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AG Nessel Touts Success of the Consumer Protection Team, Shares Top Ten Complaints of 2023

LANSING – To wrap up National Consumer Protection Week, AG Nessel is highlighting the accomplishments of the Department’s Consumer Protection Team. The Consumer Protection Division was created by the late Frank Kelley, who served 10 consecutive terms as Michigan’s attorney general. 

AG Nessel and the Consumer Protection Team partners with the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, the AARP, and others to share information and educate Michigan residents about common scams, data breaches, and other consumer-related issues. The Consumer Protection Team receives over 10,000 consumer complaints each year, and enforces more than 35 statutes, including the Michigan Consumer Protection Act (MCPA). 

Violations of the MCPA often affect consumers financially in the form of money lost for products or services not received. In cases where the monies could be recovered, the Department of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Team recouped over $1 million for Michigan consumers and businesses in 2023. 

“I am extremely proud of the work my Consumer Protection Team is doing,” Nessel said. “Our efforts to combat fraud and protect consumers have yielded tangible results, as evidenced by the decrease in consumer complaints and money we were able to recover for Michigan residents. This achievement underscores our commitment to upholding consumer rights and promoting fair business practices.” 

The team’s efficiency can also be seen in the decrease in consumer complaints in the top 10 complaint areas between 2022 and 2023. The top 10 complaints from consumers in 2023 were in the areas of: 

  1. Retail
  2. Internet
  3. Motor Vehicle/Automobile
  4. Credit/Financial Concerns
  5. Landlord/Tenant
  6. Personal Service Providers
  7. Gasoline/Fuel/Energy
  8. Health Service Providers
  9. Contractors
  10. Telecommunications/Cable/Satellite TV 

These 10 complaint areas represented 7,866 of the total 10,429 complaints received by the AG’s Consumer Protection Team. However, the number is more than 600 complaints fewer (8473) than the top 10 complaints received by the team in 2022. There have also been significant decreases in specific complaint areas. For example, the number one complaint area, Retail, saw a decrease of 130 complaints from 2022 to 2023. Consumers also lodged fewer complaints in the areas of Internet, Credit/Financial Concerns, Landlord/Tenant, and Contractors. 

Nessel said, “I would like to thank the thousands of Michigan consumers who have taken the time to file formal complaints with my office. Consumers provide us with valuable information that may help us build a case against bad actors and allow us to hold accountable those who attempt to break the law.”   

It should be noted that the complaint area Gasoline/Fuel/Energy, which previously occupied the number 3 spot on the top 10 complaints list with 1,015 complaints in 2022, fell to number 7 in 2023 with only 591 complaints. This fall can inarguably be attributed to Nessel’s energy advocacy, which saw her intervening in utility cases before the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC). The result was Michigan consumers saving nearly $3 billion in energy costs. She intervened when DTE Energy, Consumers Energy, and Indiana Michigan Power applied to the MPSC to request energy rate increases. 

The Consumer Protection Team reviews every single complaint received by the office, either via online complaint form or phone call. Scams change with the season, and the Department will issue regular alerts with the latest information when new ploys crop up so residents can spot and avoid scammers. The Department also launched a dedicated consumer protection website in November 2023, which includes an easily searchable library of alerts and resources. 

AG Nessel also travels the state, presenting these tips at community hubs and senior care facilities to keep those most vulnerable to scams well-informed about the department’s resources, which are constantly at their disposal. In 2021, AG Nessel received the National Consumer League’s “Trumpeter Award” in recognition of her outstanding work to protect Michigan consumers from harm. 

Attorney General Nessel is also advocating for stronger protections in the Consumer Protection Act. Michigan has the strictest limitations in the nation, often limiting the recourse the Department can seek on behalf of residents and businesses alike. In January 2022, Nessel launched an investigation into insulin manufacturer Eli Lilly, and has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to reconsider previous rulings that hinder the Department’s ability to take action against drug manufacturers under the MCPA. 

In partnership with other attorneys general from across the country, AG Nessel formed a multistate Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force to crack down on illegal robocall operations and joined in multistate efforts against unwanted automated calls. AG Nessel also launched the Michigan Identity Theft Support System, which assists residents seeking to restore their identities after they’ve been stolen, as well as a newly minted Business Identity Theft support program to help small business owners in a similar predicament. 

To file a complaint with the Attorney General, or get additional information, contact: 

Consumer Protection Team 
P.O. Box 30213 
Lansing, MI 48909 
Fax: 517-241-3771 
Toll-free: 877-765-8388 
Online complaint form


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