From 2011 to 2013, over 25,000 consumers filed complaints about their credit card companies with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a government watchdog group created as a result of the financial crisis.Recent analysis from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that 93 percent of the complaints were aimed at ten of the largest credit card issuers in the U.S., a measurement that was conducted in September of 2013.
As a result of filing those complaints, approximately, 40 percent had their problems resolved, and 29 percent received refunds.
While the issues customers experienced didn’t come as a surprise (MyBankTracker currently has over 9,000 complaints and reviews), according to the study, the most common gripes among cardholders were:
- Billing disputes
- Issues with interest rates
- Identity theft
- Fraud or embezzlement
- Difficulty closing accounts
- Inappropriate late fees
- Debt collection issues
A Consumer Response: A Snapshot of Complaints Received report, published by the bureau in October of 2012, affirmed that billing disputes are the most common type of credit card complaints. The report found that many consumers are “confused and frustrated by the process and limits of challenging inaccuracies on their monthly credit card billing statements.”
GE Capital Retail, the financial services division of the American conglomerate General Electric, received the highest number of grievances through September 2013. According to PIRG, there were 88 complaints filed against GE Capital per every $1 billion in purchase volume.
The bank was charged with misleading customers who signed up for a line of credit that was believed to be interest-free, and as a result, the bank had to pay $34.1 million in reparations to over one million customers.
GE has dismissed the data as incorrect and claimed that for every 1 million accounts, the bank only receives two complaints, and its true purchase volume is more than three times the figure PIRG used to calculate its findings.
Finally, Capital One was also portrayed in an unflattering way, and found themselves targeted by legal action for deceptive marketing strategies for which they refunded customers $140 million, and were forced to pay a $25 million penalty in 2012.
Knowing the most credit card complaints, have you ever been a victim in a tangled situation with your card issuer? Leave feedback for us on Facebook, tweet us, write a comment below, or share your experience on our review section.