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Angie Wieck, Published January 31 2013

Better Business Bureau fields all types of complaints in North Dakota, Minnesota

FARGO – Auto dealers, auto service and repair stations and contractors were among the top 10 industries for consumer complaints made to the Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota in 2012.

“It’s never really a surprise that these categories are near the top of the list, just because cars and homes are bigger purchases,” said Dan Hendrickson, communications coordinator for the bureau, based in Burnsville, Minn., with offices in Fargo and St. Cloud, Minn.

Hendrickson said the larger the dollar amount involved, the more likely a complaint will be lodged if a customer is unhappy.

In addition to helping resolve disputes, employees at the bureau provide customers with free business ratings based on several factors, including a business’s willingness and ability to resolve customer complaints. They also track the number of complaints received and if they have been resolved.

Grievances filed after October 2011 also include details such as the customer’s complaint, the company’s response, and how the complaint was closed by bureau staff.

The bureau handled just more than 24,200 complaints during 2012 and resolved an estimated 90 percent of them.

Hendrickson stressed the importance of customers doing their homework before making buying decisions.

Hendrickson offered the following additional tips on buying a car:

Dana Badgerow, president and CEO of the bureau, points out the top 10 is based on statistics taken from the volume of complaints.

“It’s certainly not to single companies in these industries out or label them as problematic,” Badgerow said. “It’s simply a snapshot of trends we noted in our marketplace over the past year.”

Business profile

Name: Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota

Website: www.bbb.org

Phone: (800) 646-6222. Operators are available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Angie Wieck at (701) 241-5501

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