The CFPB’s July 2017 complaint report, which the CFPB calls another “special edition complaint report,” departs from the format of the CFPB’s standard monthly reports.  (The CFPB’s June 2017 complaint report was also called a “special edition.”)  Instead of analyzing monthly complaint trends and highlighting complaints received about a particular product and from consumers in a particular state and city, the new report focuses on annual complaint volume by product for 2014-2016 and the channels used by consumers to submit such complaints.  (Total complaints by month and product through March 31, 2017 is shown in an appendix.)

The report includes the following data:

  •  As of July 1, 2017, the CFPB has handled over 1,242,800 consumer complaints.
  • Companies have provided timely responses to approximately 97% of complaints sent to them by the CFPB for response.

The new report also discusses (1) the meaning of the various response categories available to companies and provides aggregate data on a product-by-product basis showing the response categories used by companies through March 1, 2017, and (2) consumer feedback about companies’ responses and provides data on a product-by-product basis showing the percentage of company responses disputed by consumers through March 31, 2017.  For example, the report shows that consumers complaining about mortgages disputed 23% of company responses while customers complaining about prepaid cards disputed 14% of company responses.

We were pleased to see an acknowledgment by the CFPB that while information about consumer disputes of company responses “is an indicator of consumer satisfaction with companies’ responses to consumers’ issues, it has some limitations.”  As an example, the CFPB observes that “quantitative dispute data does not provide insight into the reasons why a consumer was dissatisfied with the company’s response to their complaint and dispute data does not reflect the positive feedback consumers have about how companies have addressed their concerns.”