Banks Near Top of List for BBB Complaints

The Better Business Bureau is out with its latest list of top consumer complaint targets, and banks are moving up the charts like a Beyoncé single.

After cell phone providers and cable TV companies, banks are at the top of the list of offending industries — with consumer complaints about banks up 42% since 2008. Here’s a more detailed look at the BBB numbers.

Overall, the American consumer says he/she has increasingly been getting the shaft from U.S. businesses. Consumer complaints to the BBB rose 9.7% in 2009 — up to almost 1 million complaints overall. You’d think that in a period of great economic strife, companies would double-down on improving customer service efforts. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

“Amidst the housing crisis, high unemployment rate and the chaos on Wall Street, the last year has not been easy on consumers and the increase in complaints to BBB reflect this troubled economy,” says Stephen A. Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus.

Here’s a quick glance at the number of complaints by industry, with banks right near the top of the list:

Industry         Complaints   % Rise (From ’08)

Cell Phones       37,477              2.1%

Cable TV            32,616              8.7%

Banks                29,920              42.3%

Automakers       26,888              -2.4%

Internet Retail   21,494              9.4%

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