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  • FIRST POST
    WD40
    Experian - Be Warned
    • #1
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:08 PM
    Experian - Be Warned 8th Apr 09 at 5:08 PM
    Before you do business with Experian, make sure to read the following links. Experian has a long track record of being unscrupulous, being fined on more than one occasion.

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news0...ss_action.html

    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/privacy/experian.html

    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/11277/page/1

    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/01/busysignal.shtm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experian#Controversies

    http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudicati..._ADJ_45538.htm

    http://www.asa.org.uk/asa/adjudicati..._ADJ_45826.htm

    edit: Note that as of August 2009, the ASA have taken the view that I was correct in my assertion, i.e. that Experian have tried to obfuscate the fact that I was signing up to be recurrently billed, i.e. not a free trial. Experian were first fined in 2005 for this practice - it's nice to know they're carrying on the company's tradition.

    Whilst, as you will see, the forum's bullies didn't agree with my point of view (Experian employees are known to visit this site), the ASA took my side and adjudicated as such :-)

    __________________________________________________ __

    Hi,

    Having clicked on an advert offering a ‘free credit report’ from Experian, I decided to take advantage - to check nothing untoward was going on in my name. When inputting my details, I was given the following message (copied from their site):


    Why do we need your card details?


    We need your card to verify your identity. If you choose to stay as a member after your free 30 day trial your card will be charged the monthly membership fee of £6.99.


    Don’t worry, your card will NOT be charged for membership during your free 30 day trial and there is no obligation to continue with the service after the trial period.


    As can be seen, the registration wording is engineered to make the user believe Experian need their card details for the credit check, not so that they can be billed on a recurring basis. Having checked my credit card statement, I was horrified to see that Experian had charged me on several occasions for a subscription I never knew I had. The above message in no way makes it clear that, after 30 days, the user’s credit card is automatically debited, and recurrently every 30 days thereafter.

    How ironic is it, that people use Experian to check that they’re not having debts incurred in their name without their permission, when all the time, Experian is doing exactly that!

    Whereas my complaint is merely pointing out that Experian are using cleverly-worded statements to earn money by stealth, others have experienced far, far more worrying problems with Experian: consumeraffairs.com/privacy/experian.html

    Experian are old hands at using customers’ credit cards for stealth profit:

    Taken from Wikipedia
    In August 2005 Experian accepted that it had violated the Federal Trade Commission rules relating to the provision of free credit reports by mandating members to provide credit card information before a request is fulfilled. The Federal Trade Commission's fraud unit received several complaints regarding this tactic and agreed to a settlement with the company


    complaintsboard.com/complaints/11277/page1

    Experian’s history of using stealth to make a sneaky buck goes back a long way, getting fined on this occasion:

    Ftc.gov/opa/2000/01/busysignal.shtm

    Put 'www' before the links to get them to work

    You have been warned!
    Last edited by WD40; 05-08-2009 at 11:35 AM.
Page 1
    • lisyloo
    • By lisyloo 8th Apr 09, 5:10 PM
    • 23,247 Posts
    • 11,777 Thanks
    lisyloo
    • #2
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:10 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:10 PM
    I've signed up for this before and it was crystal clear you'd get billed if you didn't cancel.
    I don't think you've read it carefully enough.
    But thanks for warning people anyway.
  • WD40
    • #3
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:14 PM
    • #3
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:14 PM
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/privacy/experian.html

    http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/11277/page/1


    http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2000/01/busysignal.shtm

    What's worrying about Experian's complaints records isn't, as with many large companies, that they make errors - far from it. The persistent theme is that their sole motive is to extract as much as they can from users via stealth - without a thought for the consumer.

    Make sure to read the links - not a nice company.


  • clairbear
    • #4
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:18 PM
    • #4
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:18 PM
    I also took the opportunity to view my creditfile for the free 30 days and it was clear at the time you had to cancel before the term ended or be billed.Was quite suprised not to get hassled when cancelling infact operater was very polite
  • WD40
    • #5
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:19 PM
    • #5
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:19 PM
    I've signed up for this before and it was crystal clear you'd get billed if you didn't cancel.
    I don't think you've read it carefully enough.
    But thanks for warning people anyway.
    Originally posted by lisyloo
    Read the quote. Why does it say 'we need your card details to verify your identity'? .

    Why didn't they just say 'we need your details because we intend to bill you on a recurring basis'.

    The whole thing is sneaky and uses stealth. They know naive people such as myself are out there, and have a prepared speech to give you if you complain. I only used the site once, on a free trial, yet they still charged me and refuse a refund. This setup is the snide face of capitalism.

    My complaint is the least of any Experian user's worries - read the links!
  • WD40
    • #6
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:21 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:21 PM
    I can well imagine Experian have employees that are members of this site. I've actually been instructed by companies I used to work for that I should sign up to forums and extol their virtues.

    Read the other links - a nice company, not.
    • gomer
    • By gomer 8th Apr 09, 5:24 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 943 Thanks
    gomer
    • #7
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:24 PM
    • #7
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:24 PM
    Hate to be the one to say it but none of this is new news with Experian.
    • watersedge
    • By watersedge 8th Apr 09, 5:29 PM
    • 19 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    watersedge
    • #8
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:29 PM
    Experian 30 day trial
    • #8
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:29 PM
    I also carried out a check, updated my voters roll details and then cancelled before the 30 days was up. I will check to see that I have not been charged. Again the operator I spoke to was very helpful.

    Money saving this money is doing a bit of DIY - painting bedrooms/hall etc with the paint runner which is doing the job in half the time. Money saved so far I'm sure is in the region of £200 and more.
    • Joe_Bloggs
    • By Joe_Bloggs 8th Apr 09, 5:29 PM
    • 4,480 Posts
    • 1,577 Thanks
    Joe_Bloggs
    • #9
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:29 PM
    • #9
    • 8th Apr 09, 5:29 PM
    MSE Martin has information on the how to get free trials offered by Experian and Equifax and also how to get out of them here.
    J_B.
    • gomer
    • By gomer 8th Apr 09, 5:31 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 943 Thanks
    gomer
    The wording from the page that asks for your card details seems pretty clear to me -

    Why do we need your card details?
    We need your card to verify your identity. If you choose to stay as a member after your free 30 day trial your card will be charged the monthly membership fee of £6.99.
    Donít worry, your card will NOT be charged for membership during your free 30 day trial and there is no obligation to continue with the service after the trial period.
  • WD40
    Hate to be the one to say it but none of this is new news with Experian.
    Originally posted by gomer
    My suspicion exactly. One of the links I quoted illustrates how they were fined, several years ago, for pursuing a tactic of not making their terms visible prior to taking card details.

    I admit that I probably didn't give as much attention as I could to the small print. The statement 'we need your card details to verify your identity' lulled me into a sense of false security.


    Experian has a proven record as a snide company. I feel mugged. I should've searched Google first - thousands of horror stories are out there - mainly due to their 'stealth' profit strategies.
    • gomer
    • By gomer 8th Apr 09, 5:37 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 943 Thanks
    gomer

    My suspicion exactly. One of the links I quoted illustrates how they were fined, several years ago, for pursuing a tactic of not making their terms visible prior to taking card details.

    I admit that I probably didn't give as much attention as I could to the small print. This was due to 2 reasons: the statement 'we need your card details to verify your identity' lulled me into a sense of false security; I didn't believe a sanctioned credit rating agency would implement a technique usually only seen on suspect websites such as those peddling porn.

    Experian has a proven record as a snide company. I feel mugged. I should've searched Google first - thousands of horror stories are out there - mainly due to their 'stealth' profit strategies.
    Originally posted by WD40


    See my post above, they make it perfectly clear before you enter your card details. Secondly if you didn't give much attention to the small print (and it's not small print anyway) then i am afraid you have to shoulder some of the responsibility for any misunderstandings.

    You have to enter into these things with your eyes open & read the terms that you are agreeing to rather than finding out afterwards.
  • WD40
    See my post above, they make it perfectly clear before you enter your card details. Secondly if you didn't give much attention to the small print (and it's not small print anyway) then i am afraid you have to shoulder some of the responsibility for any misunderstandings.

    You have to enter into these things with your eyes open & read the terms that you are agreeing to rather than finding out afterwards.
    Originally posted by gomer
    The first sentence 'verify your identity' threw me off the scent. I didn't expect a goverment-licensed body to implement the kind of tactic usually only seen on porn sites. I asked a 'web programmer if he'd seen the technique outside of porn websites - he said 'no'.
    • gomer
    • By gomer 8th Apr 09, 5:44 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 943 Thanks
    gomer
    Well maybe he needs to stop watching porn. It happens all over the internet. Would you give me your card details without fully checking what i intended to do with them first?
    • jd87
    • By jd87 8th Apr 09, 5:48 PM
    • 2,269 Posts
    • 1,211 Thanks
    jd87
    If you choose to stay as a member after your free 30 day trial your card will be charged the monthly membership fee of £6.99.
    Seems pretty clear to me...

  • bigbum
    I've been using Experian off and on to check my credit file for the last couple of years. I've never had any problems when calling to cancel the subscription. I like to check every 3-6 months and always call them to cancel subscrpition a few days after paying. Experian then tell me when my access will expire.

    As someone else said, the 'small print' is pretty clear on fees and payment.
  • archived user
    I too must say that I think they make it very clear that you must cancel to prevent your card being charged.

    They also make it easy to do so, I've done it myself.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm no fan of Experian but in this case I don't think they're being sneaky or acting like a 'porn' site.

    UNDERGROUND
  • young_victor_meldrew
    Callcredit
    Callcredit did the same, then gave me pure BS for 6 weeks making every excuse they could not to refund me for the £12 they took from my card on day 1 of my "free 3 month trial"

    I have had to chargeback my Credit Card as they are refusing to accept their advert is a misleading con trick!
  • WD40
    Well maybe he needs to stop watching porn. It happens all over the internet. Would you give me your card details without fully checking what i intended to do with them first?
    Originally posted by gomer
    No. But you're not a government-sanctioned credit checking agency, are you?

    The spiel given to me by the Experian employee was highly rehearsed. It was clear that she had it memorised, and has given it to many people before.

    My fault is that I didn't expect a govt-sanctioned credit body to implement a technique only seen elsewhere on 'seedy' websites.

    BTW - As I said before, my complaint is the least of any Experian-user's worries. There are hundreds of people out there who've really had their lives negatively affected, as opposed to having a few quid taken from their wallet like I did.
  • archived user
    Callcredit did the same, then gave me pure BS for 6 weeks making every excuse they could not to refund me for the £12 they took from my card on day 1 of my "free 3 month trial"

    I have had to chargeback my Credit Card as they are refusing to accept their advert is a misleading con trick!
    Originally posted by young_victor_meldrew
    This isn't the same scenario as the OP, it seems they were charged after the introductory period, not during.

    UNDERGROUND
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