Amidst the whirlwind of information released in the last week by the CFPB regarding debt collection, you may have missed that – also last week – the CFPB’s Consumer Response division published a notice in the Federal Register for a “new information collection” aimed at further improving the complaint process for consumers and companies.

NOTE: Written comments are encouraged and must be received on or before September 30, 2016 to be assured of consideration.

The Bureau intends to give consumers the option to provide feedback on the company’s response to and handling of their complaints. The consumer would have the ability to rate the company’s handling of his or her complaint on a one-to-five scale and provide a narrative description in support of the rating. Consumer feedback will be shared with the company that responded to the complaint to inform its complaint handling and used to inform our work to supervise companies and monitor the market for consumer financial products and services.

According to the Notice, the feedback will also be used to inform CFPB’s work to supervise companies, enforce Federal consumer financial laws, write better rules and regulations and monitor the market for consumer financial products and services. Consistent with the Bureau’s policy statement on Disclosure of Consumer Complaint Data, the Bureau will evaluate the data collected from consumer feedback before publication on the Consumer Complaint Database. The Bureau anticipates publication of consumer feedback to highlight positive company behavior, provide consumers with timely and understandable information about consumer financial products and services, and improve the functioning, transparency, and efficiency of markets for such products and services. Only those feedback narratives for which opt-in consumer consent is obtained, and to which robust personal information scrubbing standard and methodology is applied, will be eligible for publication.

Here is a copy of the proposed consumer survey.

The CFPB says that this survey builds on a public inquiry issued last year seeking public input on ways to highlight consumers’ positive experiences with financial service providers. Positive feedback about the company’s handling of the consumer’s complaint would be reflected by both high satisfaction scores and by the narrative in support of the score. Negative feedback about the company’s handling of the consumer’s complaint would offer new context and be more useful to companies.


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