Online marketers are more aware than ever about the need for monitoring consumer complaints and compliance with government regulations—but there are still a lot of violations that should have been stopped before they happened.
The most common violations are typically things like missing disclosures that need to be clear, concise and in proximity to offers, notes Alex Baydin, CEO of Performline, which sponsors the Comply 2016 marketing compliance conference.
Baydin will be part of the “Navigating Consumer Protection, Complaints and Regulatory Oversight” panel at LeadsCon Las Vegas, March 15-17 at The Venetian Resort & Casino.
The session will discuss the latest enforcement actions, how lead gen marketers can insulate themselves to mitigate risks to their businesses, and what to do when your company has received notice of a consumer complaint.
In a recent analysis consumer complaint trends in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Performline found that the number of consumer complaints recorded by the CFPB has increased by an average of 34% year-to-year since 2012.
A rising number of complaints for a company can get expensive. If a company has received 100 – 2,000 complaints, the probability of being fined is six percent, and the average fine is $60 million.
Go over that mark and the stakes skyrocket: Companies with 2,000 to 10,000 complaints have a 58% chance of being fined, with those penalties averaging $134 million. Above that threshold, the average chance of a fine is 60% and fines can average $758 million.
The number of consumer complaints rises from March to August, according to Performline. Companies should increase staffing levels during these months to handle the increased volume.
The most complained about industries center around the finance space, including mortgages, debt collection and credit reporting, says Baydin. The top topics of ire include loan servicing, advertising/marketing practices and lack of disclosures.
“There were almost twice as many settlements and cases in 2014 as 2012,” he says. “There’s still a bit of an information and response gap with marketers.”
LeadsCon Las Vegas Previews: