According to a Federal Register notice published on November 29, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is soliciting further comments on its proposal to provide consumers with the option to fill out a short survey on their satisfaction with companies’ resolution of consumer complaints. In the notice, the CFPB described the proposal:
The purpose of this information collection is to incorporate a short survey into the complaint closing process. Consumers will have the option to provide feedback on the company’s response to and handling of their complaint via all channels including online, phone, fax, and mail. The results of this feedback will be shared with the company that responded to the complaint to inform its complaint handling. The feedback will also be used to inform the Bureau’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 the public 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.
This proposal has garnered opposition from the American Bar Association and other trade organizations, arguing that the proposed changes would further erode consumer privacy and foster the spread of unverified and potentially false information. Comments to the latest notice are due by December 29. Troutman Sanders will continue to monitor this and similar developments from the CFPB.