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Those Lovable Credit Card Issuers

Lovable credit card issuers? What’s that all about? Well, believe it or not, according to a Consumer Reports nationwide survey it would appear that maybe the credit card issuers have actually wised up and decided to start treating their customers with some more respect.

In 2009 a whopping 22% of credit card customers complained that their credit card company treated them poorly. That number improved to 15% in 2010 and now, here in November of 2011, just 12% of those surveyed feel as though their credit card company treated them disrespectfully.

That’s a marked improvement and you can bet it’s a direct result of the new rules imposed by Congress in the Credit Card Act of 2009 curbing some of the credit card industry’s more draconian practices.

Somehow you’d like to think that the credit card issuers policed themselves and decided to be more customer friendly, but sometimes a little prodding can go a long way. As long as the desired result is achieved then that’s all we really care about anyway right?

But, and yes there only seems to be a but, a full 35% also reported that they experienced some sort of credit card unpleasantries in the form of higher interest rates, new fees, a decreased credit limit, or having their rewards cut back in one form or another.

Overall dissatisfaction still seems to be the order of the day and the frosty relationship between credit card issuers and their account holders. Only 51% of cardholders, according to Consumer Reports, are highly satisfied with their respective credit card company.

The good news for consumers is that they are reducing their credit card debt. The average balance carried now in 2011 is $3314. That’s down from $3793 in 2010. Consumers are taking on less debt and paying off what they already owe.

Of course, the economy plays a role in just about everything and this is no exception. There were so many defaults since the great recession started that many of those bad debts have been wiped off the books at this point.

That should allow the credit card companies to concentrate more on their product and improved customer service going forward. In other words, the worst of it has passed for this beleaguered industry and now it’s up to them to make of the future what they will.

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