FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 2, 2023
Contact: Caleb Kulich, Public Information Officer, (608) 621-1290,
[Editor's note: A table of the Top Ten Consumer Complaints of 2022 can be found after the end of this release.]
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MADISON, Wis. – As Wisconsin’s primary consumer protection agency, the Department of
Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) receives tens of thousands of requests
for assistance and resources each year. In 2022, DATCP worked to resolve more than 11,000
consumer complaints, successfully reached settlements in several investigations, and returned
millions of dollars to Wisconsin consumers.
“DATCP’s Consumer Protection team is an essential resource for both consumers and
businesses in our state,” said DATCP Secretary Randy Romanski. “I am proud of the
hardworking team who process and investigate consumer complaints, mediate resolutions to
complex consumer issues, and provide valuable education, information, and training to
Wisconsin consumers on scams, identity theft, and more.”
DATCP’s top ten complaint categories in 2022 were:
1. Landlord/Tenant Issues
Landlord/tenant issues were the number one complaint filed with DATCP in 2022. Consumers
filed 1,912 complaints when disputes between landlords and tenants could not be resolved
between parties, a slight increase from 2021. Issues included security deposit returns, eviction,
unauthorized entry, mold damage, inadequate disclosures, and unsatisfactory service.
Additionally, DATCP received more than 6,000 contacts to the Consumer Protection Hotline
about landlord/tenant issues and over 50,000 visits to landlord/tenant consumer resources
found on its website, including the Landlord and Tenant Guide.
DATCP received 1,651 telemarketing complaints in 2022, a decrease from 2021. The
complaints include issues related to robocalls, phishing and spoofing, imposter scams,
harassment, and Wisconsin Do Not Call Registry violations. DATCP will continue educating
consumers on how to spot scams and fraud, minimize unwanted messages, and protect their
3. Home Improvement
Home improvement concerns accounted for 1,216 complaints in 2022, more than double the
volume received in 2021. The top issues consumers reported to DATCP include failure to
provide services and materials, failure to honor warranties, failure to properly disclose lien
waivers, deceptive and misleading representations, poor workmanship, improper installation,
billing disputes, and incorrect charges.
DATCP received 655 complaints regarding telecommunications services in 2022, up slightly
from the previous year. Consumers reported issues including billing disputes, unfair
termination of service, deceptive and misleading representations, refund/adjustment policies,
and failure to cancel services when requested.
5. Identity Theft
With 513 complaints of identity theft in 2022, DATCP received a third of the complaints that it
received the preceding year. When a consumer reports identity theft, DATCP helps victims to
recover and secure their identity against further fraud. DATCP also proactively educates
consumers across the state on how to avoid being a victim of identity theft. In 2022, outreach
specialists presented on identity theft, as well as other important consumer protection topics, to
thousands of individuals across Wisconsin.
6. Medical Services
Complaints related to medical services increased 60% with consumers filing 440 complaints in
2022. Issues reported by consumers include billing disputes, deceptive and misleading
representations, and unsatisfactory service. In 2022, new federal consumer protection laws
went into effect against “surprise billing,” when an insured patient unknowingly receives care
from an out-of-network provider and subsequently receives an unexpected medical bill.
This category covers a variety of issues including motor vehicle rentals, airlines, hotels/motels,
and travel company service bundling. DATCP received 224 travel complaints in 2022. Billing
disputes, refund/adjustment policy adherence, failure to return deposits and payment, and
unsatisfactory service were commonly reported by consumers.
8. Health and Medical Products
New to DATCP’s top ten in 2022 is health and medical products, with 217 complaints
involving billings disputes, delivery failure, refund/adjustment policy concerns, and more.
DATCP will continue to monitor this complaint category.
9. Furniture/Home Furnishings
Also new to the top ten consumer complaints list is furniture/home furnishings, receiving 189
complaints. Specific issues that consumers reported include failure to provide services or
deliver goods, failure to honor vendor policies, deceptive and misleading representations, and
refund/adjustment policy concerns.
10. Auto Sales (New & Used)
The tenth consumer complaint category in 2022 was both new and used auto sales, about
which DATCP received 184 complaints. Common among these complaints were reports of
inadequate disclosures as well as deceptive and misleading representations in direct mail
During 2022, DATCP reached settlements in several investigations related to the Top Ten.
You can find those previous press releases here:
For additional information and consumer protection resources or to file a complaint, visit
DATCP’s Consumer Protection webpage at ConsumerProtection.wi.gov. If you have questions
or believe you are a victim of a scam, report it by contacting DATCP's Consumer Protection
Hotline by phone at (800) 422-7128 or email at DATCPHotline@wi.gov.
Find more DATCP news in our newsroom, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection
CONSUMER COMPLAINT STATISTICS
|RANK IN 2022||CATEGORY||# OF COMPLAINTS|
|8||Health & Medical Products||217|
|10||Auto Sales (New & Used)||184|
Total number of Trade and Consumer Protection consumer complaints received in 2022: