Pandemic-related issues near top of consumer complaints in Eastern Panhandle in 2020

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — The state Attorney General’s Office has released its list of top consumer complaints from 2020 for the Eastern Panhandle.

According to Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, the pandemic was at the center of a lot of consumer complaints.

Patrick Morrisey

At the top, internet services, which he recognizes were strained as more workers hopped online for remote work and more students had to be on class meetings via the internet.

The number four issue was Landlord/Tenant issues, Morrisey said.

“We spend a lot of time talking to landlords and tenants and with consumers because we wanted to make sure that people were no being thrown out by COVID but we also wanted to make sure people were paying their bills,” Morrisey said.

He said efforts by the federal Centers for Disease Control to place a moratorium on rent and evictions didn’t pass the legal test:

“In West Virginia, we really worked hard to educate people about what their responsibility was under the law,” Morrisey said.

The 2020 top complaint categories for the Eastern Panhandle were:

Internet services
Used vehicle repairs
Cell phone devices and services
Landlord/tenant issues
Home repairs
General sales
Used vehicles
Collection agencies

The list is assembled from written consumer complaints filed with the Consumer Protection Division from Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Morgan, and Pendleton counties. The tally does not include phone calls from consumers who did not follow up with a written complaint. It also does not include reports of scams.

Morrisey will appear on this weekend’s Panhandle Spotlight beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday and Sunday on the Panhandle News Network.

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