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Telemarketing tops Wisconsin's consumer-complaint list


UNDATED (WSAU) Wisconsin’s Number-One consumer complaint is still the tele-marketers who violate the do-not-call list.

The state Consumer Protection agency received 1,669 written complaints about telemarketing firms last year. Cell phone and Internet providers were second on the complaint list. Landlord-tenant disputes were third followed by home improvement scams, identity theft, gas pump inaccuracies, vehicle sales, furniture sales, car repairs, satellite dishes, dentistry work, and various contests and promotions.

Many of the telemarketer complaints were about automated “robo-calls” from firms that seek credit card numbers and other personal data. Consumer protection administrator Sandy Chalmers says her office gets a dozen calls a day from people who want the practice stopped. But that’s hard to do, because many calls are placed from outside the U-S.

Of the 1,272 telecom complaints, almost 700 were against Element Mobile – which had numerous contract-and-billing problems after it took over from All-Tel in most of central Wisconsin a year ago. The company has said that most of the complaints resulted from the transition to Element Mobile.