Top 10 most-griped-about businesses

What kinds of companies are most likely to anger consumers? For customers of Angie's List, which helps people find local services based on other consumers' opinions, home-warranty services won top honors, so to speak, for the sixth year in a row.

Here's the Angie's List rogue's gallery for 2010, with an asterisk marking the catergories making a return appearance:

1. Home warranty companies*
2. Property management companies*
3. Internet service providers*
4. TV cable & satellite providers*
5. Wedding professionals – bridal and tuxedo shops, planners
6. Dry cleaners
7. Phone services*
8. Auto sales
9. Car services – limos and taxi services*
10. Florists

Angie's List says home-warranty companies earned a D or F grade from 54 percent of the consumers who reviewed them for the publication and website, which rates companies in about 500 categories.

One point worth noting is that such rankings sometimes can depend on who's doing the asking.

Each year, the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators offers its own ranking of complaints. The last one was released in July, and tallied complaints from 2009. Here's how it ranked consumers' top gripes - along with some common examples of problems, and the category's 2008 ranking in parentheses:

1. Auto: (1) Misrepresentations in advertising or sales of new and used cars;
lemons; faulty repairs; leasing and towing disputes
2. Credit/Debt: (3) Billing and fee disputes; mortgage-related fraud; credit repair;
debt relief services; predatory lending; illegal or abusive debt collection tactics
3. Home Improvement/Construction: (2) Shoddy work; failure to start or
complete the job
4. Utilities: (4) Service problems or billing disputes with phone, cable, satellite,
Internet, electric and gas services
5. Retail Sales: (5) False advertising and other deceptive practices; defective
merchandise; problems with rebates, coupons, gift cards and gift certificates;
failure to deliver
6. Services: (6) Misrepresentations; shoddy work; failure to have required licenses; failure to perform
7. Internet Sales: (9) Misrepresentations or other deceptive practice; failure to
deliver online purchases
8. Household Goods: (7) misrepresentations; failure to deliver; faulty repairs in
connection with furniture or appliances
9. (tie) Landlord/Tenant: (8) Unhealthy or unsafe conditions; failure to make
repairs or provide promised amenities; deposit and rent disputes; illegal eviction
tactics; Home Solicitations: (9) Misrepresentations or failure to deliver in doorto-
door, telemarketing or mail solicitations; do-not-call violations
10. Health Products/Services (10) misleading claims; unlicensed practitioners;
failure to deliver

Interestingly, every category on the consumer agencies' list was a repeat visitor from the year before. Apparently if you're going to tick people off enough to file a formal complaint, you're likely to have real staying power.