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Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Free Credit Reports

About a month ago, Nate and I were signing up for some offers in the hopes of getting a free ipod touch. All of the offers went smoothly, and I decided to sign up for a free credit report so I could see what's going on there, and I figured I'd just cancel the membership before the thirty day trial was up. Easy.

Well, it didn't work out that way. Apparently, some of the information I provided did not exactly match the information they had on file, (like my address history, which is complicated) and they said they would send me an access code in the mail. I think I figured that, because I hadn't ever actually accessed my account, I wouldn't be charged for anything, the trail must not have started, and I'd just give it a rest.

Well, that didn't work. Because I'd attempted to get a credit report, my account was charged 30 days later.

Strike one.

AND I had never received the promised access code in the mail. As a result, as soon as my account was charged, I attempted to log in to cancel the account, and I couldn't get in because I was without said access code.

Strike two.

So I finally call the customer service number to cancel the account. The lady on the other end of the line is clearly hired to help me keep my account, and so she asks exactly what happened, etc. I explain the situation, and she tells me that security can unlock my account so that I can check my report. I agree that, because I've paid for the service, I should probably check it at least once, since it's clear that I'm not getting my money back. I'm transferred.

The woman on that line is also pretty nice. She asks me the questions that I apparently missed when trying in the first place, and then, after checking with her supervisor, unlocks my account. I hang up, go online, print the report, and immediately call back to cancel the account.

I'm on hold this time for a minute or two. Then a man answers the phone. All of these people who I've talked to have accents, by the way, the first sounded Spanish--but like my friend from Spain, not my friends from South America. Maybe Argentina. Anyway. The second was Southern, and I would guess she was from North-east Texas or Arkansas if I had to. This guy though, had this odd cross between a stereotyped southern Californian, and a southern gent. Seriously, it was a weird combination. He's also clearly hired to make me keep my account, and he starts by asking what happened. From here on out, every phrase or statement I made ended with, "Thank you, but I want to close my account."

ME: Explain story to him, basically the same as before with the lady, but with the update of accessing my account.
HIM: Pause..."well," pause "Why don't you just keep your account?"
ME: "Because I've already accessed it, and the benefits are not worth the price per month for me." Add phrase.
HIM: But, I see that you've accessed your account now, and (insert some company information)
ME: same phrase
HIM: Benefits of staying with the company
ME: Same phrase
HIM: finally cancels my account.

Strike three, and I'm finally out of there.

The funny thing was is, if I had to guess, I would say that I was his first call of the day. The first statement couldn't be on the script that he was using for the rest of it, and there were definite pauses at times. I also don't understand why this works the way it does, because most businesses have these people who are supposed to talk you out of your decision to cancel. Seems to me, that if someone's already decided to quit, you should just let them go.

All-in-all, I think the service is worth only the free trial, and now that I've got a list of my own information, at least I can answer those silly questions right the first time.


  1. Did you use your customer service voice on him?

  2. So, I signed up to get my free credit report and didn't read the fine print about the monthly fees and ended up with like 6 months worth. Ya, I is smart. When I called to cancel they tried their darndest to make me want to keep it. At the end I was shrieking at the guy, "You already got 6 months worth of unintentional payments from me! Cancel my damn account already!" Oh yes, I damned. I was that annoyed and frustrated.

  3. ooh..that's rough. I just had to use the calm, "I already looked at your services and I reject them" voice (which does sound kind of like the customer service voice, actually) and it only took about 4 times of rejecting to get it to work.