NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Complaints about the Internet and e-commerce made the list of top 10 categories that caused consumers the most trouble for the first time last year, a survey said Monday.
Areas where consumers have been dissed and dissatisfied for years also made the top five: auto sales, home improvement, auto repairs and credit.
The survey of state and local consumer protection agencies was conducted by the National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators (NACAA) and the Consumer Federation of America (CFA).
It found that the grist for grousing ranged from fees no one tells you about to work left undone to harassing phone calls, deceptive advertising and defective goods.
Here's the list of the top 10 areas that generated the most consumer complaints last year.
No. 1 offender: Automobile sales. Auto sales have been near the top of the list for the past five years. Among the frustrations: dealers who are unresponsive to state Lemon Laws, misleading advertising, and the inability to obtain permanent license plates.
When it comes to used auto sales, mechanical issues, warranty disclosures and undisclosed prior damage were among the most common complaints.
No. 2 offender: Home improvement. Dealings with contractors have been a sore point for consumers, whether because of a failure to use a written contract, abandonment or refusal to complete work, poor workmanship and non compliance with building code requirements. This category ranked No. 1 in 2001.
No. 3 offender: Automotive repair. Another consistent top fiver, consumers most often complained about problems with manufacturers or dealers, incorrect repairs, cost overruns and "ghost" repairs -- getting charged for work that wasn't done.
No. 4 offender: Credit. Complaints about predatory mortgage lending, credit card fees and billing, credit repair and reporting, and very pricey small loans helped push "credit" up one notch from the No. 5 slot it held in 2001.
No. 5 offender: Advertising/telemarketing. Mail order fraud, deceptive advertising and sales practices, and bait and switch tactics raised plenty of consumer ire here.
No. 6 offender: Collections/billing practices. Greater awareness of identity theft boosted complaints in this area. Primary among the complaints registered were attempts to collect fraudulent debts and trouble correcting wrong billing records.
Four categories tied for last four spots on the list.
No. 7 offender (tied) : Household goods. This is one area where complaints have dropped off somewhat since 2001, when household goods held the No. 2 spot in the survey. Still, enough consumers were irked by defective goods, deceptive advertising, and failure to honor warranties or give refunds to garner the category a place in the top 10.
No. 8 offender (tied): Internet/e-commerce. This category has jumped from its spot as No. 13 in 2001. That's thanks to an increase in complaints about several issues, including trouble with merchandise ordered online (such as misrepresentation and failure to deliver), failure to receive goods bought in online auctions, and questionable billing practices of Internet service providers.
No. 9 offender (tied): Telecommunications/cable/satellite. The complaints registered dealt with, among other things, cell phone and landline phone service, billing and contractual issues, extended warranty plans, early cancellation fees, "free time" disputes, roaming charges and solicitation calls to cell phones.
No. 10 offender (tied): Real estate/landlord-tenant relations. Rent hikes, single-family-home zoning issues, notice for eviction and non-responsiveness to repairs were among the complaints recorded.