Research and Statistics

Credit card complaints Q1 2014: a graphical look


What are credit card users angry about? Billing disputes, say the complaints filed with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in the first quarter of 2014

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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has published data about 3,691 credit card complaints it received in the first quarter of 2014. When the federal government’s consumer watchdog gets a complaint, it relays it to the company in question and tracks the company’s response. Here is a look at the causes of complaints about credit cards during the first three months of the year.

Leading the list of gripes were billing disputes, the perennial No. 1 complaint. Billing disputes include charges posted by merchants on your credit card tab, such as automatic re-enrollment fees and surprise subscription charges. Identity theft and fraud issues were also friction points, while complaints about rewards made up only 2.8 percent of the total. The smallest volume of gripes concerned cash advances, with only two complaints per 1,000.

The bars in the chart above show the number of complaints that major credit card issuers attracted in the first quarter. The red line tracks the number of company-proposed solutions of those complaints that were disputed by their customers. Proposed solutions have a wide range: A company might offer to correct a problem and pay monetary compensation, or it could merely offer an explanation of why it did what it did.

While Citibank has the most overall complaints, with 659, Bank of America’s 70 disputed solutions out of 346 complaints give it the highest dispute rate, at 20.2 percent. Some companies with relatively high numbers of complaints had a low dispute rate, such as GE Capital, indicating a strong record of solving customers’ problems. Barclays had the lowest dispute rate of the group, at 16.3 percent.

To file a complaint with the consumer protection bureau or to learn more about the process, visit the complaint portal.

Source: U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

See related:  CFPB: Complaints about cards declined in 2013

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