Since we launched on July 21st 2011, we’ve heard directly from consumers about the challenges they face in the marketplace, brought their concerns to the attention of financial institutions, and helped address their complaints. Accepting, resolving, and analyzing consumer complaints is an integral part of our work.
Periodically, we’ll feature stories from consumers who we have helped, and who have agreed to let the CFPB make their stories public.
Jonna, a 53-year-old legal assistant from Texas, was accruing high fees on her credit card because of a card issuer computer glitch.
The problems started in August 2011 when Jonna says she tried to pay $200 toward her $3,100 credit card debt but a malfunction of the credit card issuer’s website instead caused a $3,100 withdrawal from her bank account. That malfunction resulted in an overdraft charge from her bank and a charge of $25 from the card issuer for a bounced payment.
After repeated phone calls to customer service, the card issuer finally straightened out the amount that Jonna had wanted to pay but accidentally put the $3,100 balance as cash advance charges, which have a higher interest rate than purchases. Interest owed was ratcheting up fast. The fees grew to $345 before the issuer agreed to return the balance to the purchased category.
When Jonna contacted the CFPB in May 2012 she says there was still an erroneous cash advance balance on her card, extra fees were still being charged, and the issuer still had failed to reimburse her for the mistaken interest charged while the balance was in the higher-interest cash advanced category. Within a week after the CFPB got involved, the credit card issuer corrected all their errors. And, although the issuer could not refund Jonna for the insufficient fund charges from her bank, it sent Jonna a gift card for a national retail outlet.