Article By : Patrick Mansfield | U.S. Consumer Finance
Ever since the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) opened its doors in 2011 by authority of President Obama, the organization has handled many complaints made by customers against their credit card companies. Many times, these complaints turn out to be confusion on the part of the customer, but there are many legitimate claims that customers have made that proved to be true as well.
In this article, we will look at the top four complaints filed with the CFPB regarding credit cards since 2011:
Complaint #1: Fraudulent Charge Issues Go Unresolved
In certain cases, credit card users who have lost their credit cards or who have become the victims of identity theft have been saddened when they discover that fraudulent charges have been made on their credit accounts. In these cases, it is the responsibility of the consumer to report these fraudulent charges to the credit card company, which then freezes the account and disbars the unlawful transactions.
However, many credit card users have described to the CFPB that they have found it difficult to have charges removed even though the credit card company ruled the dispute in their favor (and in some instances, even said they were canceling the charges immediately).
Complaint #2: Rewards Programs Causing Problems
Consumers have reported that they struggle to employ certain rewards programs to their benefit after meeting the requirements described in the credit card agreement to do so. Furthermore, other customers have reported that the rewards program described to them by a phone representative for the company at sign-up was different than the rewards program once the credit card became activated.
Complaint #3: Fraudulent Accounts Being Opened Despite Alerts
In certain cases, consumers who have discovered that they have become the victim of identity theft will immediately attach a flag notice to their credit report. This warning is supposed to serve as a sign to creditors to not open any more accounts in that person's name and/or under that person's social security number until the issue has been resolved.
However, in many instances these same consumers have learned that the credit card companies have continued to open accounts in their name even though the flag has been put out on their credit report, thereby indicating that the identity theft is being allowed to continue opening fraudulent accounts.
Complaint #4: The "Big Three" Are Causing Most of the Problems
According to reports from the CFPB and consumers alike, there are three main credit card companies that are being reported most frequently for not adhering to the terms of their credit card agreements or rules laid out by the CFPB for consumer protection. If you're shopping for a credit card you might want to consider a smaller financial institution.
How to Avoid Credit-Related Problems
To avoid problems like these regarding credit accounts, credit users are advised to keep a close watch on their credit reports to make sure that they don't see any unknown or potentially fraudulent activity taking place on their accounts.
Furthermore, it is the duty of a consumer to make sure that they are fully informed of the terms of their credit card agreements. By doing so, they will be able to call the credit card issuers when they are breaking their own rules or doing things outside of the user agreement.