CFA Releases Latest Consumer Complaint Survey

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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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