One of the three giant credit reporting agencies (Experian) has been badgering me lately to “let them know how they’re doing,” by taking an online survey.
Of course, their survey is about 90% marketing, trying to get me to sign up for additional so-called services, AND it was easily the longest online survey I’ve ever seen. Normally I ignore this crap from big rich corporations, partly because I know they don’t read them or care what I think anyway, but today I was feeling a little feisty so I decided to tell them what I think. Most of the questions had multiple choice answers, along the lines of “Are we… a.) Good b.) Great or c.) Fabulous?” But there was one place where I could write free-form what I think. Here’s what I wrote:
Experian (you), Equifax and TransUnion collect private and personal information about me and millions of other people. You never asked permission to do this, nor would I have given it. You store this massive amount of data and use it to reduce each of us to a number — our “credit score.” Then periodically, you lose this data to hackers. Usually you offer a year or two of credit monitoring, as if the hackers won’t wait until that year or two expires, and then use the information to steal our identities and our money. For this, you offer nothing more than a letter of apology.
When we need to buy something that is too expensive to pay cash for, it is your credit score that determines whether we can make that purchase. Not our character, our promise or our need. If your database contains incorrect information, we the public are expected to fix it ourselves. The penalty for not doing so might be that we can’t own a home, buy a car, or educate our children. As nearly as I can tell, this is of no particular concern to you, or to the other reporting agencies.
So it seems to me that your entire industry is doing nothing but stealing personal and private information from the public, using it to generate money from nothing, and lining your pockets with it.
Your “industry” should be MUCH more heavily regulated. You should be held accountable for the losses your “customers” occasionally suffer.
Or you should be shut down.