Last week, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced a partnership with the City of Boston. The partnership is designed to help consumers who have questions or who need to submit complaints about financial products and services. Boston consumers can now dial the Mayor’s 24-Hour Constituent Service hotline at (617) 635-4500 to be connected with the CFPB.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino said:
“Constituent service has always been at the forefront of our administration. This partnership gives us one more way to assist residents and gives us the tools to address important and often complex financial questions they may have.”
Of course, Boston consumers can still submit complaints about financial products and services directly at the CFPB website. The CFPB helps consumers about and accepts complaints about the following types of financial products and services: credit cards, bank accounts (e.g., checking/savings, CDs) and services (e.g., check cashing), private student loans, credit reporting, and money transfers. Consumers can expect this level of service the CFPB:
"The CFPB screens complaints to make sure they are complete, are not duplicates of existing complaints, and are about something the Bureau covers. The CFPB then sends complaints that meet these criteria to the company — bank or nonbank — for review and response. Companies are given 15 days to respond and are expected to close all but the most complicated complaints within 60 days."
Banks and financial institutions have created a wide variety of products and services; some simple and others complex. In most cases, it is important for consumers to know their rights.
This blog has reported about some of the complexities with credit cards, prepaid cards, and credit reporting services, It's important for consumers to understand the differences between credit-, debit-, and prepaid cards. Some employers now pay their employees via payroll cards, a version of prepaid cards, instead of paychecks.
Some employers also administer their healthcare/flexible spending accounts with prepaid cards. A clear trend is that some employers, with the help of online banks and newer technologies, now provide their employees with more financial products services.