Sunday, October 4, 2009

Never use!

I just had one of the most frustrating experiences. A few weeks ago, Jeff and I decided to check our credit reports - you're allowed to check them for free once a year. So, I headed to, which I thought seemed like a logical place to get access - it's a big, well known company. There's a big button on the first page that says "Click here to see your free credit report and score." You have to enter some information, including your credit card number, which is tells you is "required to establish your account," but the site also said that my "credit card will not be charged during the free trial period." Once you get through that section, a shopping cart receipt indicated that the total was $0.00. I viewed my credit reports and moved on. About a week later, I saw a $15 charge on my credit card! So, I did some internet investigating, and it turns out there are a ton of people who have gotten caught by this scam. When you check your report, it automatically signs you up for a 'credit monitoring service' that is $15 per month - and it continues to bill you each month until you cancel. You can't cancel online and you can't cancel using the automated system. You need to call during business hours when to cancel your account. I really would have thought that a big company like Experion (who runs would not be able to continue operating like this - it's clearly set up to mislead people and then make it very difficult for them to cancel and/or get their money back.

The moral of the story is: don't use It's awful. According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is the one to use - it actually is free and not just a trick.

**Update** I called today and was able to cancel my account, and get a refund (though they say that it is not their policy to provide refunds). To their credit, the person on the phone was nice and reasonable and I spent very little time on hold. Not an excuse for the questionable methods of getting people signed up, but at least it wasn't as difficult to reverse as I thought it might be.

1 comment:

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