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Consumer protection: Internet sales and service top complaints in Virginia for 2023

As part of National Consumer Protection Week, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares today announced the top 10 consumer complaints received by his office.

By highlighting the complaints, Miyares hopes Virginians will be wary of any suspicious offers and actively report any consumer concern.

During 2023, the office’s Consumer Protection Section received and processed 6,677 consumer complaints. The Top 10 complaint subjects were:

  1. Internet Sales & Service
  2. Automotive Sales
  3. Credit, Loans, & Debt Collection
  4. Home Improvement, Service, & Repair
  5. Warranties & Rebates
  6. Automotive Service & Repair
  7. Medical/Health Professions
  8. Transportation & Freight
  9. Direct Sales Companies
  10. Other Professional Services

The office serves as the central clearinghouse in Virginia for the receipt, evaluation and referral of consumer complaints, and also operates a Consumer Protection Hotline.

Last year, the office handled 21,909 calls from consumers needing assistance.

“My Consumer Protection Section is committed to protecting consumers’ interests and upholding Virginia’s consumer protection laws. Unfortunately, there are bad actors who attempt to exploit Virginians through sophisticated scams and fraudulent activities, not only harming consumers, but also undermining the vast majority of Virginia businesses that play by the rules,” Miyares said. “If you have a consumer complaint, please reach out to my Office to see how we can assist.”

The Consumer Protection Section also offers dispute resolution services to individual consumers and businesses to assist them in resolving consumer complaints. The Dispute Resolution Unit can serve as a neutral facilitator and point of contact between consumers and businesses as they voluntarily work toward a mutually agreeable outcome.

Last year, the Dispute Resolution Unit and the Section’s investigators resolved or closed 4,591 consumer complaints with consumers recovering $443,965.

To learn more about consumer complaints in Virginia, consumers are encouraged to check out the Office’s Consumer Complaint Database.

Individuals can find the number of complaints filed against a specific business, whether the complaints are open or closed, a description of the complaint topic, the outcome of individual complaints and other information. The database can be searched by company name, industry or complaint topic among other categories. Searches also can be limited to geographic areas.

Virginians who have a question, concern or complaint about a consumer matter should contact Miyares’ Consumer Protection Section:

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca Barnabi

Rebecca J. Barnabi is the national editor of Augusta Free Press. A graduate of the University of Mary Washington, she began her journalism career at The Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. In 2013, she was awarded first place for feature writing in the Maryland, Delaware, District of Columbia Awards Program, and was honored by the Virginia School Boards Association’s 2019 Media Honor Roll Program for her coverage of Waynesboro Schools. Her background in newspapers includes writing about features, local government, education and the arts.