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Complaints On the Rise: Examining 2023 Complaint Trends and 2022 Data

Mon, 07/31/2023

COLUMBIA, S.C. – With more than half of 2023 in the rear-view mirror, it’s time for a complaint roundup with the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs (SCDCA). Complaints have increased significantly compared to the first six months of 2022. SCDCA received 2,885 complaints from January 1 to June 30, 2023, a 42% increase from the same timeframe in 2022. Nearly $500,000 has been recovered for consumers through the complaint process in the first six months of 2023, a 7% increase from that same period in 2022.

Even though the complaint numbers for 2023 are on the rise, the top three complaint categories have remained the same: Vehicles (627), Real Estate Transactions (449), and Contractors (215). Those top complaint categories match 2022’s overall top complaint categories, as featured in the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) annual Consumer Complaint Survey Report. This report covers the entire 2022 calendar year and gives a snapshot of issues consumers experienced in South Carolina’s marketplace while comparing it with other states.

South Carolina highlights in the report include:

  • 29 complaints about a big box home improvement store that resulted in combined refunds totaling $72,395.89.
  • A complaint against a timeshare company for potential misleading and deceptive tactics and/or false promises resulted in a total refund of $42,164.99.
  • Even years after the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers are still dealing with the aftermath of travel cancellation. One consumer had booked a $17,000 cruise in 2019 that was cancelled due to COVID-19. When they attempted to rebook, they were told they missed the booking window. SCDCA helped the consumer get an exception and schedule their 3-month European cruise.

Overall, 4,521 complaints were filed with SCDCA in 2022 and $1,289,026.56 was recovered/saved for consumers.

Consumers are encouraged to contact SCDCA directly with complaints regarding products or services purchased for family or household use. To file a complaint, visit and click FILE A COMPLAINT. To see if a business has complaints against it, consumers should take advantage of the Search Complaints tool on the Consumer Information page of SCDCA’s website.