CHARLOTTE, NC – Better Business Bureau today announced its annual "Dirty Dozen" list of the top 12 area businesses with the most unanswered and unresolved complaints in 2015. Last year, consumers filed 14,876 complaints with BBB against businesses in the Southern Piedmont area of N.C. and S.C., a nine percent increase over the previous year.  

"In 2015, BBB resolved a record-high 91 percent of complaints because the majority of businesses worked with their customers and with us to address customer issues," said BBB President Tom Bartholomy. "Unfortunately though, there are businesses that don't respond to resolve complaints at all, and those businesses are the ones that have made our Dirty Dozen list." 

Three of the twelve companies on this list are collection agencies that are allegedly using aggressive collection tactics," said Bartholomy. "Complainants allege that these tactics may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act."

Two businesses on BBB's 2015 Dirty Dozen list are ‘repeat offenders' that have made previous Dirty Dozen lists.

The top 12 businesses with the most unanswered or unresolved complaints from January 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015 are: 

1. Barron, Gibson & Phillips LLC (BBB Grade F) – Complainants from 29 states allege that this Charlotte collection agency is using questionable practices to collect old debts that may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the statute of limitations on collections. Complainants allege that they were threatened with being arrested if they didn't make immediate payment. Barron, Gibson & Phillips has 15 unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and 82 total complaints in the last 36 months. Repeat offender: This is the third time that Barron, Gibson & Phillips LLC has made BBB's list. 

2. Little Tiny Waist (BBB Grade F) – Complainants from 30 states and Canada allege that this Charlotte-based women's apparel business failed to fulfill orders or to provide refunds to customers who did not receive the merchandise that they ordered. Little Tiny Waist has 13 unanswered and unresolved complaints in 2015 and 68 total complaints in the last 36 months. Repeat offender: This is the second time that Little Tiny Waist has made BBB's list. 

3. Professional Appliance Service (BBB Grade F) – Complainants from nine counties (Mecklenburg, Gaston, Lincoln, Cleveland, Cabarrus, Rowan, Union and York) allege that Charlotte-based Professional Appliance Services collected money for parts in advance and then did not return to install the parts. Complaints also focus on the quality of the work performed. Professional Appliance Service has eight unanswered and unresolved complaints in 2015 and 12 total complaints in the last 36 months.

4. United Towing, Inc. (BBB Grade F) – Complainants allege that Charlotte-based United Towing is engaging in predatory towing and booting of vehicles in Charlotte's trendiest areas including Dilworth and Elizabeth. United Towing has six unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and 22 total complaints in the last 36 months.

5. AFSCO (BBB Grade F) – Complainants allege that this Charlotte-based collection agency is violating the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act by using hostile and threatening techniques. AFSCO has five unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and six total complaints in the last 36 months. 

6. 5 Star Movers (BBB Grade F) – Complainants allege that this Charlotte-based moving service damaged their furnishings and they have not been able to get the company to pay for the damage. 5 Star Movers has five unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and seven total complaints in the previous 36 months.

7. Curb Appeal Landscaping (BBB Grade F) – Complainants allege that they paid Charlotte-based Curb Appeal Landscaping for landscaping projects, but the company did not return to do the work and they have not been able to get a refund. Curb Appeal Landscaping has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and nine total complaints in the previous 36 months.

8. Skyline Towing (BBB Grade F) – Complainants allege that Charlotte-based Skyline Towing is engaging in predatory towing and booting of vehicles in Charlotte. The owners of Skyline Towing also own Mathis Towing. Skyline Towing has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and seven total complaints in the last 36 months. 

9. Lightning Bolt Movers (BBB Grade F) – Complainants allege that this Indian Trail-based moving service required them to pay an advance deposit of $200 to $400 to secure their move dates. However, Lightning Bolt Movers allegedly did not return to fulfill the moves and the complainants have not been able to get their money refunded.  Lightning Bolt Movers has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and four total complaints in the previous 36 months.

10. Financial Management Solutions (BBB Grade F) – Complainants allege that this Fort Mill-based collections agency is using threatening collections tactics that may violate the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Financial Management Solutions has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and four total complaints in the previous 36 months.

11. Odell Custom Cabinets (BBB Grade F) – Complaints filed against this Monroe-based cabinetmaker focus on the quality of the work performed and failure to finish jobs.  Odell has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and three total complaints in the previous 36 months.

12. R & L Appliance Doctor, Inc. (BBB Grade F) – Complaints filed against this Belmont-based appliance repair service focus on the quality of work performed. R & L has three unanswered or unresolved complaints in 2015 and three total complaints in the previous 36 months.

"The easiest way that consumers can protect themselves against bad businesses is to check a company out with BBB, before they sign a contract," said Bartholomy. "It's fast, easy and free."