
but don't assume that it's always cheaper than buying services
separately."

There were also complaints to the Montgomery County (Md.)
Office of Consumer Protection about truck roll charges for consumer equipment
failures. According to the report, Comcast agreed to make sure that consumers
knew up front they would be charged if the problem was caused by their
equipment or failure to use it properly.

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