Round 38: TransUnion vs Diebold

This is Round 38 in our Worst Company in America contest, TransUnion vs Diebold!Here’s what readers said in previous rounds about why they hate these two companies…


“TransUnion still has me living in Maryland. It’s only been 8 years since I’ve done so. Nevermind the mortgage for a home in Arizona or anything contextual that’d lead them to believe their data is wrong. Ironically, they informed me that I indeed still resided in Maryland — even after I told them I didn’t. Wonderful conversation that was, lots of “um, I think I know where I live”, countered with “you’d be surprised!””

“For the past three years I’ve been unable to get my free credit report online from them because they keep thinking I have an account with them, and the “forgot my password” page tells me it will not send a password because I’ve had too many login attempts in the past. Assholes. It’s not ID theft here, it’s just a really awful website that won’t let me have what I am legally entitled to.”

“TransUnion mixed up my credit report with my dad’s because we have the same name. Some of my loans and lines of credit are on his credit report and vice versa.”

“TransUnion makes it nearly impossible to purchase ONE single credit report. They tell you left right and center how to purchase the $45 dollar trilogy or the expensive monitoring service or any of their other products. But go try to order one credit report. Its not intuitive at all.”


“Diebold steals our votes & therefore our country. Diebold is the worst!”

“Hmm… I’m going with the company that hires executives convicted of federal crimes of fraud, insider trading, etc. and makes machines that determine the future of our county yet have virtually no security.”

“When the CEO says he is, “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year” during the 2004 election and the senior executives Diebold were active fundraisers for Bush, that’s a bad sign. I understand the executives as a person v. as representative of a company distinction. But at a certain point, it raises questions related to impartiality.”

“Diebold has been very closed towards any 3rd party review of their voting software. Just this alone makes the company dangerous as sin.”

“The issue isn’t crackpot theories since those always exist. The real problem is not if something happend, but how ridiculously easy it could happen. Not to mention their going after professors researching the voting machines for the public good.”

“Voting machines made by a biased company. Talk about a bad idea.”

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2008 series. The companies nominated for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. Keep track of all the goings on at

STILL OPEN FOR VOTING: Best Buy vs CompUSA, DeBeers vs Verizon, Exxon vs United Airlines, Sony vs Ticketmaster, Comcast vs The American Arbitration Association


Edit Your Comment

  1. At least Diebold makes an actual product of some value. TransUnion is just a really bad information broker, reminiscent of the soon-to-be-obsolete Realtor(tm) profession.

  2. B says:

    I’m voting for Diebold because of the complete lack of security or 3rd party review of their software. Also, they make ATMs, and everybody hates those, right?

  3. hypnotik_jello says:

    @Dont Know Me? You Are Me.: I guess free, fair, and accountable elections don’t mean much to you?

  4. IphtashuFitz says:

    I think TransUnion should win this one. They affect every single person in the US whether you know it or not, and if they screw up your credit report it can cause all sorts of problems for a LONG time. Yes, I know Diebold has screwed up elections with their lousy voting machines but at least that’s getting resolved by more and more states going back to paper ballots, requiring paper audit trails, etc. Don’t forget that Diebold also manufactures ATM’s and other banking hardware/software that doesn’t have the problems associated with their voting machine fiasco. I’ve never heard a good thing about TransUnion…

  5. TU for the loss. Diebold may have a rep for crappy voting machines, but they make good ATMs and locksets and have other lines of business.

    TU is the worst agency in one of the sketchiest lines of business on earth. When I fought some fraud several years ago, I expended 10x as much effort with them as I did with the other two bureaus combined. And their data is always different from the other two (for the worse, and not accurate).

    Of course, Diebold has that whole voting machine issue, so it may carry more water for some people.

  6. Jaysyn was banned for: says:

    Diebold hates our freedom.

  7. ajc308 says:

    @Dont Know Me? You Are Me.: So if a company made faulty nuclear bombs, thew would still be better than TransUnion?

  8. brianala says:

    I’d rather have my credit score screwed with than my elections. My vote goes to Diebold.

  9. vladthepaler says:

    i voted for Answer 4. Answer 4 sucks!

  10. BadBoyNDSU says:

    Does no one else see asdasdasd?

  11. weakdome says:

    Is this a joke on the Virgin Mobile FAQ posting from earlier? hahahaha

  12. qwickone says:

    I don’t understand how people can vote for TransUnion. Diebold affects the course of the nation!

  13. CharlieInSeattle says:

    I guess people hate freedom. Diebold should win hands down. Voting is more important to me than a credit score. Can’t vote anyway the vote is screwed up.

  14. SacraBos says:

    I completely fail to understand how a company that can make such reliable ATM’s can make voting machines so crappy that it’s better to have people marking slips of paper.

    However, making crappy voting machines are only part of their business. TransUnion entire business is crappy information broke-erage.

    I vote for TU this round.

  15. Juliekins says:

    Diebold makes really shitty, really insecure print accounting software. I’ve never used their vote stealing machines, and I’ve never had a problem with one of their ATMs, but their print accounting software bloooooooooows.

  16. BadBoyNDSU says:
  17. ret3 says:

    Of course Diebold’s gonna win; they’re old pros at rigging this sort of thing…

  18. bot001220 says:


    “I think TransUnion should win this one. They affect every single person in the US whether you know it or not”

    Oh, and I suppose corrupt elections don’t affect every single person in the US?

    You have to remember: the corrupt politicians that Diebold gives power to are the people that let TransUnion, et al. get away with murder.

  19. rmz says:

    “When the CEO says he is, “committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year” during the 2004 election and the senior executives Diebold were active fundraisers for Bush, that’s a bad sign. I understand the executives as a person v. as representative of a company distinction. But at a certain point, it raises questions related to impartiality.”

    Diebold for that^ reason.

  20. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    TransUnion can only steal our financial reputation.
    Diebold steals our elections, freedom & democracy.

    Diebold is the worst, by an overwhelming margin.
    TranUnion is a bunch of pikers in this contest!

  21. fuzzycuffs says:

    Where TransUnion might be messing up the lives of a few select individuals, Diebold has helped mess up the entire country.

  22. @hypnotik_jello: “@Dont Know Me? You Are Me.: I guess free, fair, and accountable elections don’t mean much to you?”

    Only when they go his way.

  23. BlackFlag55 says:

    Oooooo. This is starting to get tougher to make the choice. Hell One or Hell Two? Alex, I’ll take Hell Two for Diebold’s cross platform back end sorcery for undisclosed participants and undisclosed agendas.

    But Transunion? May they (balance omitted for the sake of deceny) with diseased monkeys until (balance omitted for sake of deceny) while (ibid) and (ibid) and DIAF.

  24. cmdrsass says:

    “Diebold steals our elections”

    Lol. Voted TransUnion.

  25. BloggyMcBlogBlog says:

    Is it too late to nominate Gawker Media for their broken commentating software?

  26. Nighthawke says:

    Diebold to take this one. Only a bunch of MORONS would try to sell hackable voting systems, then try to claim IP rights when they get audited.

  27. hi says:

    I voted Diebold but my vote went to TransUnion. :(

  28. SkokieGuy says:

    Dieblold manufactures voting machines designed without auditable verifyable paper print outs, despite the fact that every Diebold ATM machine in the world produces a paper print-out.

    Anyone interested in our voting process should view the documentary Uncounted {[] Learn about things like the precinct with under 700 voters that the electronic voting machines indicated cast over 2,500 votes (for Bush of course). Learn about the computer programer that was asked to design a program to ‘flip’ votes.

    All the media and talk radio debates about Hillary vs. Obama are just pop-culture masturbation to keep us occupied and create a false sense of political awareness. The next President will be Republican, (and yes, I am a progressive Democrat). The election will be stolen, votes manipulated – just like the last election

    Watch the next President’s first act of office to be to pardon the entire Bush administration – or at least those not already pardoned on Bush’s way out.

  29. Bladefist says:

    consumerist: think your poll is screwing up your css on your site.

    everyone else: don’t be such conspiracy theorist.

  30. highmodulus says:

    Was waiting for the apologist, and wasn’t disappointed.

    Another landslide vote.

  31. sleze69 says:

    This was a tough one. Although I hate all 3 of the credit rating companies, I believe that TransUnion has my highest rating.

    Diebold still hasn’t opened their software for scrutiny. Because voting is at the very foundation of our society, anyone who undermines it, either through direct action or incompetance, is guilty of treason in my book. I am waiting for the day for a Diebold whistleblower to come out and detail what exactly their software did when Ohio was “delivered.”

    Diebold, FTW.

  32. SkokieGuy says:

    @sleze69: Rent or buy the movie Uncounted. Whistleblowers are coming out of the woodwork, and analysis of public election data paints a very sad tale of the death of a democratically elected government.

    We fight to bring Democracy to the world, while in our country is already a mere charade.

  33. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: There is nothing “conspiracy theory” about distrusting Diebold. Their software has been proven to be insecure by unbiased researchers in academia. I don’t believe there is evidence that Diebold has stolen an election yet, but as long as their insecure systems are used the possibility will be there. And there is no way we can prove it one way or the other, either.

  34. SkokieGuy says:

    Y’ll shut up till you watch the movie. (And yes, my last post in this thread – I’ll shut up – promise).

    The locks that control the memory panel are the lowest security grade, similar to luggage locks, easily picked, easily duplicated. By swapping the memory card for another with only a few lines of code, the election results can be undetectibly altered.

    These insecure locks are on a machine designed by a company that makes high security locks for bank vaults and such.

    No shill here, won the DVD on WCPT Radio in Chicago (thank you WCPT) and the hair is still standing up on the back of my neck since watching.

    Whether you’re a Republic, Democrat or ‘other’, we all have an interest in a fair an unbiased election.

    This concludes today’s sermon, please donate generously.

  35. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: I dont have a problem with anything you just said. And among the many capitalist/privatism ideas I have, perhaps the election process should stay in the hands of the government. So I fully agree, and I don’t like the idea of diebold. But there are just a lot of accusations above, that are from conspiracy theorist.

    However, if you look above you, you have people saying thats how Bush won. If you don’t think he is a good president, fine, lovely, but do you have to make up pathetic lies to make yourself feel better? Cant you accept that perhaps someone that was legally elected, may also not be a person you favor? Perhaps?

  36. Bladefist says:

    sorry those two paragraphs were written with some time in between, I don’t have some short-term memory issues that I know of.

  37. uberbucket says:

    No Contest – Diebold.

  38. johnva says:

    @Bladefist: Well, we don’t actually know either way whether or not Diebold stole the 2004 election for Bush. They might have, or they might not have. There just isn’t direct evidence either way, and that’s precisely the problem with paperless electronic voting machines. One of the reasons we should get rid of it is because it will cause the legitimacy of those elections to be in doubt permanently. We will now never know whether or not Bush was legitimately reelected. That is damaging to our country, regardless of whether you support him or not, because it sows doubt that feeds conspiracy theories and distrust of the process. And if we lose all faith in the process, there is a risk that that will eventually lead to violence. The ballot box is a bloodless revolution, and we have to protect its integrity in order to keep it that way.

  39. spinachdip says:

    @B: Actually, I find Diebold’s ATMs to be clunky and slow and horribly designed.

  40. redhelix says:

    I’m in the same boat regarding transunion. My dad and I have the same name, and the data on our credit reports are completely mixed up. The car loan I just opened this year appears on his report. No kidding.

  41. Bladefist says:

    @johnva: I agree with you. It feels weird. I think in this tech world, voting should stay on paper. Because the database support team could go in there and do virtually anything they want, with 0 traceability.

  42. ARP says:

    @rmz: Ha, I never thought I’d be quoted here. The fact they can make very reliable ATM’s and other products, makes me want to put on my tin foil hat. How can they screw up the voting machines that bad if they have products that operate on a similar principle (perform a transaction and provide a secure record)?

  43. jaydee818 says:

    TransUnion, Equifax, Experian… they’re all the same. I had the same problem as the commentator. My brother and I have similar names and almost identical SSN (only difference is the last digit), so they mixed up all of our debts and line of credits!

    I spent about 2 weeks gathering information from various banks, loan lenders, and CC companies. After having sufficient information, I called each credit agencies to sort out their mistakes, but after 3 years my our credits are still mixed up. My brother and I even changed our names!!!

    What the hell do we need to do to help them understand that we’re two different people?!?!

  44. Angryrider says:

    Diebold?! Come on, like I said, MOST PEOPLE DON’T VOTE!!!!
    If voter turnout is better than our piddling less than 50% I can see a valid concern.

  45. Trai_Dep says:

    Diebold. For not only being anti-Democratic, but willfully so. Tying up the courts with SLAPP suits to prevent academics from exposing their fraud-ridden* software, fighting having a paper trail to ensure fair votes, then muddying the waters with copious PR assaults when their many failings are exposed. They’re the epitome of crony capitalism and what happens when you put our democracy up for auction to the highest bidder.

    If you love your wallet more than your country, vote Transunion. Then, please, leave?

    * “Accidentally”, I’m sure.

  46. Bladefist says:

    @Trai_Dep: Then you should have left a long time ago.

  47. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Dont Know Me? You Are Me.:

    They make a product with negative value.

    And they refuse to even acknowledge the existence, known to anyone who has ever SEEN a cash register, of a solution to the ONLY objection people have to their voting machines.

    Willfully anti-Democratic indeed.

  48. johnva says:

    @ARP: To be fair, making a secure ATM is much easier than making a secure electronic voting machine. ATMs use paper receipts and audit trails to sort out any problems that occur. With voting, you have to throw some additional complications in the mix, like the fact that it needs to be anonymous and yet still verifiable in a number of ways. And there are more potential types of security threats.

    That being said, some of the errors that Diebold made in their code were ridiculous, like using obsolete cryptography and hardcoding encryption keys into the source code.

  49. sarahandthecity says:

    diebold made the i.d. card readers at my university. they broke constantly and often couldn’t read the cards. that they make voting machines scares the shit out of me.

  50. Trai_Dep says:

    @Bladefist: Whoa. Mature!

  51. JustaConsumer says:

    I want to vote for both.

  52. S-the-K says:

    @JustaConsumer: I agree, they both deserve votes.

    Although, IMHO, TU is the worst of the three credit reporting agencies, I had to vote for Diebold for being so corrupt, selfish, lying, incompetent jerks. I have zero trust in electronic voting machines without a paper trail. As a run-of-the-mill techie and daily computer user, I know what a PITA it is when my computer crashes and I lose whatever I am working on and all the applications I had open. Now, imagine this with millions of votes in a hotly contested election. A clever hacker can manipulate the vote and nobody will be any the wiser. Electronic voting machines can go wiggy or crash and miscount or lose hundreds or thousands of votes.

    As for the old “butterfly ballot”, which was the alleged cause of the last couple elections, that is a straw man argument. Monkeys can figure out how to poke a stick in a hole of a tree to get food. If a person can’t figure out how to poke a stick in a hole next to an arrow with their candidates name next to it, they are too dumb to vote and have no business voting. Leave the voting to those of us with an IQ above room temperature who can poke a stick in a hole.

  53. @qwickone: TransUnion affects the course of the nation as well! Just look at how important credit scores are in purchasing anything of large value. I’d like to see you get a house or car with a fuggered credit score.

  54. humphrmi says:

    I had the same problem with TransUnion – because I have a MyFico account (which is part of TU) I can’t pull credit reports at I don’t know why, but this year I finally complained (to annualcreditreport) and they had TU send me a complete credit report (the report I get from them via MyFico is not a complete pull, just a summary).

    I voted for TU. A little late, but hey…

  55. failurate says:

    Hating on Diebold would have some value if there was any difference from one politician to the next.

    /missed whole conversation but still wants to contribute