Credit card companies are probably shaking in their various fee-laden boots, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is making good on a big promise today with the release of its database of consumer complaints leveled against those companies.
There’s also a report analyzing 45,000 complaints its collected on a range of financial issues, with the possibility of expanding the database to other financial products.
Consumers can check out the complaints by methods like zip code, response (for example, “Closed with explanation”), volume and issue, or download all of the data and search through it.
“[This] is a major milestone for consumers and all those who are interested in knowing more about their day-to-day experiences,” said Richard Cordray, the bureau’s first director. “We believe this is the first time that the general public has been able to see such individual-level consumer complaint data for financial products and services. … Anyone with access to the web will be able to review and analyze the information, and draw their own conclusions.”
The database currently includes credit card complaints collected by the CFPB since June 1, 2012. By the end of 2012, the CFPB has said it will add retroactive credit card complaint data as well. It’s been collecting complaints since July 21, 2011.
Consumers Union, the policy and advocacy division of Consumer Reports, praised the CFPB’s decision to make the database of credit card complaints public and announced its support for expanding the database to include complaints from consumers about other financial products.
“Making credit card complaints public will put added pressure on banks to avoid unfair practices and help consumers make more informed financial decisions,” said Pamela Banks, senior policy counsel for Consumers Union. “This is a tremendous public resource that should be expanded to include complaints about other abusive financial practices that are hurting consumers.”
Consumer Complaint Database [ConsumerFinance.gov]
What credit card firm attracts the most complaints? [MSN.com]