Kroger's list topped by telecommunications companies

By Jessica M. Karmasek | Mar 11, 2011


SALEM, Ore. (Legal Newsline) - For the fifth year in a row, telecommunications companies ranked No. 1 on the Oregon Attorney General's Office top 10 list of consumer complaints.

In 2010, the office received 1,456 written complaints. Most of the complaints -- 397, to be exact -- were against satellite television service providers.

Cellular telephone service providers claimed the No. 2 spot with 237 complaints, while Internet service providers and those providing "bundled" services ended the year with 186 and 154 complaints, respectively.

"Scammers and crooked companies continue to target seniors, people who have lost their homes and other vulnerable Oregon consumers," Attorney General John Kroger said in a statement Thursday.

Kroger released his office's list of consumer complaints in connection with National Consumer Protection Week this week.

The attorney general said he plans to continue aggressively pursuing claims against telecommunications companies.

In December, his office helped recover $13.25 million from DirecTV, one of the nation's largest providers of satellite television service. The action followed a two-year investigation into a variety of misleading sales and advertising tactics, including deceptive "cash back" and free trial offers.

According to Kroger's office, DirecTV is one of the largest generators of consumer complaints in the state -- more than 1,100 have been filed with the Attorney General's Office since 1996.

Other top consumer complaints in Oregon last year include: international money transfer schemes, homeownership lending, collection agencies, financial institutions, motor vehicle sales, health products, Internet retailers, telemarketers and construction contractors.

Also this week, Kroger announced enhancements to Be InfORmed, his office's consumer complaint search featured introduced last year. Be InfORmed now allows users to conduct searches by zip code or geographical area, so they can search for complaints against businesses in their neighborhood.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by e-mail at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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