Stats from Consumer Direct come as Apple announces iPad device

Complaints about tablets and notebooks up 42%

Consumer complaints about notebooks and tablet PCs rose 42 per cent last year, despite a drop in the overall number of calls received from disgruntled customers.

Government body Consumer Direct said total complaints dropped 2.8 per cent last year, and second hand cars came top of the list for the fourth year running.

While laptops and tablets only came fifth, they recorded the highest increase of any category, from 12,395 calls and emails in 2008 to 17,611 last year – a rise of 42.1 per cent.

The news comes as some of the biggest names in computing move into the tablet sphere. Apple yesterday announced its long-awaited tablet, the iPad, while Microsoft showed off a slate device at this year’s CES.

Televisions saw the second highest rise in complaints, up 9.2 per cent from 2008 to 22,184.

David Fisher, director of Consumer Direct said: “While total complaint levels dropped slightly in 2009, complaints about some goods such as laptops and TVs rose significantly. In some cases, this may reflect growing sales for particular products rather than a higher percentage of faulty goods or services. Overall demand for consumer advice remains high, and our national service helps consumers to assert their rights and get the refunds, repairs and replacements they deserve.”

According to the report, more than half of all complaints related to goods and services bought at the traders’ premises, 13 per cent were about internet purchases and 10 per cent about telephone transactions.

Top 10 consumer gripes:

1. Second hand cars purchased from independent dealers
2. TVs
3. Mobile phones (service agreements)
4. Mobile phones (hardware)
5. Laptops, notebooks and tablet PCs
6. Car repairs and servicing from independent garages
7. Second hand cars purchased from franchise dealers
8. Upholstered furniture
9. Women’s clothing
10. Telephone services (landline)

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