|Organization:||H.E. Freeman Enterprises|
|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:A search on the internet for the phase "annual credit report" returned 38,400 results. A search on the internet for the phrase "free credit report" returned 8,849,000 results. Some of the most popular free credit reports websites are: www.freetriplescore.com, www.freeannualcreditreports.org, www.freetriplecreditreport.com; www.freecreditreport.com and www.consumerinfo.com (are both owned by Experian), www.FreeCreditReportsInstantly.com, www.creditreport.com, www.creditscorecowboy.com, www.Free3BureauCreditReport.com (users have to click on a particular section to access listings of websites that provide free credit reports) some of which are very similar to the federal government site www.annualcreditreport.com. Not all free credit report websites are the same and many of the websites are confusing to consumers. Several of the websites use similar website names or misspelled websites to catch innocent consumers. They mislead consumers who end up being charged for a service they did not realize they purchased and have made millions of dollars by doing so. Many of the free credit report websites offer a free trial but require a credit card. The website also offer credit monitoring services for a fee. However these services can be received for free if you have been a victim of identity theft. With some of the companies, once you sign up for the free trial it is difficult to cancel the service and you may continue to be charged two to three months after cancellation. All "free credit report" websites should allow consumers to check an option or checkbox if they wish to receive products or services other than a free credit report. Consumers should be notified via email and postal mail of the services they purchased to give them the option to immediately cancel or keep the services. There should not be a deadline or restriction if a consumer wishes to cancel. If a consumer cancels their subscription or service, they should be refunded any money that is owed them. If a consumer enters in an incorrect website in their browser a message should appear to notify the consumer of similar websites and provide a link to direct the consumer to the correct website. Pop-up windows asking consumers to engage in chat windows, purchase additional products or services, or ask consumers if they are sure they want to cancel a transaction or end a session should be eliminated. The goal of providing online access to products and services is to allow consumers to make transactions quickly through the user of their computer. If companies continue to bombard consumers with pop-ups, false advertisements and confusing websites, consumers may go back to ordering products and services by telephone which will greatly affect the credit card industry and I am sure that is not the goal the credit card industry had in mind when they setup their websites.