Towing companies make Oregon’s top 10 consumer complaint list

Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum released the 2022 list Tuesday, which has auto sales at the top

By: - March 7, 2023 11:06 am
Oregon state Justice Department in Salem

The Oregon Department of Justice named towing companies in its 2022 list of the top 10 consumer complaints. (Ron Cooper/Oregon Capital Chronicle)

For the first time, consumers have put towing companies on the list of their top 10 complaints, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said Tuesday. 

She said the Oregon Department of Justice received 190 complaints about them in 2022, putting that industry seventh on the list. It provides insights into how Oregon consumers feel they are scammed or unfairly treated – and what types of industries receive the most frequent consumer complaints. Complaints range from being  overcharged, paying for services not received or shoddy workmanship.

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For Oregon Department of Justice resources on how to fight scams and fraud, go here

To contact the Oregon Department of Justice, go to or call the department’s consumer complaint hotline at 1-877-877-9392.

The attention on the towing industry comes as the Oregon Department of Justice is putting heightened attention – and legal resources – towards the industry.  In January, the Oregon Department of Justice Consumer Protection Section filed a lawsuit against Retriever Towing, one of the largest towing operators in Oregon. The lawsuit alleges the company illegally towed vehicles from parking facilities without signed authorization from the owner of the parking facility. 

 “We hope this lawsuit will send a message to all towing companies around the state that they’ll be held accountable for violating the law,” Rosenblum said in a statement. “Especially when it snows — as it recently did — tow trucks are out in force due to the number of abandoned vehicles.”

In 2017, state lawmakers passed legislation that prohibits companies from towing vehicles from parking facilities unless the tower has signed authorization from the facility’s owner. 

Complaint categories

Complaints about auto sales and repairs, telecommunications and imposter scams took the top three spots, for the third year in a row: 

  1. Auto sales and repairs, 1,050 complaints.
  2. Telecommunications, 778 complaints.
  3. Imposter scams/fraudulent entity, 697 complaints.
  4. Financial, credit and lending, 554 complaints.
  5. Health and medical, 475 complaints.
  6. Travel services and products, 191 complaints.
  7. Towing, 190 complaints.
  8. Construction contractors, 187 complaints.
  9. Grocery, food and beverage, 184 complaints.
  10. Real estate, 178 complaints.



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Ben Botkin
Ben Botkin

Ben Botkin covers justice, health and social services issues for the Oregon Capital Chronicle. He has been a reporter since 2003, when he drove from the Midwest to Idaho for his first journalism job. Botkin has won multiple awards for his investigative and enterprise reporting, including on education, state budgets and criminal justice.