Wednesday August 1, 2012
New study says bed bugs now rank among auto repossessions, Do Not Call violations.
A common bed bug. Image courtesy of InsectImages.org
Bed bugs are among the fastest-growing consumer complaints, according to a new report by the Consumer Federation of America and the North American Consumer Protection Investigators .
The 2011 Consumer Complaint Survey Report, released jointly on July 31 by the two agencies, cited bed bug and other landlord/tenant issues among auto repossessions, debt collection abuses, and Do Not Call list violations as a fast-growing consumer complaint received by consumer protection agencies throughout the country in 2011. The report is based on information from 38 state, county and city agencies in 22 states across the United States.
Bed bugs also ranked among the worst complaints agencies received last year. According to the study, the “worst” complaints “could be based on the number of complaints about a particular subject, the dollar amount involved, the impact on particularly vulnerable customers, the outrageousness of the situation, or any other factors that agencies chose.”
Other “worst” complaints included auto sales, debt collection, free trial offers, funeral-related services, and more.
The study stated that bed bugs appear to be a growing problem in rental units, and reporting agencies said they began to receive complaints from tenants whose landlords refused to alleviate infestations.
“Some landlords have started to include clauses in their leases requiring tenants to pay a portion of the extermination costs,” the report says.
Read the full 58-page report here .