On 11/30/2004 I received an email from a co-worker referring me to an article at msnbc.com. The article was titled "Free credit report details announced" and Credit bureaus unveil AnnualCreidtReport.com site. The article was located at http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6576905/?GTI=5807. Basically the article was about how consumers could go to this website and get one free credit report per year beginning December 1. The article also stated: Currently, a number of Web sites offer what are described as free credit reports, but all require trial subscriptions to credit monitoring services. The new Web site, mandated by federal law, will be marketing-free.
In fact, here is the mission statement from annualcreditreport.com:
This central site allows you to request a free credit file disclosure (italics and boldface mine) , commonly called a credit report, once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies: Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. You can also request your report by phone or mail. Monitoring and periodically reviewing your credit report is an effective tool in fighting identity theft.
This is not true!!
It was this story at msnbc.com that prompted me to get a free credit report. I felt it was legitimate, especially coming from msnbc.com. Also, other co-workers who had gotten these free reports stated that you did not have to provide your credit card number to get the report: all that was needed was your name, address, and social security number.
On 12/30/2004, I went to AnnualCreditReport.com and clicked on the button to get a free credit report. I was taken to a page where it asked me for my full name, address, date of birth, and social security number. In fact, I had to create a user account there, which I did.
I was taken to a site that had surfcrawler.com at the top. I got a message that my free credit report would be emailed to me.
On 12/30/2004 I received my free credit report. I clicked on the link and was taken to a page where I could view and print out a hard copy of my free credit report. It appeared I was at surfcrawler.com but actually I was at consumerinfo.com.
On this web page, there was no indication that I was signing up for a trial membership nor that I would charged a monthly fee at a later time after the trial membership expired. There was no instructions on how to cancel a membership either. All I saw was my report and that in had been prepared by Experian. (There were 3 tabs in a row indicating the company name that had prepared the report: Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. Experian was highlighted.) There was no indication that I was signing up for a membership to anything, period. In other words, no fine print at all.
In fact, when requesting the free credit report, I did NOT even select the company to do the credit report; it was selected for me by the website. I believe annualcreditreport.com did it for me.
I also have learned that consumerinfo.com is owned by Experian Information Solutions, which was the company chosen for me to prepare my so-called free credit report.
On 4/4/05, I received my March VISA Card statement. On it I saw a charge that I did not authorize. The posting date was 3/2/05, the transaction date was 2/28/05, reference #6610, from CIC Credit Monitoring, 1-800-220-2626 in California, #36812931. I was charged the $9.95.
In checking my statement for February, I discovered also another $9.95 charge from CIC Credit Monitoring. Unfortunately I did not see this charge as it was during a time of great duressmy wife had miscarried and had undergone a D & C procedure at the time I received the February VISA statement.
I NEVER authorized consumerinfo.com to charge $9.95 to my credit card. I NEVER authorized or consented to a membership to this company. I was signing up to receive a free credit report and that was it. I feel that annualcreditreport.com and consumerinfo.com are in collusion to dupe the public into thinking they are getting a free credit report, while hiding the fact that you are signing up for a free trial membership for their services which rolls over into a paid membership once the free period has expired. (I think it is 30 or 60 days, but nothing was ever mentioned.) This is the very thing that annualcreditreport.com claims to protect consumers from, so I blame them too.
I did not receive any emails indicating that I had signed up for a trial membership and would be charged after the trial expired. I have NOT received any further credit reports, services or emails, so this company is trying to charge me for reports/services that I did not want in the first place and never received. I only requested the one free credit report and that was it. There was never any mention of fees or memberships that I would be charged for.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on consumerinfo.com Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on CIC Credit Monitoring CLICK HERE to read about Credit Card Scams... find out how to get your money back. *Rip-off Report Investigation provides valuable information.