Jesus from South Texas signed up for credit monitoring at the notoriously scammy FreeCreditReport.com. He never received the confirmation email and wasn’t able to access his account, so he never used it, but forgot to call to cancel it. After three months he realized he was being charged $15 a month as per their terms of service, so he went to their site to retrieve his login credentials and was told the account didn’t exist. After that, it took him 4 calls to get the account canceled, and they would only refund him for one month of service. One of their CSRs tried to scare Jesus into keeping the account open because there had been some “suspicious activity” in his credit history that he’d be wise to monitor. Then they told him there is no phone number or email for their “customer satisfaction department”—it can only be reached through snail mail.
So that’s the summary. Here’s the full story in Jesus’ own words:
I found myself swayed by the curiosity of knowing my credit score and I chose to go to the very adamantly advertised freecreditreport.com. Once I was at their website I found out that the free credit report was not really free to begin with, since you had to provide your credit card information and sign for a monthly plan of “free” credit reports and credit change notices. Since I was already there I said, “What the Hell?… Lets do it anyways!”. I completed the sign up process and the website announced that I could access my credit reports once I received a confirmation e-mail which I never received, hence I could never access my credit reports.
I was fully aware that I could cancel the service at any time, but I totally forgot about this because my workload augmented and three months later, when i had a chance to look i noticed that my credit card statement had several more charges (14.95) from freecreditreport.com that reminded me of the “missing confirmation email” and my “never checked” credit report. I tried to sign in on their website, but the password and username where not valid. I expected that since i had never confirmed my account by clicking on the link provided in these kind of emails, then I thought well maybe my username and password where indeed wrong and I went to their forgot your password section and they ask for your full name and social security no., so i thought well this might get me somewhere… I entered my info and the screen said record does not exist.
This is where I tried to cance it… and that is when the s*%& hit the fan.
I tried cancelling the account 4 times and the call either got dropped or i was on hold for ages. I was not expecting anything outrageous from them… I only wanted a full refund for a service that i was charged for and not even used. The people on the other side of the phone were condesending to say the least. They treated me like a child that is asking to play with mommy’s diamond necklace. They gave me phony reasons on why I should keep their service, (even though i could not access it) they told me things like: “are you sure you want to cancel because according to our records there has been suspicious activity in your credit history” as if some dark figure was using my social security no. to conquer the world.
I finally got them to cancel my account, but the lady hung up on me without talking about a refund of any sort, so I called back and explained the situation to a guy named “Guy” (corporate no. 35897) and he said that a refund was out of the question since they had monitored my scores daily and the service was in fact provided. I politely disagreed and explained for the 6th time that i had not even accessed my profile once. He raised his voice and repeated that a refund was out of the question, as if the louder voice was going to make me understand their logic resolution “Let us Screw this guy”. He said that the only ones that could offer me a full refund was their customer satisfaction department, so I asked to be transferred to that department and he said that could not be done. I asked to ask to a supervisor and he defiantly said “why do you want to talk to one?, he is going to tell you the same thing i am”. I was pretty mad, but i kept my cool and asked the number to this department and their e-mail and he said that they did not have one and that the only way to get a hold of them was through a letter and I said “Come on man!!! Y’all have a website, but not email addresses. He agreed to give me a refund for the last month and hung up and forgot to tell me the address to the Customer Satisfaction Dept… I don’t want to call them again and go through that crap again.
Can you advise me on this matter?
Jesus [redacted] from South Texas.
Remember, if you want to pull your credit reports, use AnnualCreditReport.com—that’s the only “free” site where you can get one credit report per agency per year (three per year total).
As for Jesus, we suggest you dispute the charges with your credit card company. You should also write a concise letter to their Customer Care department—the address is on the Contact Us page on their website—and ask them to provide proof that the account was functional during the period when they were billing you for their services, since you were never able to confirm your membership and gain access to the account.