Top 10 Industries that Received Complaints at BBB in 2013

top 10 complaints header justin 2

Every year, your BBB reviews its data to find out what trends have occurred in St. Louis business in the last year.  After a lot of compiling and crunching, we’ve put together the top ten industries that were complained about to BBB in 2013.

Can you guess what they might be? Answers after the jump:

Top 10 Industries for Complaints in 2013

10.  Telephone/Cellular Phone Services 386 Complaints
9.  Roofing & Guttering Contractors 395 Complaints
8.  Collection Agencies 548 Complaints
7.  Auto Repair Shops 638 Complaints
6.  Auto Dealers—New Cars 640 Complaints
5.  Health & Medical Services 713 Complaints
4.  Auto Dealers—Used Cars 781 Complaints
3.  Auto Service Contract Firms 808 Complaints
2.  Home Construction/Remodeling Contractors 809 Complaints
1.  Television Cable/Satellite Contractors 2,512 Complaints
Total Complaints for for all Industries: 20,851

What Do These Numbers Mean?

It’d be easy to assume that this data shows that St. Louis cable companies, constructions companies, and auto shops should all go on the naughty list.  But while our data describes the state of several important St. Louis industries, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we need to judge these industries so harshly.

For example, the St. Louis BBB handles all of the complaints nationwide against Charter Communications, the cable company.  So, every person who has a problem with them gets sent to us for help!   Because of Charter’s location and the way that BBB processes complaints, the cable industry is almost always one of the most complained about industries in BBB’s year-end reviews.

Similarly, the auto sales and repair industries are two of the largest business categories in the BBB database, with thousands of companies in each.  While some companies within those categories do draw in lots of complaints because of questionable practices, others received very few complaints– but they all add up across the hundreds of similar businesses.

On the other hand, collection agencies made our list of complained-about industries even though we have many fewer collection agencies in our area than we have auto dealers or mechanics.

Overall, these numbers show us that some of St. Louis’s most important industries, like the communications and auto industries, are based around customer service. They regularly handle many customer service issues, but other industries might face unusual customer service challenges from year to year.

Always remember that when you’re looking through BBB complaints, context is key– and that we’ll provide you that context both in the text of the complaints themselves and in person.  Call BBB at 314-645-3300 with any questions about the complaint process and we’ll be glad to help you out.

For more info about BBB’s year-end data, visit our news center at

Find more BBB news on our website or follow the BBB on Facebook or Twitter.

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