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Top Gripes: What bugs America most?

February 17, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
Hidden fees, using cell phones while driving and having trouble getting real live technical support person. All of these made the list of America's top gripes.How about waiting for the repair man? Or do dropped cell-phone calls drive you crazy? Or, when people don't clean up after their dog?

Consumer Reports National Research Center set to find out just "What Bugs America Most."

"We asked over 1,000 people to rate the 21 annoying things on a one-to-ten scale, where ten was the top of the gripe-o-meter," said Donato Vaccaro of Consumer Reports.

At the top of the list was something people don't even know about until it shows up at their door - hidden fees in bills. The number two annoyance was not being able to get a live person on the phone. Close behind (literally) was tailgating drivers, followed by drivers on cell phones.

In fact, three big gripes had to do with cell phones.

"The other two are bad cell-phone service and rude people with cell phones, for example people using a cell phone in a restaurant."

Interestingly, answers to the Consumer Reports' poll varied depending on things like someone's political affiliation or sex.

"For instance, we found several things irritated women much more than men, " said Vaccaro."For example, speeding drivers and not being able to remember your password or PIN."

And, which gripe bugs Americans the least? Inaccurate weather predictions. So Dallas Raines needs not fear the gripe-o-meter!

Some other gripes in the Consumer Reports' survey were bills that are incomprehensible and unreliable internet service.