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Billing and interest rates top credit card complaints

6:18 PM, Jan 14, 2014   |    comments
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(Damien Meyer/AFP/Getty Images)

ATLANTA -- If you have a credit card with Capital One, Citibank, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase or GE Capital Retail, chances are you may have had a problem with them.

A study just out from the non-profit, Public Interest Research Group, says these companies top the list in customer complaints.

Over the past two years, 25,000 card holders have filed formal complaints with the federally funded Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

For 16 percent, the top issue they faced were disputes with billing. Next at 10 percent, troubles with interest rates, while 7 percent faced ID theft, fraud and embezzlement. Another 7 percent had issues with credit reporting and yet another 7 percent faced closed or cancelled accounts.

"In 40 percent of the cases, there was some kind of tangible relief, either monetary or relief in the form of a reduced interest rate," said Michael Sikora of the Georgia Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.

Seventy-three hundred card holders alone got back an average $128 in compensation.

So far, the bureau says more than 80 percent of the complaints to the bureau have been resolved.  Despite the complaints, the credit card industry continues to thrive.

"In general it is not going to have any impact on people. There are only roughly for most of the cards less than 10 complaints per billion dollars in transactions," said Ken Bernhardt, a marketing consultant and retired professor of marketing at Georgia State University.

When there is a credit card problem you cannot resolve, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has the muscle to get involved.

"More folks should turn to this great resource that they have and hold the credit card companies accountable when they have a problem," Sikora said.

If you have a complaint against your credit card company, go to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's website to file a complaint.

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