The cell phone industry drew the most North American consumer complaints in 2009, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
BBB Receives Almost 1M Complaints
In total, the BBB received close to 1 million consumer complaints during 2009, a 9.7% increase from its 2008 complaint volume. In addition, consumers used the BBB’s services about 65 million times during the year to research businesses.
Cell Phone, Cable, Banking Industries Generate Complaints
The BBB logged more consumer complaints about the cell phone industry, 37,477, than any other industry. Cell phone complaints grew 2.1% from 2008.
The cable/satellite TV industry ranked second with 32,616 complaints, an 8.7% increase from the previous year. Rounding out the top three, banks received 29,920 complaints, a substantial 42.3% increase from 2008. This was by far the largest increase in complaints percentage-wise among the 10 industries with the most consumer complaints during 2009. There were 140 bank failures last year.
Industries with High Complaint Volumes Have Good Resolution Rates
While the cell phone, cable/satellite, and banking industries were the top three industries in terms of consumer complaint volume, they were also among the best industries in terms of complaint resolution. Cell phone companies had the highest complaint resolution rate out of the top 10 complaint-generating industries, 97.4%.
Cable/satellite TV companies came in second with a 97.2% resolution rate. Telephone companies, which had the eighth-highest complaint volume of 13,470, resolved 96.2% of consumer complaints. Banks came in fourth with a 95.2% resolution rate.
Auto repair and service companies, which had the 10th-highest volume of consumer complaints with 12,736, also had the 10th-best resolution rate, 65.9%.
Banking Industry Loses Consumer Trust
The banking industry took a substantial hit in consumer trust during 2009, according to the 2010 Edelman Trust Barometer from PR firm Edelman. Twenty-nine percent of US respondents to the survey, conducted during Q4 2009, trust the banking industry to do what us right, a 39-percentage-point drop from 68% in 2007.