Monday, May 16, 2011
Time to spout off at something that really rattles my bones, sticks in my craw, pisses me off and in general makes me angry. This is a scam perpetrated by many; it was Freecreditreport.scam that brought it to my attention.
Several years ago I was kicked out of my house by my cheating wife (still don’t know how that works; basically the screamer gets to stay. In a world of sanity, crazy usually wins the battle, but they still have to live in that head). Anyway, I was relegated to a one bedroom apartment with a TV, chair, a pot, pan, spoon and a fork. I signed up for cable and all my utilities and was told by my Gas Company that I needed to have a deposit of $12 because of my poor credit rating.
This was disturbing to me as I had no debt, owned outright the house that I was thrown out of, and always paid my bills on time. I was concerned because of all the TV ads with the dude playing guitar, and Ben Stein playing whack-a-mole, telling me that a poor credit report would cost me money, keep me from working, cause stomach problems, loss of hair, bad breath, and make the Gas Company require a deposit before turning on my gas.
I wanted to find out about my poor credit rating, so I went online to freecreditreport.scam. It was a free service, so why not? It turned out that in order to get the free service they needed my credit card number. When I got my free credit report, which was actually very good, I noticed just before signing off, a note which said, “Unless requested otherwise, you will be charged $7.50 per month. If your credit changes at any time we will notify you by e-mail. “ I did not want this service, so I decided to “request otherwise.”
The website offered no box to check which said, “I DO NOT WANT THIS CRAP!” The site did not even offer a phone number to call and say, “I DO NOT WANT THIS CRAP!” I searched the web for an hour and a half before finding a customer service number for freecreditreport.scam. I was on the phone for another hour pressing numbers which took me through automated circles before finally I was able to scream, “Speak to a human being!”
I spoke to a nice lady who did acknowledge that I DID NOT WANT THIS CRAP, and updated the system to not charge my account. She was nice enough to advise me to make sure I checked that I was not charged and gave me a tracking number which would help me if I was charged in error. I will admit I was never charged for this free service which I did not want.
I am retired. I have the time to track down these people and not pay for something I DO NOT WANT. How many people do not even see the small print? How many people do not have the time to track down the service? How many people never notice the $7.50 monthly charge? By the amount of advertising and the height of their scare tactics, I would say a lot!
Why is your credit report suddenly so important? It is important because someone figured a way to scare the crap out of you and make tons of money. Years ago I had a problem getting a mortgage because of my credit report. The bank told me what the problem was, and I needed to send them a letter explaining why a $30 debt was paid two months late. It did not cost me $7.50 for life to take care of the issue!
A year ago, my wife (not the nut) went over her credit card statement looking at all charges. She is an internet addict, and often signs up for “free” services. She found $65 worth of monthly charges, all in increments of $8 or less, which she was not aware she was paying. It took her two days to stop these charges from recurring.
The government is always passing laws to protect us from ourselves; can they stop this internet fraud? When asked for a credit card number, require the vendor to explain in LARGE PRINT what you will be charged for if you do not request “I do not want this crap.” Then require the vendor to provide an I DO NOT WANT THIS CRAP box to check. Will this put services that no one really wants out of business? YES! That’s the point!
By the way, I called the Gas Company and asked with much indignation why they required a $12 deposit when my credit report was in fact quite good. The response was “I don’t know and we can’t tell you.”
My monthly gas bill was less than the $7.50 monthly charge I almost paid in trying to find out why I was required to give the Gas Company a $12 deposit.
I think the Gas Company and freecreditreport.scam are in cahoots!For more cranky crap, buy my book "Maybe It's Just Me!" @ amazon http://adf.ly/1MJqD