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Unwanted calls topped annual Top 10 list of consumer complaints

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Complaints about companies violating the Do Not Call Registry topped the NC Attorney General's Top 10 list of consumer complaints.

Lenders, telemarketing fraud and health care, all perennial favorites on the list rounded out the top spots.

Complaints were up 25 percent over 2011, with 23,205 complaints filed with the Consumer Protection Division of the AG's office. Of those, 6,126 were from people who complained about getting unwanted telemarketing calls after they'd place their number on the Do Not Call Registry or about getting robocalls, which are illegal in North Carolina.

The complaints also included political robocalls, which were prevalent during last year's campaign season.

NC Attorney General Roy Cooper has pushed to make political robocalls adhere to the Do Not Call Registry and wants them to be required to provide a contact name and number to stop the calls at the beginning of each recorded message instead of at the end of the call.

Complaints about lending practices, including high interest rates, prepayment penalties and loan modification scams, came in at No. 2 with 4,314 complaints. The telemarketing fraud complaints involved sweepstakes and mystery shopper scams while health care complaints dealt with over billing or collection practices as well as charges for weight products and hearing aids.

Rounding out the list were: home repair problems, motor vehicles, credit and collections, cable or satellite TV services, Internet providers and telecommunications, which included complaints that bundled service didn't provide expected savings and the cramming of unauthorized charges onto their bills.

To file a complaint, call 919-716-6000.

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About the blogger

Mary Cornatzer has worked at The News & Observer for more than 25 years, covering the local music industry, state movie industry and travel. She has been the paper's Business editor since 2000. Contact Mary at 919-829-4755 or e-mail her.