16 CFR Part 610 Amendments to Rule to Prevent Deceptive Marketing of Credit Reports and to Ensure Access to Free Annual File Disclosures
These reports should not be marketed as "free" if they are contingent upon the purchase of a product. Suppose this catches on for other items. Can I can market a house as "free" but later disclose that the offer applies only if you purchase my welcome mat for $500,000? How about free milk with the purchase of my container for $5. How about free admission but it will cost you $30 to leave? Free becomes a misleading and meaningless term, even with a disclosure stating that the item is not really free. Why allow an opportunity for unwary buyers to be tricked? Further, if you goggle for "free" items, you will get listings for things that have free in their description but are conditional upon making a purchase. This restricts consumers' ability to use the Internet to find truly free items.