I decided to get my credit report, which is free in Canada (unless you want to get it instantly online). I messed up pretty badly while I was in university and a few years thereafter, and destroyed my credit rating. Luckily, I was bailed out with a consolidation loan (which I wasn’t able to take out myself, but anyway) on which I have about a year’s worth of payments left.
However, even though everything was paid off in 2000, I want to know what’s in my credit file. From what I hear, collection agencies are very good at reporting delinquent accounts to credit bureaus, but very bad at reporting when they’ve been paid in full. And I’m pretty sure that because I filed for voluntary deposit (a Quebec-only thing) in 1999, some items have been recorded twice.
So I download the request form from Equifax’s web site and fax it to them along with photocopies of I.D. and proof of address. And wait. I send emails. No reply.
Perhaps, I figured, my identification and proof of address was insufficient. So I fill out another request form and fax it with photocopies of every single piece of I.D. in my wallet - including my gym membership card - and even more proof of address. This time, I write a cover letter saying that this is my second request, and that my previous emails had gone unanswered.
All this time, of course, there’s no possible way to get through to a human on their toll-free line. Not one menu on their automated system allows you to do so at any point. (This I mention in my cover letter.)
And I wait.
So I do some research on Government of Quebec web sites, and discover a little body called the Commission d’accès à l’information (Access to Information Commission), which stipulates that a credit bureau has 30 days from receipt of a request to either i) send the credit file, ii) refuse to send the credit file, let’s say if they need more information, or iii) communicate in some way with the requestor.
Realizing Equifax’s 30 days were almost up, I became angrily giddy. (Or giddily angry.) I wrote another letter pointing out the CAI’s rules (basically, the law), some more legal mumbo jumbo, mentioned again how it’s impossible to speak with a representative on their toll-free line, mentioned that none of my emails had been replied to, and tell them they have until Sept. 28 (a Sunday) to do something and make me aware of it, or else I’m siccing the CAI on their ass. This letter I faxed and also sent by email, cc’d to the CAI.
So then I email the CAI with a sternly-worded letter, telling them that Equifax is giving me the shaft, that their 30 days are almost up, and asking what I should do. This email I cc to Equifax.
The next day (Equifax’s last business day to do anything), I get a voicemail from the CAI… and, mysteriously, minutes later, an email from Equifax. What do they want? My personal information. AGAIN. For the third time. I reply, telling them I don’t know why they need this information again, but here it is.
I get an email yesterday, sent Saturday the 27th (the day before their time was up), informing me my credit file had been sent. Then I get another email - someone at Equifax clicked “reply” to the cc’d email to the CAI - telling me the same thing. Hmm. :dubious:
Yesterday I get home from work, and there’s an envelope from Equifax. My credit file? No, a letter sent September 25, with my original request, telling me my proof of address was insufficient. This fully eight days after I sent my second request, with more than adequate proof of address. WTF? :smack:
They were buying time, I’m sure of it.
Anyway, the credit file’s now on its way.
I knew that collection agencies were notorious for dicking people around. Getting letters from them to prove I had paid everything off was like pulling the fetid, rotting teeth of a 40-something, unmarried sad sack of shit who lives with his parents and masturbates to girl-on-girl scheisse porn every night before going to his sick job of harassing people and walking the fine line of the law, breaking it now and then for fun. But a credit bureau? I didn’t think they were in the business of shafting consumers - just reporting information, oh how noble!
I don’t care if it’s because it’s free in Canada (regardless of whether or not you’ve been denied credit) - we have much stricter laws here about this kind of thing (which is why you can’t get “bad credit unsecured credit cards” here).
I’m not looking forward to having any and all false information purged from my file. That will probably be even more exasperating. Registered letters this time, with copies sent to whatever governmental body oversees this kind of thing. (The cover letter will state the reason why I’m sending copies of everything to said governmental body - Equifax dicked me around, and I don’t intend on letting them do that again.)
Tell me your credit bureau story. Not your collection agency story. Your credit bureau story.