Can't anybody just do their job right?

Dmitry Kalinovsky, ThinkStock

Figures released Wednesday show the state Division of Consumer Affairs' Office of Consumer Protection fielded 7,656 formal complaints from folks who were dissatisfied with a product or service they received in the Garden State in 2016.

Complaints involved everything from vacation packages and pets to home heating oil and appliances, the division said.

But certain industries or categories stand out more than others when it comes to displeasing customers.

For the first time in years, complaints related to motor vehicle sales and repairs led the division's top 10 list, released around this time each year.

"That includes disputes about advertising or sales of new or used cars, faulty repairs and even disputes about leasing or towing of cars," said Steve Lee, division director.

According to Lee, complaints related to home improvements topped the list the past few years. This year, that category took the No. 2 spot.

Consumer Affairs' Top 10 consumer complaint list, 2016:

  1. Motor vehicle sales/repairs
  2. Home improvement
  3. Insurance
  4. Professional/Occupational services
  5. Clubs/Health Club/Spas
  6. Internet sales/goods
  7. Miscellaneous consumer scams
  8. Banks/Financial institutions
  9. Medical/Care/Drugs
  10. Home-furnishings/Furniture

"We review every single complaint that comes into our division," Lee said. "And if we can't solve the problem, we'll direct consumers to people or government agencies that we think can."

The division said it initiated or resolved a variety of cases in 2016 concerning No. 1 and 2 on the list.

To save yourself from having to file a complaint in 2017, Lee said, "do your homework" before choosing an auto dealership or home contractor. Ask around and use review sites before making that decision, he said.

Also, take a close look at any paperwork before handing over your hard-earned money.

"When you're spending the money that people spend on buying a car ... hiring a contractor ... spending an additional 10 minutes reading a contract shouldn't be too much of a burden," he said.

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Contact reporter Dino Flammia at dino.flammia@townsquaremedia.com.