Consumer Complaint Topic Center

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission are both embracing an enforcement approach steeped in customer complaints—consumer lenders would be wise to adopt the same thinking.

A Required Element of Every
Compliance Management System

According to the CFPB, an effective complaint management system “should ensure that a supervised entity is responsive and responsible in handling consumer complaints and inquiries. Intelligence gathered from consumer contacts should be organized, retained, and used as part of an institution’s compliance management system.”

You must be able to prove that you can monitor and analyze consumer complaints in a repeatable manner to understand trends and correct weaknesses in your programs that could lead to consumer risks and violations of law.

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  • Be sure complaints and inquiries, regardless of where or how they’re submitted, are recorded (date- and time-stamped) and categorized by topic or product.

  • The program appropriately escalates complaints that raise legal issues involving potential consumer harm from unfair treatment or  discrimination, or other regulatory compliance issues.

  • Employees promptly address and resolve complaints and inquiries regarding the organization or its service providers.

  • Complaint data and individual cases drive adjustments to business practices as appropriate.

  • Consumer complaints result in retrospective action to correct the effects of the company’s actions, when appropriate.

5 Key Elements of a
Complaint Management Program


The CFPB has done some homework for you and developed a best practice model for managing consumer complaints. Here are the agency’s key components for a complaint management program.

Manual Systems Leave Room for Error

The CFPB doesn’t go so far as to mandate how to implement a complaint management system. They don’t really care whether you’re maintaining it through paper files, spreadsheets, or an automated system, as long as you can demonstrate that your system works.

Any compliance professional, however, knows that not all systems are created equal. If you manage customer feedback manually through paperwork or spreadsheets, you’re creating cracks for complaints to fall though. Because it’s not easy to track, categorize, or verify information in manual systems, data disappears:

  • emails get lost or deleted
  • phone messages go unheard
  • letters collect dust in file folder
  • no one checks online form responses
  • a row in your spreadsheet gets deleted or overwritten


Manual complaint management systems are time consuming, as well. It’s no simple task to manage handoffs and escalations, causing even more issues to slip off the radar. The result? Neglect. Little problems become larger problems. And larger problems are expensive.

Disjointed Compliance Systems
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See How It Works

Compligo:

An automated system to manage complaints.

Your early warning system.

For the greatest possible protection against regulatory risk, consider automating your complaint response program. Compligo allows your company to not only track individual consumer complaints, but also to identify trends and high risk areas before they affect your reputation and your bottom line.

Think of it as an early warning system that alerts you to issues well before they impact your business.

 

Recent Articles on
Consumer Complaints

Consumer complaint response it a hot topic for our readers. Here’s the latest research and perspectives.

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Julie Kim
In-House Counsel & Compliance Officer / Sierra Credit Corp.

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