FTC Finally Defeats FreeCreditReport.com
Last March I wrote about the efforts the Federal Trade Commission was putting through trying to get FreeCreditReport.com to change its advertising so that they had to disclose the fact that their credit report wasn’t actually free, but instead a shill trying to get everyone to buy credit monitoring services instead. They even went so far as to create their own musical ad to counter FCR’s television ads.
Now they don’t have to do that sort of thing anymore. Check out the image below:
Yup, the FTC has been able to force FCR to change their website and own up to the reality that the only free credit report available for everyone comes from AnnualCreditReport.com instead, where consumers can get a free copy of their credit report from all 3 major agencies. Experian, which owns FreeCreditReport.com, has had to acquiesce, and now faces a major loss of funds as they were averaging nearly 6 million visits a month, with most of those folks coming in after hearing those commercials on TV and thinking they would be able to get free credit reports from the site, but only being able to get the Experian credit report for free.
To be fair, I subscribe to the credit reporting service. I get a great rate, and I like the fact that I find out who’s looking at my credit and what I need to do to try to get certain things altered here and there. Of course, I’m upset that they killed their affiliate program, as they were one of the companies I helped advertise, and I made some money from them. Still, I’ll admit that I did go there thinking I would be able to get a free credit report for all 3 agencies,and was initially disappointed by that.
By the way, it’s not only Experian that has to add this disclaimer. Any credit reporting company that offers what Experian offers has to do the same thing. And, by the way, they don’t have to follow through with it until April 1st, so you won’t be seeing it immediately on other sites. Be a smart shopper, and decide what you want before giving any company your credit card number.