Complaints to the Better Business Bureau serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming increased 7.3 percent last year.

The BBB said it fielded 2,979 complaints last year vs. 2800 in 2010.

The BBB reported the top 10 complaints by industry:

1. Car dealerships: 98
2. Auto repair services: 75
3. Credit card processing companies: 69
4. Internet marketers: 66
5. Roofers: 42
6. Hotels: 41
7. Long distance phone services: 39
8. Property management companies: 35
9. Internet service providers: 30
10. Collection agencies: 29

In addition, the BBB saw a 21-percent increase in consumers checking the organization's business reviews and a 14-percent increase in industry-specific lists.

By contrast, the BBB serving Denver and Boulder saw a 21.7-percent decrease in complaints. Inquiries increased by 22 percent.

Nationwide, complaints to all BBBs decreased overall. Consumers asked BBB for assistance more than 100 million times last year, an 18 percent rise from the prior year.

If consumers check with the BBB about businesses beforehand, they can avoid problems.

"When consumers come to us first for information about businesses, they are much less likely to need our dispute-resolution services later," Pam King, president and CEO of BBB serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming, said in a statement.