Credit card complaint database launches to help consumers

7:16 PM, Jun 19, 2012   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- If you've ever felt like you're being ripped off by credit card companies or hate the fees they charge, there's a new way to fight back.

A first-of-its-kind federal credit card complaint database launched Tuesday, designed to protect consumers.

The online database is being praised by consumer advocacy groups as a long overdue weapon for customers and a chance to have some leverage against big creditors.

"Sometimes you think it's just you against this giant institution.  But with a database like this, you'll know that maybe thousands of other people have had the same complaint," said Bill Newton, with the Florida Consumer Action Network.

On the database, you can search by things like the credit card company name, the type of complaint, and the outcome of that complaint.

That outcome column may tell you if other customers are getting monetary relief, information that might help before you call seeking the same thing.

No personal information -- other than the zip code you complain from -- is shared on the site.

"Giving us this information helps us strike more of a fair bargain when we're in the marketplace.  If you don't have information about the product that you are buying, in this case credit cards, you can't make a fair deal," Newton explained.

Eventually the database will also include complaints about mortgage companies and student loan providers.

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