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Monday, July 23, 2007


JUST HOW INCOMPETENT WILL U.S. GOVERNMENT AGENCIES BECOME?


If I had to really guess, my conclusion would be that there’s still more ineptitude coming. Especially when it comes to protecting the privacy rights of consumers. The House of Representatives is probing just why the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Reserve haven’t implemented law to help the American public repair errors in their credit reports, according to an article by ConsumerAffairs.com. In a 2004 study done by the U.S. Public Research Interest Group, 79 percent of the credit reports checked had errors of some kind; 25 percent had errors that could result in denial of credit. The law House members refer to requires the major credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion) to “overhaul their customer support procedures and provide free credit reports.” Apparently this isn’t getting done, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) is accusing the Feds of consistent inaction. I wonder how many of these House members are also talking to junk mail and financial industry lobbyists regularly about just why they don’t want the law implemented? Odds are there are several, and the reason they want the inaction to continue is money. Free reports and good customer service costs them mucho bucks, and spending money on the consumer is not in their short term or long term plans. Case in point. For years I have subscribed to Experian’s Credit Manager for $90 a year to be able to access my credit report and credit score any time I want to. Nothing had ever gone wrong until I posted articles on Experian that were unfavorable but true. Soon after, my entire credit history vanished from Credit Manager, and I was unable to access the report. You can read two stories on this issue: “Level of Competence at Experian Credit Bureau Found to Be Low,” and “Experian Denies My Right to Dispute Credit Report Problem.” In summary, I ran into the most incompetent group of customer service representatives—and that includes every level of management—that I have ever experienced anywhere. My credit report finally returned mysteriously, but I have never been given a reason why this happened. Privacy advocates at the House hearing argued that the credit reporting industry has been cost-cutting in their compliance of the FACTA law, which is the one in question, and are even outsourcing their dispute processing to low-wage countries like the Philippines, Jamaica, and Costa Rica. National Consumer Law Center staff attorney, Chi Chi Wu, says credit bureaus “treat disputes as a nuisance…devoting as little resources as possible by using automation that produces formalistic results.” As a major recipient in the $4 billion made annually from the sale of names and personal data, it is time for credit bureaus to clean up their act!

1 comment:

Edward Son said...

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