|Agency:||Federal Trade Commission|
|Rule:||16 CFR Part 610 Amendments to Rule to Prevent Deceptive Marketing of Credit Reports and to Ensure Access to Free Annual File Disclosures|
Comments:It's time Equifax and the other credit reporting companies took their advertising and pitches to sell credit scores and credit protection services OFF the site used to allow consumers free access to their credit reports once a year. I just successfully navigated through all the advertising placed on annualcreditreport.com by Experian, but was tripped up by a dead-end created on the Equifax page. The dead end offers to let consumers view a sample of Equifax's credit score report. Once that item is clicked, there is no warning that the consumer is leaving the path to the free credit report for good and once chosen the only exit to the path is to buy a credit score report or leave annualcreditreport.com without getting a credit report. Equifax counts it as an access to the free report thus denying the consumer free access for another year. This possibility is something I was aware of and trying to avoid, and still I was tripped up by it again. This is not a case of a need for more consumer awareness. This is a case of a company deliberately operating for its own gain a site that was mandated to provide consumers some protections against the gross inaccuracies in their credit information that the credit reporting companies record, report and perpetuate. The problem is easy to solve; just require the credit reporting companies to remove their links and advertising from the site.