Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau launched the beta version of the Consumer Complaint Database. This database collects credit card complaints from consumers and makes them available to the public via the Internet. Various types of information is collected: date of the complaint, location were the complaint originated (zip code), reason for the complaint, the type of response that the consumer received from the credit card company, and whether or not the response was timely. No information which could reveal the identity of the person submitting the complaint is included. However, the names of the offending credit card companies are included. So, data is available to the general public that in the past was only available to the individual complainant, the credit card company, regulators, or the public through the Freedom of Information Act.
The website includes an especially helpful tutorial for those individuals who lack experience working with databases such as this. When ready, click on the “All data” link on the website and begin scrolling or searching in the database.