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Telemarketing is top consumer complaint in Wisconsin


MADISON (WSAU)   For the 10th year in a row telemarketers are the Number-One consumer complaint in Wisconsin. The state’s Consumer Protection agency will release its annual Top-10 list of the complaint letters it received in 2012. Almost 2,000 people were bothered enough by unwanted sales calls to write out complaints to Madison. The Wisconsin State Journal said over 300 cease-and-desist orders were sent to telemarketers last year. But illegal robo-calls are almost impossible to stop, even for those on the state’s do-not-call list. Consumer protection administrator Sandy Chalmers says you should hang up when getting one of those calls – and if you press a key or speak to an operator, you’ll just invite other telemarketers to call you.

Landlord-tenant disputes were a distant second on the state’s list, with 940 written complaints. Various tele-communication complaints were third, followed by identity theft – especially the thefts of Social Security numbers. Home improvement scams are Number-five, followed by appliance store complaints.

Over 200 complaints were filed when Milwaukee’s Appliance World closed, affecting buyers who paid for merchandise but never had it delivered. State officials intervened, and they said over $89,000 in goods were returned.

Motor vehicle sales were the seventh most common complaint. Gas pump inaccuracies, vehicle repairs, and contests round out the Top-10.