| 3 min read | from MI Newswire |
March 3, 2020, LANSING – Attorney General Dana Nessel today recognized National Consumer Protection Week by releasing her office’s Top 10 Consumer Complaints for 2019 to help consumers make well-informed decisions about where to spend their money. In 2019, the Michigan Department of Attorney General received more than 9,200 consumer complaints.
“By taking a proactive approach and educating residents about the top threats we’ve noticed, we hope to stop as many scammers and deceptive business practices as we can from causing further harm to Michigan consumers,” Nessel said. “I would like to thank the thousands of Michigan consumers who have taken the time to file formal complaints with my office. Those files are valuable pieces of information that may help us build a case against bad actors and allow us to hold accountable those who attempt to break the law.”
Nessel’s Top 10 list is compiled by analyzing the more than 9,200 written complaints filed in 2019 with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection team. The department recovered more than $680,000 in consumer refunds, forgiven debts and state recoveries in 2019.
Consumers can submit a complaint online or by calling 877-765-8388.
Personal Service Provider Concerns Tops Complaint List
Personal Service Provider complaints topped the 2019 list with more than 1,100 complaints. Many of the complaints were against spas, health and beauty companies, or fitness companies. The Attorney General took action on Family Fitness, Go Workout and Crown Jewel Spa and Salon in 2019.
While the Top 10 complaint categories remained mostly the same from 2018, several of their rankings did change. Five of the 10 complaint categories kept their places, but the most surprising change was the rise in complaints against personal service providers, which jumped from seventh to the No. 1 spot due to aggressive action by the Attorney General’s office in 2019. Travel complaints also make an appearance on the list in the No. 10 spot, replacing a category of complaints related to gasoline fuel prices and energy providers.
Top 10 Consumer Complaint Categories of 2019
- Personal Service Providers: Moving up from the seventh spot last year. This jump was directly attributable to the large number of complaints against Western Michigan-based gym chain Family Fitness, Go Workout, Crown Jewel Spa and Salon and Light RX. Complaints in this category additionally range from dating services and beauty shops to home security and tax preparation services.
- Telecommunications, Cable and Satellite TV: Holding steady at No. 2 this year. This category includes complaints involving issues like robocalls, telemarketing, wireless communications, and cable and satellite TV services. Despite staying in the second spot, the department received more than 20 percent more complaints in this category. Many of those complaints were the result of the robocall initiative announced by the Attorney General’s office in November.
- Motor Vehicle and Automobiles: Also holding steady in the No. 3 spot. The total number of complaints in this category was up by 10 percent. Complaints against used car dealers continue to top this category, with other top complaints involving motor vehicles, new car dealers and passenger car rentals. The department took a notable step in protecting consumers’ interests when it reached a settlement with Executive Car Rental, securing nearly $40,000 in reimbursements for customers.
- Credit and Financial Concerns: Moving from first to fourth this year, there were 769 complaints. Complaints in this category cover a variety of areas including debt collection and reporting, credit repair, payday lending and mortgage brokering. In October, the Attorney General’s office filed suit to stop the predatory lending practices of online tribal lender Sierra Financial.
- Retail: Again, holding steady in the fifth spot from last year, retail complaints included concerns about general merchandise, food and furniture stores, business services, and eating and drinking places.
- Internet: Moving down two slots this year from four to six, the total number of complaints in this computer-based category stayed virtually the same. The majority of these complaints involved online purchases, and a significant number of complaints were filed against computer communication and internet service providers. In 2019, the department opened an investigation into Blvck Pods LLC and Blvcked Pods LLC for running a drop-shipping operation that relied on a Chinese company to supply wireless earphones to consumers who believed they were buying customized products.
- Landlord and Tenant: Moving up a spot from eight to seven, this category held steady with almost 500 complaints. Most of the complaints in this category involved apartment owners and managers; complaints against mobile home site operators and condominium associations accounted for the majority of the total complaints in this category.
- Contractors: Moving down two spots from last year’s list are complaints about residential building construction services, landscaping services, plumbing, heating and air condition services, and special trade contractors. In 2019, consumers filed 176 fewer complaints in this area than 2018.
- Health Service Providers: Staying in ninth place, this category’s total complaints increased by more than 17 percent compared to 2018. The category includes health service providers like doctors, dentists, hospitals and medical clinics.
- Travel: New to the Top 10 this year is the category of travel, which bumped out the category of complaints for gasoline fuel and energy providers from the 2018 list. This category includes complaints about companies like Outdoor Adventures, travel agents, travel companies and time-share companies.
Consumer Education Key to Prevention
Attorney General Nessel is committed to aggressively going after those who take advantage of Michigan residents.
The more consumers know about how scams work and the more careful they are in responding to requests for money or personal information, the less likely they are to fall for a scam artist.
The Michigan Department of Attorney General is conducting a series of “Scam Jams” around the state to focus on the Attorney General’s efforts to help consumers spot and stop scams.
As part of Consumer Protection Week, the Attorney General will conduct her first “Scam Jam” at the East Lansing Public Library on March 4, 2020.
The Attorney General’s office is working to schedule additional Scam Jam events throughout the year. Those will be publicized once dates and locations are finalized.
Credit360’s Credit Repair Services Now Includes Full Credit Audit
One of the nation’s finest in personal and business credit solutions has expanded its services.
MIAMI, Nov. 25, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Representatives with Credit360 announced today that its credit repair services now includes a full credit audit from the three credit bureaus, Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian.
“We’re very excited about this,” said Andre Coakley, Founder & CEO of Credit360, a company with an elite team of credit experts that know exactly what techniques will assist individuals and businesses with increasing their credit scores to meet their goals.
Features of the full credit audit include:
Full Credit Audit – Equifax, TransUnion, Experian
No Monthly Fees – Charged Only After Removal
Our Pricing Is Simple, Pay After Deletion
Advanced Tactic Disputes and Strategies
Comprehensive Credit Audit every 45 days
Unlimited credit items disputed for one year
24/7 Online Portal Access from Smartphone
Free Coaching and Education
Assistance with Structuring Lines of Credit
Support with Card Spending and Tradeline Building
The company’s full credit audit offering comes on the heels of the Credit360 offering credit repair services in Orlando.
“We are very excited to now offer our life-changing credit repair services in Orlando,” Coakley said. “We are here to help you achieve your optimal credit profile by making the credit repair process convenient, individualized, and effective.”
Credit360’s specialized credit repair processes, credit expertise, and guaranteed customer service, company representatives say, make it the best in the industry.
Coakley explained that Credit360 has had the opportunity to help thousands of Americans correct their credit reports. In fact, Credit360, Coakley stressed, is a company that puts its money where its mouth is and only charges a fee when items are deleted, removed, or repaired from individuals’ credit reports.
“With our services, you will no longer have to use other expensive credit repair companies that charge monthly and don’t even produce results,” Coakley promised, before adding, “We are so confident in our advanced disputing tactics that we will allow you to pay for your deletions after you actually see our results and we even give you a 100 percent money-back guarantee to back it up just so you can relax.”
Coakley went on to reiterate that Credit360 is an elite team of credit experts that know exactly what techniques will assist customers with increasing their credit scores to meet their goals.
“With our services, most of our clients see deletions within the first 45 days of enrollment and usually see an average increase of 93 points throughout their program cycle,” Coakley said.
In addition, the company also recently launched its Business Credit Program.
“Our Business Credit Program works directly with small business owners to help them get approved for new business funding and business line of credit options,” Coakley said.
Coakley went on to note that the individual business credit record is the primary way that companies evaluate whether to do business with a particular company – and on what terms.
Business credit includes a variety of data points about your business, such as the date it started, the skills and experience of your top leaders, the number of employees, and annual sales. This type of information, Coakley noted, is listed in the business’ credit profile, along with scores and ratings that are derived from the business’ past behavior to predict its future behavior.
“We have relationships with a number of business financing institutions and know each of their individual requirements and criteria, so we can help you become eligible for the best business line of credit as quickly as possible,” Coakley revealed, before adding, “Don’t let a bad business credit score or other factors prevent you from gaining access to the business funding you need most.”
The types of credit that Credit 360 can help businesses access include:
Store Business Credit with Dell, Apple, Walmart, Amazon, Costco, Sam’s Club, BP, Chevron, Home Depot, Lowes, Staples, Office Depot, Ikea, and with most other major retailers.
Fleet Credit for fuel and auto vehicle repairs for your primary vehicle, and a fleet of commercial vehicles.
Cash Credit including Visa and MasterCard accounts you can use in most locations worldwide
Auto Vehicle Financing to purchase or lease your primary vehicle or a fleet of vehicles in your business.
About Credit 360
Credit360 was established to assist individuals in restoring their personal credit and in offering a complete line of business credit solutions. Credit360 is a financial services firm specializing in credit restoration and business consulting services.
10664 SW 186th Street
Miami, FL 33157
Source: Credit360 Credit Repair
Andre Coakley, Credit360 Credit Repair, +1 305-235-4848, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE Credit360 Credit Repair
ACTION13: How to protect your credit score
Credit Repair experts say the economic shutdowns are causing credit scores to fall for a lot of people.
One way to possibly stave off a hit to your credit is a through a forbearance.
A forbearance is where the lending agency agrees to let you pause your payments for a period of time, and it will not count against your credit.
This works for both credit cards and home mortgages.
But keep in mind, you have to be caught up on your debts to get a deferment. So, if you are going to miss a payment, reach out to your bank or lender sooner rather than later.
“Reach out to your bank. Work with your bank,” said Robert Pfister with 755 Credit Score. “Work it out. Banks usually help you when you reach out.”
755 Credit Score also says you can get a free consultation.
Copyright © 2020 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.
Walters: California’s Vague New Financial Regulation Law
Assembly Bill 1864 didn’t get much media or public attention as it zipped through both houses of the Legislature on the last day of the 2020 session.
Superficially, it appeared merely to reconfigure the state’s financial regulatory agencies into a new entity called the Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.
However, those in California’s vast financial industry were paying lots of attention because the bill creates an entirely new regulatory regime with broad powers, including fines of up to $1 million a day, to police financial players that hitherto have had little oversight.
The official rationale for the legislation is that President Donald Trump’s administration neutered the federal Dodd-Frank Wall Street Consumer Financial Protection Act of 2010, so the state must step in with an equivalent to guard against predatory financial practices that harm consumers.
The new California Consumer Financial Protection Law gives the reconstituted agency authority to go after “abusive practices” whose definition in the law is fairly vague. Thus, the agency itself will define the term as it also decides which businesses will face its scrutiny.
It appears that the new law will affect firms involved in debt settlement, credit repair, check cashing, rent-to-own contracts, payday lending, student loan servicing and financing for retail sales. However, its primary target seems to be financial services offered by non-banks, particularly what are called “fintech companies” that offer bank-like services via the Internet without maintaining physical offices.
The Vagueness of the New Law Was Encapsulated in What Gov. Gavin Newsom Said
Fintechs, many of them based in the San Francisco Bay Area, have blossomed in recent years as part of the digital economy, competing with traditional brick-and-mortar banks. Their disruptive nature is not unlike the challenge that technology-based ride services such as Uber and Lyft pose to taxicabs and buses.
Late-blooming changes in AB 1864 exempted traditional financial firms that are already regulated, such as banks and credit unions, from the new consumer protection law, leading some analysts to conclude that its unstated aim is to help them stave off competition from new kids on the financial block.
The vagueness of the new law was encapsulated in what Gov. Gavin Newsom said during a signing ceremony. The new law and the new department, he said, will “create conditions for innovation to flourish in a way where we can steward that and we can just work against its excesses. So we support risk-taking, not recklessness.”
Newsom also signed two other financial protection measures, one that requires debt collectors to be licensed beginning in 2022 and the other creating a Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights.
A Question That Only Time Will Answer
Although the new state law is said to mirror the Dodd-Frank law, it contains at least one significant difference. When federal regulators levy fines for what they consider to be bad conduct, the money goes into the federal treasury. When state regulators impose their fines of up to $1 million a day, the money will be retained by the new agency to finance more activity.
Will that give the new agency a financial incentive to skip over minor consumer issues and go after big companies? It’s a question that only time will answer.
Significantly too, the new investigative and regulatory mechanism contained in AB 1964 specifically does not usurp the authority of the attorney general to also target companies under the state’s equally vague “unfair competition” law.
From its inception a decade ago, Dodd-Frank has attracted criticism from business executives for regulatory overkill. Will California’s new version be less controversial? We won’t know until the new agency puts some definitional meat on its bones.
CalMatters is a public interest journalism venture committed to explaining how California’s state Capitol works and why it matters. For more stories by Dan Walters, go to calmatters.org/commentary.
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