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Got a credit card gripe? Complain: You're likely to get money back
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued its first anniversary report to Congress and the White House on how it's doing as the consumer's money maven.
As you might expect, the agency says it's doing quite well in its mission to prevent unfair and deceptive practices by financial institutions. Its critics disagree, but for today we'll put that argument aside.
The data accompanying its 83-page report contains some more-immediate good news for credit card holders: Use its new complaint system and you have a good chance of getting some money back.
The agency forwarded 44,600 complaints to financial companies in its first year of operation, which began July 21, 2011. Of those, 15,600 were complaints about credit cards, and nearly half of those who complained got money back. The median amount of relief (based on a smaller sample): $144.
Of all the financial products the bureau oversees, the odds of getting money back on a credit card complaint were greatest. Those complaining about mortgages had only about a one in 10 shot at getting compensation, although the relief was bigger, with a median of $411.
Here's a closer look:
Want to file a complaint? Go to http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/
One cautionary note: Six months ago, in the bureau's initial report, it said credit card issuers were being even more generous in giving money to credit card holders who complained: 64 percent of them got some relief.
They're the pieces of plastic we love, and love to hate. Get the latest news, tips, research and more from the CreditCards.com staff.
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