Broadcasters OK as FTC tallies the gripes of wrath


The Number One complaint category registered by the Federal Trade Commission during  2011 was identity theft – almost 280K complaints were received amounting to 15% of the total for the year. Debt collection was the only other to make it into double digits with 10%. Catchall media category Television and Electronic Media sat at #15 with 37.4K complaints, good for only 2%.

FTC said the total number of complaints for the year was just over 1.8M. About 10% of them went into the true catchall “other: category.

Complaints about prizes, sweepstakes and lotteries pulled a 6% share of the gripe pool with 100.2K instances; while three categories were good for 5% shares, including shop-at-home and catalog sales (98.3K), banks and lenders (89.3K) and internet services (81.8K).

Other categories in the wide media universe included telephone and mobile services (70K for 4%) and books/magazines (21.6K for 1%).

Other items getting consumer attention included automotive businesses, imposter scams, business opportunities/work-at-home plans, health care, mortgage and debt relief, credit cards, charitable solicitations and education, among others.

Although well down the rankings in the list for the US as a whole, the Television and Electronic Media category did make the top ten on a single jurisdiction basis in the following states:

* Georgia (#9, 4%)
* Illinois (#9, 3%)
* Iowa (#9, 3%)
* Minnesota (#9, 4%)
* Mississippi (#10, 3%)
* Missouri (#8, 5%)
* North Carolina (#9, 3%)
* Ohio (#10, 3%)
* Tennessee (#9, 3%)
* Utah (#10t, 3%)

Here are the types of complaints pertinent to the category, from the Consumer Sentinel Network, which produced the study: “Television and Electronic Media: Problems with TV reception, installation, billing, and promotions for cable/satellite providers; miscellaneous problems with music/DVD purchases.”