No one likes complaints, being blamed for not meeting expectations, or worse, but the fact is the FTC collects and reports on millions of complaints by consumers. Last week the FTC issued its 2012 annual report of consumer complaints from its Consumer Sentinel Network, an online database used for tracking complaints. The FTC received more than 2 million complaints overall, from multiple sources including its own consumer complaint hotline, other federal agencies such as the CFPB, several state Attorneys General, state regulatory agencies, the BBB, and other nongovernmental organizations.
The statistics are not provided on a company specific basis in the report and are not verified for accuracy. Nonetheless, federal and state law enforcement agencies can and often will use information in the database to enhance and coordinate investigations and in formulation of regulatory priorities. To check out the FTC 2012 Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book, please click here, and the FTC press release is available here.
Also, note that for companies advertising and marketing consumer financial products and services, the CFPB accepts and processes complaints, as well as makes available its own periodic reports and in a public database.
For additional analysis about the 2012 statistics and tips to help address consumer complaints and avoid potential scrutiny, see the article on our firm’s website available here.