Connecticut Consumers: Telcos, Alarm Systems Give Us Trouble

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection has received numerous complaints about telecommunications services and alarm systems from consumers.

NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Residents in Connecticut are not too pleased with telecommunications and security alarm companies, according to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s 2014 Top 10 list of complaints.

For the first time, telecommunications companies took the top spot for its services and other related offerings, such as cable television. Complaints about telecommunications services account for 26.8% of more than 5,500 complaints made to the agency last year, The Middletown Press reports.

Frontier Communications received the largest number of complaints with 1,486 grievances filed against the firm. The telco experienced problems with lost service involving all three platforms over about a two-month period when it took over land-line phone, Internet and television service formerly operated by AT&T.

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Telemarketing accounted for 8.2% of all complaints, and rose to the rose to the No. 2 spot, after having come in third for the past several years.

The category often includes complaints about some entities not currently covered by the Do Not Call law, such as charitable organizations. It also includes complaints about businesses that choose to ignore the Do Not Call law.

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Home improvements and new-home builders came in third, accounting for 6.5 percent of complaints made in 2014. Gasoline, general retail, Internet sales, car dealers, electricians, heating and cooling companies and mail order sales rounded out the top 10.

The complaints made about the businesses in the top 10 categories accounted for 54 percent of all of those made to the agency.

Security alarm systems were included in the remaining 46% of written consumer complaints to the department.

“Avoiding problems in today’s marketplace is a challenge for every consumer, but help and information is available from the Department of Consumer Protection,” Consumer Protection Commissioner Jonathan Harris says. “Among all the legitimate, fair companies doing business here, there are always a number of bad actors, out to take advantage of the consumer – we deal with them. And, there are honest businesses that go through a difficult stretch, who need a little time and oversight in order to completely fix a problem situation – we work to hold them accountable.”

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