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outside artist
04-06-2009, 09:54 AM
I know I can't be the first person to write about this, but....I finally get up enough nerve to check out my credit rating and I go to the site whose clever jingles have been running through my head for years and what do I find??? It's not free at all!!! It costs the same as any other credit report service. HOW do they get away with this, and how come no one has made them shut up as far as making this completely false claim?

friedo
04-06-2009, 10:00 AM
What you want is www.annualcreditreport.com. They provide free (as in actually free) credit reports, once per year, as mandated by federal law.

Note that that's the report only. If you want FICO scores you will have to pay for them.

RealityChuck
04-06-2009, 10:00 AM
Their claims aren't false -- the fine print in the ads indicate that you get the free credit report if you enroll in their service.

If you want a free credit report, go to http://www.annualcreditreport.com

Mama Zappa
04-06-2009, 10:04 AM
The real free site is annualcreditreport.com, I think. I'd bet the freecreditreport.com somehow hooks into that functionality, but includes add-on functionality for which they charge you.

LawMonkey
04-06-2009, 10:11 AM
Their claims aren't false -- the fine print in the ads indicate that you get the free credit report if you enroll in their service.

Which strikes me as being indistinguishable in practice from saying, "It's free just as long as you pay for it."

I understand that the service is distinct from the credit report, and that they're probably within the letter of the law (has the FTC or other relevant agency looked into them?), but I still find their marketing practices deceptive and distasteful. I believe one of the news programs highlighted their practices a while back--60 Minutes, maybe.

HorseloverFat
04-06-2009, 10:12 AM
Its pretty scammish, imho. Its like sites that charge you a 10 dollar "downloading fee" to download OpenOffice or some other free software. By law you can view your credit report free once a year. These people are taking advantage of this system and put up misleading ads. Im surprised the FTC hasnt cracked down on them. You can file a complaint with the FTC here:

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

You'll see similar scams that target senior citizens and English as second language speakers, especially mailings that look like checks and in the past telemarketing "deals."

Philster
04-06-2009, 12:16 PM
Freecreditreport.com is run by, and owned by, Experian. It is their direct to consumer service, as opposed to the traditional biz-to-biz model they've run. They have been in trouble with the FTC over it and had to more prominently reveal how the subscription works and all that. I believe they reached a settlement.

TransUnion's similar service is TrueCredit.com.

Equifax just sells their's as Equifax..at Equifax.com

AnnualCreditReport is maintained by all three mentioned above and was mandated by the Feds and the FTC worked with the three reporting agencies on it.

joebuck20
04-06-2009, 12:43 PM
Everytime I see that commercial I want to take the singer's guitar and smash it over his puffy-shirted ass. Dammit, now I got that song stuck in my head.

silk1976
04-06-2009, 02:43 PM
Everytime I see that commercial I want to take the singer's guitar and smash it over his puffy-shirted ass. Dammit, now I got that song stuck in my head.

He should have seen that coming..

Like an atom bomb.

:D

Skywatcher
04-06-2009, 02:49 PM
Their claims aren't false -- the fine print in the ads indicate that you get the free credit report if you enroll in their service.
Which strikes me as being indistinguishable in practice from saying, "It's free just as long as you pay for it." IIRC, there is no charge for the first 12 months of service so it is free as long as the service is discontinued within those 12 months.

Jophiel
04-06-2009, 03:04 PM
For a moment, I thought "You Suck" was my free credit report. I mean, I know it's not perfect but c'mon...

Tim@T-Bonham.net
04-06-2009, 03:05 PM
IIRC, there is no charge for the first 12 months of service so it is free as long as the service is discontinued within those 12 months.Who wants to bet that there will be a lot of difficulties in 'discontinuing' this service?

Rather like AOL or Norton or similar companies.

emmaliminal
04-06-2009, 03:09 PM
IIRC, there is no charge for the first 12 months of service so it is free as long as the service is discontinued within those 12 months.When I paid for it, it was "no charge for the first (single) month" but it was impossible to get through on the line designated for discontinuing service. You could sign up for it online, but not discontinue it online. And you couldn't leave a message. They were "experiencing a higher-than-expected volume of calls due to our recent fantastic offer"... for weeks. :mad:

ENugent
04-06-2009, 03:23 PM
When I paid for it, it was "no charge for the first (single) month" but it was impossible to get through on the line designated for discontinuing service. You could sign up for it online, but not discontinue it online. And you couldn't leave a message. They were "experiencing a higher-than-expected volume of calls due to our recent fantastic offer"... for weeks. :mad:

For what it's worth, I signed up for the free trial a few days ago, and I just cancelled it today with a minimal hold time. It allowed me to get my credit score, in addition to the report, for free.

outside artist
04-06-2009, 03:46 PM
Well, thank you, my people. I'm still not signing up for it and they still suck.

Dallas Jones
04-06-2009, 03:46 PM
First clue is that they can afford prime time television advertising. Who is paying for that if the reports are free?

Markxxx
04-06-2009, 05:57 PM
If you apply for credit and are denied you can also get a free copy of every report that, the company that denied you credit used to arrive at that decision.

If you paid by credit card, dispute the charge when the credit card bill comes.

whiterabbit
04-06-2009, 06:18 PM
For a moment, I thought "You Suck" was my free credit report. I mean, I know it's not perfect but c'mon...

I think mine at this point is a recording of hysterical laughter. As in "You have to be kidding, you want credit???? BWAHAHAHAHA!!!"

I'm working on it, but it's going to be a while.

Jormungandr
04-06-2009, 06:51 PM
They do say indirectly you have to pay at the end of the commercial. It's real quick, but the announcer says "Free with enrollment in Triple Advantage."

Kneepants Erasmus, the Humanist
04-06-2009, 09:11 PM
If it's just the score you are looking for, Credit Karma (http://www.creditkarma.com/) is free.

Mr. Slant
04-06-2009, 09:49 PM
Its pretty scammish, imho. Its like sites that charge you a 10 dollar "downloading fee" to download OpenOffice or some other free software. By law you can view your credit report free once a year. These people are taking advantage of this system and put up misleading ads. Im surprised the FTC hasnt cracked down on them. You can file a complaint with the FTC here:

https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/

You'll see similar scams that target senior citizens and English as second language speakers, especially mailings that look like checks and in the past telemarketing "deals."

If I might add, Equifax is the agency that matters.
Experian is a bunch of punks.
I had a credit union that ONLY reported on Equifax; one lender made some serious mistakes in their appraisal of my risk profile due to using Equifax only in issuing a $25K unsecured line of credit to me.
Way to go, MBNA... loan out $25K to a guy who's trying to borrow his way out of debt without spending the extra $10 to pull a tri-merge.

Seriously, you don't want to know your Experian number... and last time I paid for my "score" with them they didn't even give me a FICO, just their proprietary number, where the scale isn't even related to any of the regular scores.

MannyL
04-06-2009, 10:54 PM
If it's just the score you are looking for, Credit Karma (http://www.creditkarma.com/) is free.


CreditKarma is a FAKO (Fake Score) It does not use the scoring model that Fair Issac has created.

bobot
04-07-2009, 01:32 AM
If it's just the score you are looking for, Credit Karma (http://www.creditkarma.com/) is free.

This sounds interesting...But I'm assuming that if I register, I'll have to give up valuable personal info. To whom is this info being given?

DMC
04-07-2009, 02:06 AM
This sounds interesting...But I'm assuming that if I register, I'll have to give up valuable personal info. To whom is this info being given?They don't sell your info. They make money by using targeted ads, based on your score. It's a one way deal, so while they show the ad, the company being advertised doesn't actually get any info about you unless you give it to them.

I'm pretty leery of giving out personal info, but based on everything I read, I signed up several months ago.

Dewey Finn
04-07-2009, 09:17 AM
The Federal Trade Commission came up with a couple of PSAs to promote the annualcreditreport.com website and which parody (sort of) the freecreditreport.com commercials. Here (http://www.slate.com/id/2215447/) is a Slate magazine article on them.

Philster
04-07-2009, 09:27 AM
Here is a link the FTC.gov and the PSA's...and some helpful info and/or links to the issue at hand.

http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/menus/consumer/credit/rights.shtm

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