‘Trends view’ of consumer complaints charts growth of gripes over time

A “trends view” of consumer complaints which allows users to see information about complaints over time using a set of filter options has been added to the consumer complaint database of the federal consumer financial protection bureau, the agency said Friday.

The new trends view, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) indicated, emphasizes aggregation and analysis of information, but it still makes all the underlying data available for review.

The agency said the new set-up allows users to view complaints over time to gain insights into complaint trends; refine visualizations based on user selected criteria; and aggregate complaints by various categories, such as issues and products.

For example, the product with the highest complaint volume from July 17, 2017, to July 17, 2020, is credit reporting, with 420,236 complaints, the database reports. Complaints of that product (combined with credit repair services and other personal consumer reports, which adds another 6,458 complaints over that time) have been steadily rising over the three-year period. The consumer reporting complaints peaked in June 2020 with 23,665 complaints, surpassing the previous peak the month before of 23,558 complaints. In December 2017, the low point for complaints about the credit reporting firms, 7,696 complaints were received.

Trend for complaints of “consumer reporting” over three-year period, July 2017 to July 2020

The CFPB said that since 2011, it has handled more than 2.3 million consumer complaints, with more than 5,000 financial companies responding through the process. Complaints are published after the company responds, confirming a commercial relationship with the consumer, or after 15 days, whichever comes first, the agency said.

CFPB Announces New Capability for the Consumer Complaint Database, Expands Ability to View Complaint Data Over Time