Monday, July 30, 2012

Using Your Credit Card Information To Validate Your Identity For Your Free Account

I really dislike that when I sign up for a free service they ask for my credit card information under the guise of  validating my identity.  I always assume they are going to pull an AOL on me and give me the first month free and then automatically start charging me the next month.

This time I was told that once a year you can get your credit report for free.  I went and searched the internet to find where you do that.  I found several sites, which should've tipped me off that they were going to use this to rope me into a service.  I went to one and they asked all sorts of personal information, but i was asking for a credit report, so I allowed it, even though it made me uneasy.

One of the pieces of information they asked for was a credit card, which they said was used to validate my identity.  That sounded reasonable, even though I hated it.

I entered the credit card information and went to their site to get the report.  It did indeed give me the report from all three credit bureaus.  I then noticed things on the site that said "monitoring" like they were monitoring my credit.  They also had stuff about account information.  I was not intending to create an account with a business.  I just wanted my once a year credit history.

I called their customer service number to cancel whatever account they had created and make sure they never charge my credit card for anything.  The customer service representative confirmed that in one week they were going to begin charging my credit card.  I never saw anything about that in the sign up process.  Everything said give us this piece of information or that piece of information in order to find me and get the report.  Nothing I saw said that I was signing up for their service.  Everything was under the cover of getting the report for free.

This is a very dishonest practice and wreaks of bait and switch, but I thought was against the law.

The company that did it to me this time was call ScoreSense.  Their web site is

While their customer service person answered the phone quickly and was very helpful, I should not have had to call them.  If they are offering a free report I don't mind if they then give me an advertisement for their service, but don't hijack my credit card and lock me into a service that I have to call to cancel.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Key Bank - Upsell

It seems like the only business Key Bank is in is the up sell business.  For a while everytime I would go in there to cash a check and get in and get out, the teller would interview about what type of business I had.  At first I thought it was just to be friendly and make conversation while she processed the checks, but then it always started going down the path of some service I might be interested in.

I wouldn't go into the bank at all if they allowed me to take a picture of the check and deposit it from home, no matter if the branch is open or not.

I would've joined a credit union had it not been because part of my business is in another state and it was easier to have branches in both places for me and my business associates to be able to get to the account.

So going into the process I already do not want to be with Key Bank, then when they try to sell me stuff every time I am forced to go in it makes me dislike banks more.

Today I was forced to go in to deposit checks again.  I had heard previously of financial institutions allowing people to take pictures of checks and deposit them.  I asked the teller as I do every so many months.  She said she though they had some service like that, but I might need to buy one of their check machines.  She then said I needed to go talk to their business person at one of the desks.  On my way to leave her to go to the desk the teller tells me to be sure to ask about some rewards program.

I get to the desk and I stay standing because I just want a yes or no and perhaps some brief instructions on how to use the service or a time frame on when they will offer it.  The business lady ushers me to a chair.  Then she describes, just like the teller, how she doesn't know.  She thinks they have that service, but I would have to buy the machine.  She makes a few calls and finds out that they have the service, if we have a machine, but later this year I might be able to scan from an IPhone app.  She seemed to think I couldn't just scan or take a picture of the check.  She gave me some spiel about security issues.  Clearly a web site could validate the check from a photo as easy, if not easier than an app could from a camera on an IPhone.

At various stages of this process of trying to find out about their service she probes me for questions about my business.  She offer me night deposit or ATM deposits, which I don't trust.  I want to see immediately that it has been processed to my account and not lost.

She ended up having nothing to make my check needs easier, so I went to leave.  She felt compelled to make me take her card.  I had no business I needed to follow up with her for, so she wasted the card, which I threw away when I got home.  She also asked if she could call in a few weeks to follow up with me.  The service I am interested is not available, if at all, until September or October, so why do I need a follow up call, other than for her to try to sell me something.  I gently told her I would check back the next time I had to bring a check it.  I was kind to her, but I was very irritated at all of the wasted time and the attempt to get me to waste more time.  I was also irritated at the constant fishing for information about me and my business, which was not necessary in order to answer my question.

She asked my name.  I gave her my first name.  She then pressed me for my last name.

My whole intent is to cash a check more quickly.  What I got was an extended visit to the bank with a salesperson.