Has Equifax (Canada) given you the run-around too? (Mild, long.)

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.

We get a lot of data on Canadian companies. I’ve been collecting it and trying to use it as evidence that we should pull the rug out from under Equifax. And if they happen to need someone willing to sell management reports in Vancouver, well I know just the guy to do it! :smiley:

But the Powers that Be aren’t interested yet. One manager told me that they may be interested in the future. I’m just ahead of my time.

Equifax was great in sending a report right away, but are being asshols about removing 4 $0 balances from my file that have been there for 6 years. Fuckers.

I know that I’m not in Cananda, but I had no problem getting my credit report from all three agencies operating in the U.S. (I bought them from their sites on the internet and viewed them on-line; I printed them, too); however, I did have a problem with Equifax refusing to stop e-mailing me (at my spam-centric address), even after I wrote back to them and asked them to, you know, quit it.

At one point they wrote and told me to log on to their site and choose the “Opt-Out” box in my member profile.

“Huh,” I thought to myself. “That’s fairly easy; I wonder why I didn’t think of that before?” Turns out, though, that I did think of that before (because it was checked when I logged in) when I signed up to get my credit report; in fact, the opt-out choice on their site is not meant to curtail their SPAM, but, instead, is meant to keep them from giving your information to third parties.

So, immediately I composed and sent this e-mail to them:

Their response in less than an hour?

Oddly enough, that made my day. :slight_smile:

I’ve never had a problem with them, and found they reply quite quick.

Also, there is a place you can get a report from in Canada, but I forget the name right now.

Thus far, all my dealings with the three major credit agencies in the US have been positive.

A year ago, I requested all three reports ($9 each) from each agency’s website, and viewed them online immediately. I also filed a dispute to correct the status of an old account online with all three agencies, and they all sent me notices confirming that they were fixed within a couple weeks.

Recently, I again ordered all three reports (including credit scores) all through one website, truecredit.com, which I highly reccomend. This time, Equifax had an account listed which wasn’t mine. (It was opened when I was 9 years old. How it just recently got on my credit report is a complete mystery.) But anyway, I filled out the dispute form again, and a week later got a letter confirming that it had been deleted.

The error rates on credit reports seem to me to be alarmingly high. (OTOH, maybe I’m just unlucky.) But I have never had a problem getting them corrected, and dealing with the agenices on the internet has always been quick and painless.

This does not make me happy; I mailed my request to them on them almost three weeks ago (Including my DL, a copy of a bank statement, and just for the heck of it, my University ID). I foolishly expected a reply via regular mail within 5 to 10 days (ya know, like it said on the form).

I emailed them a few days back but haven’t gotten anything back yet… like you, I found the note on the form “If you have any further inquiries about delivery, please contact using our toll-free number below” infuriating due to its complete uselessness. :mad:

The info about the CAI I might find useful (hopefully not though…)
In the meantime, anyone got anything good to say about our alternative credit bureau, the Trans Union of Canada?

Nanoda, find out what the provincial legislation is like in Alberta with regard to credit bureaus (and other agencies that report personal information) and how much time they have to reply to a request. If you find a body in Alberta equivalent to the CAI, email them with an inquiry as to how to proceed with Equifax, and cc Equifax (consumer.relations@equifax.com). That should get you a reply from Equifax.

But in your case, since you sent everything by mail (I faxed my info), I’d wait another couple of weeks.

I’ll keep the Consumer Information Centre phone number handy… Equifax finally e-mailed me back, claiming they haven’t recieved my request yet. Even attributing a ludicrous amount of delay to Canada Post, this still seems unbelievable. I’m pretty sure I know where the actual fuckups are happening. :mad:

I’ll be damned if I’m gonna pay these bastards to give me my report online. I haven’t checked, but the only reason they can be giving them free by mail is 'cause it’s federally mandated, and if they’re too focused on the $$$ making side of their semi-monopoly, that’s too freak’n bad.

I can’t decide whether to fax them a new request or not. On the plus side it means they’ve definately got it, on the minus, it means more of my personal stuff flying around a place that clearly can’t handle any in the first place.

Yes, indeed, if you PAY for a credit report, it seems like you nearly ALWAYS have supplied them with adequate info. However, if you ask for your FREE-required-by-law credit report- you get delays & runarounds.

Nanoda- they got your info the 1st time. They are just pulling your chain. HOW DARE YOU DEMAND YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS?! :rolleyes:

Hm. Funny, I’ve never had a problem with Equifax.

I’ve gotten my credit report from them a few times over the years. I call them, fax my info and have my credit report within two weeks, IIRC.

Only once was there even anything wrong on my report. There was a $2800.00 debt showing, reported by TransUnion. I told Equifax that it was erroneous, they investigated and removed it without further ado.
The name Creditel is sort of rattling around in my head. Have you tried them? I’m not even sure if they’re still around, or if they do consumers or what. Or, how about Dun & Bradstreet?

I have no idea if these agencies compile credit reports on consumers as well as businesses, but it might be worth a try.

Oops. Anyway, you hit the nail on the head, there, Nanoda. When they’re getting money, they snap to attention PDQ.

A creditor who’s a member of Equifax or TransUnion, with half-assed information on a consumer, can get their credit file in seconds, once authorized by the consumer.

A consumer who faxes or sends their information but forgot to list their blood type on the form - oops, sorry, try again. :rolleyes:

A consumer with a credit card who’s willing to pay with said credit card will get their credit file online in seconds.

If I had a credit card, I wouldn’t be seeking my credit file. But that’s just me.

It seems to me the free service by mail is indeed something they only do because they’re required to by law. Notice in my OP how, as soon as I got on their case by mentioning a governmental body (and then emailed said governmental body, cc’ing Equifax), they suddenly reply? And my credit report is suddenly sent out on the 30th day (a Saturday, at that)?

Like I said, all of my future correspondence with them will be cc’d to the Quebec CAI, with an explanation why the gov’t body is being included. That seems to me the best way to get Equifax to act.

Well, I got my credit report yesterday. Imagine my surprise: there’s hardly anything in it. Two credit cards, one reported as being paid, the other with a $0 balance but reported as being a bad debt - but I have proof that it was paid and when, so that entry will be changed. Then the little voluntary deposit thing is on as public record information. Since the date settled is listed as unknown (it was settled in 2000), it’s still listed (Equifax only keeps voluntary deposit information for three years). Once I straighten that out, I can get that listing purged - it’s the big strike against me, since it’s viewed as a bankruptcy, even though it’s more of a government-managed consumer proposal wherein you actually pay everyone back every cent you owe. (Which I did.)

But there must be more. There simply must be. So I’m sending a request to TransUnion. What about that student loan? Or that other credit card? Or those times I was late with the phone bill?

I mean, if TransUnion comes back with nothing much more, and I can get the worst stuff purged, I might actually be able to re-establish my credit a bit sooner than 2007, or at least start.

And, BTW, there’s only those two credit reporting agencies in Canada.

scott, I wouldn’t be surprised if there isn’t anything else there.

Many times, late bill payments and such are removed the month after it’s been settled (although they are on there for the month you’ve missed the payment).

Since I was unemployed for 3 months (and as yet am still waiting for a cheque from my new job), I’ve been panicking about my chances of getting a house in the next 5 years. My mom told me that although some people have mistakes on their reports, many companies update their debtor info monthly. So even if you had your phone cut off for non-payment in 2000, as long as you settled it, it’s probably not on your credit report now. Since this sounded too good to be true, I went to the Equifax website and looked at their “Credit Report FAQ”.

It was good news. Debts (or lines of credit) are given a rating, starting at 0 and going up to 9. 0 means that the line of credit has never been used. 9 means that the debtor tried to skip out (and didn’t leave a forwarding address), or defaulted. These ratings are generally updated monthly. And most settled debts are purged, never to bother you again.

Collection agencies feed on people’s fear that if they don’t pony up $700 for their cell phone bill by Friday, they’ll never get a mortgage, but that’s simply not true.

Yeah, kfl, I’m not surprised. Example: around June of 2002 (when I was still in the insanity of my drinking, and so wasn’t paying any bills except my weekly dépanneur tab) Hydro-Québec got on my case, and said they’d cut off the power if I didn’t pay or call to make arrangements within 48 hours. (I hadn’t paid for about six months.) When I called and was on hold, the recording said they were authorized to require your SIN for credit reporting purposes.

No trace of Hydro on the credit report. Or Bell. Or Vidéotron. Or the ISP who cut me off in 1999. Or anyone else I didn’t pay, for that matter.

We’ll see what the TransUnion credit report says. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

Hmm. There do seem to be only two consumer credit reporting agencies.

I can get credit info on certain individuals through my business account at Dun & Bradstreet, but they need to have applied for credit from me in the first place.

So, sorry that wasn’t very helpful, scott. But it sounds like you’re starting to see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel credit-wise now, anyway.

Good luck.

You should always get a report from both TransUnion and Equifax - different debtors use different ones and they do not have to coincide.

I personally wrote to them and got back a report in a timely mannger as I had the same suspicions as you (re: quick to add slow to remove), but the blood sucking vampires did. I was in discussion with a bullshit collection agency on a Canadian Tire credit card I am 100% sure I paid off. They said I didn’t and that it would affect my credit rating. Since the amount was only $300 I paid it of (cost/benefits decision, just wasn’t enough money to fight over - I had perfect credit).

I ordered the report to make sure they didn’t do anything. As I said I got it on time. My best buddy though feverently tells his story where they never got back to him no matter how many times he writes to them. Same deal re: no human to talk to. BS if you ask me.