Free credit report, umm, not so fast. It’s really $14.95 a month. Gotcha!
“It’s called FreeCreditReport.com,” he said. “It’s kind of easy to make that assumption. I didn’t see anything in the process of signing up that said, ‘Hey, if you don’t cancel in 30 days or whatever, you’re going to get charged.’ ”
Consumer groups have long objected to sites like FreeCreditReport.com. Consumers may obtain a free credit report each year from the three major agencies, as mandated by an act that Congress passed in 2003. The only authorized site for that is AnnualCreditReport.com.
The three major credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, are required to offer reports through the authorized AnnualCreditReport.com, but the bureaus also make money from their own credit reports.
Experian, which owns FreeCreditReport.com, increased both its site visitors and new member sign-ups by 20 percent in 2007.
I should sign up, actually. This post is a public note to myself to see what lies are contained on my consumer DNA file. As long as I don’t sign up in the wrong place:
The FTC has received complaints from consumers who thought they were ordering their free annual credit report online. Some consumers responded to TV ads, email offers, or simply searched online.
The FTC recently settled a lawsuit against Consumerinfo.com – which did business as Experian Consumer Direct – over the “free credit report” promotion it advertised on television, radio and the Internet, including its websites freecreditreport.com and consumerinfo.com.