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Less Customers Trust Credit Card Firms, Says Auriemma Consulting Group

One quarter of customers admitted that credit card reprising was a result of some action on their part

A majority of US customers trust credit card companies less than they did a year ago, and feel they have not been treated fairly by the credit card industry. About half of customers claimed that they were re-priced by their credit card company, while 20% reported a credit line decrease, according to Cardbeat, a syndicated market research report published by Auriemma Consulting Group (ACG). Reportedly, the firm has surveyed 503 credit card users in June 2009.

It has been reported that 25% of customers admitted that the increased interest rate was a result of some action on their part, i.e., they were late or overlimit on their card. The remaining 75% said they had no idea why, or felt they were not the cause of the change to their credit card account.

Nancy Stahl, editor of Cardbeat, said: “Even customers who weren’t entirely surprised to be re-priced expressed strong dissatisfaction with the reason given by their credit card issuer. 80% of these customers reacted to the re-pricing by reducing their usage on the affected credit card, using some type of cash equivalent (debit card, cash, or check) as an alternative form of payment.”

“While issuers may feel that their communications were adequate, customers, to a large extent, don’t agree. At a time when credit cards are suffering from an unfavorable image, it’s important to make cardholders feel that they’ve been given a clear explanation, however unwelcome the news itself may be,” she added.

ACG is a provider of management consulting, customer research, industry roundtable and benchmarking services to the financial services industry. ACG clients include credit card issuers, commercial banks, auto and mortgage lenders, merchants, networks, and industry vendors.