FreeCreditReport.com is the heavily advertised company that offers “free” credit reports (if you sign up for a trial offer for their monitoring service with a monthly fee. They have huge billboards at Shea Stadium, where I will be tomorrow to see the (currently) first-placed Mets.
Keep in mind that the place to get truly free credit reports, three times per year (once from each bureau) as mandated by law is AnnualCreditReport.com. FreeCreditReport.com took clear advantage of the media surrounding the law when it was introduced a few years ago and convinced many people to sign up for “free” credit reports. Many customers feel deceived because they didn’t realize that they were at the wrong website and that they signed up to pay a monthly fee after a trial period.
Lately, FreeCreditReport.com has improved their disclosure, and the company is still a reminder that you should either read and understand all fine print before signing your name to anything or accept the consequences of ignorance.
Nevertheless, if you feel you were duped into signing up for FreeCreditReport.com’s Triple Advantage, you can still request refunds for what you’ve been charged. This is another reminder to check your bank and credit card statements at least once a month so charges like this don’t go unnoticed.
Here is Consumerism Commentary reader akk’s experience with getting refunds from FreeCreditReport.com.
I called this number to cancel my account and get a refund: 877-481-6826. First thing I did was ask for the name of the person I was talking to and her employee ID number. I told her that I wanted to cancel my account and get a full refund. The lady said that she would cancel my account but I could not get a refund.
She said that this automatic subscription is stated clearly on the web site, blah blah blah blah blah. I told her that I wasn’t going to stop until I got a full refund. She then offered me a one month refund. I told her that was great, but again, I am not going to stop until I get a full refund and I wanted to speak with her supervisor. She put me on hold to talk with her supervisor, then voila, I got a full refund.
For me, they weren’t that bad when I actually called. Just don’t let them try to convince you that you do not deserve a full refund. Just keep demanding a full refund and hopefully they will do it.
At this point, FreeCreditReport.com understands they’re in a tight spot and they want to improve their reputation. They may be more willing to provide refunds even if the company is not completely at fault in all cases. From a business perspective, it may be better to provide the refunds now than deal with angry consumer groups.
Published or updated July 25, 2008.