Consumer Reports has completed a consumer survey of 1,250 nationwide respondents, documenting a mixed bag of findings for the credit card industry. On the plus side:
New federal rules barring many abusive practices by credit-card issuers seem to be having an effect: Only 12 percent of Americans said their credit-card companies had generally treated them unfairly, according to Consumer Reports’ nationwide survey, down from 15 percent in 2010, and 22 percent in 2009.
On the minus side, from the point of view of a consumer advocate, credit cards represent a problematic product:
With the protections of the 2009 Credit CARD Act in full effect, the nationally representative survey shows a slightly lower level of dissatisfaction among Americans with their credit cards than last year. However, credit cards remain one of the lowest-rated services Consumer Reports has ever analyzed; only 51 percent of respondents indicated they were highly satisfied with their cards.
Mercator’s CustomerMonitor Survey data from 2011 also indicates that consumers’ negative experiences with cards have decreased, probably due in large part to the stabilization of the credit card marketplace in the wake of CARD Act-driven pricing changes. In the 2010 survey, only about half of consumers were actually aware of the CARD Act, and among those, for three fourths, the most memorable aspect was receiving new disclosures in the mail.