He Fought The Law. You’ll Never Guess Who Won

Some of you may remember me posting a story a couple of months ago about one of my readers (Anton) who had US Bank shut down his credit card accounts and seize all his FlexPoints.  It was an ugly situation where he applied for a new card, hit the minimum spend mostly by purchasing gift cards, and then found all of his accounts closed, not just the new one.

After exhausting his options with US Bank, he reported back to me that he had filed a complaint (assumedly with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau).  He received a call from US Bank after filing the complaint.  They apologized for the misunderstanding, reopened all 3 of his closed accounts and reinstated his point balance (over 100,000).

I don’t have a ton of experience dealing with US Bank, or any bank on a dispute of this type.  Needless to say, I’m at least a little bit surprised of the outcome.  I don’t actually know what happens when a merchant bank gets a complaint from CFPB, how forceful they are or whether it’s more of a notification.  While manufacturing spend isn’t illegal, it’s not the type of thing credit card companies generally want you to practice.  I would imagine once the bank has closed your accounts there’s not much more risk of an adverse outcome, though I guess they could bar you from approvals in the future.

It’s a positive outcome, for sure.  And, it’s a good reminder that there are protections for consumers when you do run into trouble.

Have you ever considered filing a complaint against a credit card company?


The post He Fought The Law.  You’ll Never Guess Who Won was published first on Pizza In Motion.

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23 Comments

  1. I have filed a complaint with CFPB. They do not intervene. You write your complaint, the bank is required to answer, then you can dispute the answer. CFPB collects statistics, but claims similarly to the DOT, that they are a forum to reach banks more than an arbitration or court type of solution. They do not mediate individual cases.

    However, banks tend to respect those complaints better, presumably because the regulation that may come from the incidents.

    In my experience and single case, Chase was completely unhelpful in the branch but the CFPB complaint illicited a friendly phone call from someone in the “executive office” who promptly helped me and even offered a solution the branch told me was not possible.

    1. Noha, I wasn’t aware of the full procedure, so thanks for filling me in. It sounds about what I expected, and it’s also not surprising the “executive office” had a different answer.

    2. what was your complaint with Chase? what solution did the branch say was impossible? and how did the exec office help you?

  2. I CFPB for Amex issue and I have strong documents and evidence backing up my claim regarding getting a targeted offer,but then only given normal signup bonus. Amex didn’t budge.

    1. MSP, AMEX does have a history of being stingy on things like sign-up bonuses and financial reviews. I love them for SPG Amex, but hated the random FR they put me through a number of years ago.

  3. Noah I beg to differ. A while back I had a huge blowout with Chase. Let it be know there was no manufacturers spend, no gift cards or anything of the like. Real actual charges that were paid. They tried to keep 300,000 points. I dont give up easy. Most people do. I ran every single complaint to every single agency I can think of. The CFPB was helpful. So was NY atty general. If I had to I would have taken them to court and won by the way. To date Chase is the miserable I have seen. One phone call I had with Executive team went like this: I say can you show me where in the terms is states this? (EXEC) It is if I say it is. Again let me make one thing clear: no fake charges, no gift cards, no money round robins into other accounts, only actual real documented spending in a program Chase decided they wanted to close. Close and keep the points that is.

    1. Robert, wow. That’s a miserable experience! Hadn’t heard Chase taking it that far. How long did it take you to get it fixed?

  4. After filing complaint against them with CFPB about the bonus award night taking away and award rate for 210 of their motels going up to 70k points a night, i got $75 fee refund plus 50K points compensation for their false advertising. I HAD SUCCESS against chase too and gave me 20k points

  5. CFPB, what a great concept, thought up by none other than Liz Warren. Glad we have it; been a awful long time coming. Was hoping it would happen especially after the cc companies changed their terms to arbitration instead of the courts.

    1. Emily, didn’t know it was a Liz Warren concept. Judging by the comments in this thread, it seems to be effective.

    2. Love the irony of people using something championed by Warren to further engage in gratuitous travel including flying and associated tourist infrastructure, substantial contributors to climate change.

  6. In order of escalation, I usually contact front-line CSRs, then tweet, then email CEO, then file a formal complaint.

    I file several OCC/FDIC complaints every year (these get passed over to the CFPB). You can check which regulates your bank online.

    All you get is lip service from some minimum wage employee at the EO. I’ve had successful outcomes less than 50% of the time and almost never get the compensation I ask for. I usually just file to hurt the bank’s consumer stats, as Noah mentions above.

      1. Mar14 Discover autopays too early (can’t choose date).
        Feb14 BoA chargedback PC’d acct against my request resulting in forfeited rewards on BBR product.
        Jan14 Chase would not match 50k CSP bonus.
        Jan14 Citi would not produce credit card statements.
        Jan14 Amex offered lesser bonus via phone app and no longer accepts written correspondence.
        Jul13 BoA cancelled autopay without telling me.

        I have 22 open CC accts and know when I’m being screwed over 😉 Chase wouldn’t budge but I think I got a few bucks out of the others. I did not dispute any of the responses.

        1. Wow, Eddy, people like you give consumer advocates a bad name. Quit your whining!
          Mar14 Discover — OK, they have a shitty interface that doesn’t let you pick a date. Complain to Discover how they suck and pick another bank.
          Feb14 BoA — I don’t know what the acronyms mean…
          Jan14 Chase — sounds like you got the bonus you signed up under, then they increased it. Yeah, it’s worth asking if they’ll match, but you have to accept it if they say no since you got what you determined was a fair deal going in. It’s nothing to file CFPB over.
          Jan14 Citi. That’s sounds worth complaining about.
          Jan14 Amex. Again, your brief description makes it sounds like you knew the offer when speaking with them on the phone. Hang up! If the switched you after you were applying under one offer, then that’s a different case.
          Jul13 BoA — that’s pretty crappy.

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