DCA releases NJ’s 2022 Consumer Complaint List

Matthew Fazelpoor//March 7, 2023

DCA releases NJ’s 2022 Consumer Complaint List

Matthew Fazelpoor//March 7, 2023

As part of an effort to mark National Consumer Protection Week (NCPW), which runs March 5-11, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is out with the Garden State’s top 10 list of consumer complaints from 2022.

Last year, DCA said its Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) received a total of 18,084 complaints. That list of complaints was topped by: motor vehicle sales and repairs (2,514 complaints), home improvement (2,310 complaints), and major appliances (1,080 complaints). Those three categories comprised nearly one-third of all complaints and accounted for 65% of complaints in the top 10, which was rounded out by internet sales, medical care, moving and storage, professional and occupational services, stores, credit, and gasoline.

Top 10

  1. Motor vehicle sales and repairs
  2. Home improvement
  3. Major appliances
  4. Internet sales
  5. Medical care
  6. Moving and storage
  7. Professional and occupational services
  8. Stores
  9. Credit
  10. Gasoline

The motor vehicle-related cases, last year’s top complaint, involved predatory towing, automotive repairs, car sales, and auto-parts pricing.

In one instance, DCA reached settlements with nine car dealerships totaling more than $650,000 throughout the state for alleged violations ranging from failing to list prior accidents and damage to failing to honor the advertised price of a used car to charging excessive vehicle preparation fees and more.

Through its online portal, OCP regularly receives more than 1,000 new complaints every month, which are reviewed by staff members to determine whether the allegation violates consumer protection laws and whether it should be referred for a formal investigation.

Cari Fais, acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs

“The complaints we receive each year help the Division set its priorities and deploy its resources to best serve New Jersey’s consumers,” said Cari Fais, acting director of the Division of Consumer Affairs, in a statement.

Attorney General Matthew Platkin said that the DCA is a crucial part of everyday life here in the Garden State, enforcing consumer protection laws and educating the public to help avoid fraud.

“Consumer complaints alert DCA on who is violating those laws and what patterns of fraud are emerging in the marketplace,” said Platkin.

NCPW is a coordinated campaign between state and federal agencies that encourages consumers nationwide to take advantage of their rights and to make better informed decisions.

All week, DCA will post more information about each top 10 category on its Twitter and Facebook pages, along with information on how consumers can protect themselves.

“Our public outreach campaigns and enforcement initiatives are guided by the complaints we receive, and the information consumers provide to us,” Fais added.

Any consumer who feels they have been cheated or scammed can file an online complaint here.