And the Financial Institution Most Likely to Be Late Responding to a Consumer Complaint Is . . .

One day last spring, I saw in a Google alert that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) had announced that it was for the first time making public a consumer complaint database.  At the time, I was teaching a course in Empirical Law & Economics at Yale and decided to call an audible.  I came into class that day and projected the raw data (which you can see for yourself by clicking here) and asked the class how we might make use of the information.

With incredible dispatch, Jeff Lingwall and Sonia Steinway merged the complaint data with other datasets and together we started to put together an initial draft analyzing the complaint information.  When the CFPB made the database public, they actively encouraged “the public, including consumers, analysts, developers, data scientists, civic hackers, and companies that serve consumers, to analyze, augment, and build on the public database to develop ways for consumers to access the complaint data or mash it up with other public data sets.”  This paper is our attempt to respond to the Bureau’s call to action.

I Cannot Recall Consumer Reports Having to Recall their Own Recall

A while back Dubner blogged about how Consumer Reports had demanded a recall of a number of rear-facing child seats because they performed so poorly in their tests. Now Consumer Reports has a recall of their own. Apparently they may have done some of the tests wrong. We will have to wait and see what […]

Consumer Reports Retracts Its Damning Car-Seat Study

We blogged here recently about Connsumer Reports study declaring that most infant car seats failed miserably in side-impact crash tests. Now comes word that Consumer Reports is retracting the study, an acknowledgment that the study’s methodology was flawed. According to this MSNBC report, the study was meant to test the seats in 38-mph crashes, whereas […]

We Are Not the Only Ones Who Think Child Car Seats Don’t Work Well

There is a very disturbing report in the new Consumer Reports about child car seats. Here’s an excerpt: You’d think that in a car crash, infants in their cozy car seats would be the most protected passengers of all. But you’d be wrong, our tests reveal. Cars and car seats can’t be sold unless they […]