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.

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