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How’s Business?

The Better Business Bureau is a useful tool in locating reputable businesses in Queens. The BBB helps consumers review a business' report card and avoid business regions that generate complaints. So what are the top three most-complained about industries?

For the first time in three years, there is a new No. 1 most-complained about business: mail order. This is due mostly to a spike in complaints against magazine subscription providers. Also, mail order is the reigning champ, I think, because of a vast assortment of different "get rich quick" scams that consumers unfortunately fall prey to each year.

At No. 2 is consumer electronics. This does not surprise me, as it seems the more technologically advanced we become, the more things tend not to work. Electronic complaints focused mainly on retailers of digital cameras, televisions and cell phones, along with cell phone accessories.

At No. 3 was financial service providers. Among the biggest complaints were issues with debt collectors and banks, which provide advance-fee loans, "free" grant offers and credit cards.

The remaining seven, starting with the fourth most-complained about industry, were retail; home improvement; health, beauty and fitness; telecommunications; home and office furnishings; automotive; and Internet services.

So How's Business regarding the BBB's top 10 complaints? The BBB's top categories experienced an increase in complaints of more than 20 percent. This increase is reflective across a number of disparate categories, but one constant underlying theme was advertising. The BBB conducted more than 80 advertising reviews on local print, broadcasting and online advertisements, with only 25 percent of respondents receiving a passing grade. The BBB is a resource for consumers who wants to research a company he or she possibly wants to use.

You can reach Joe Palumbo at 516-248-0256 or

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