Transunion and Equifax Deceive Consumers
Transunion and Equifax have been ordered to pay 23.1 million for deceiving consumers in marketing credit scores and products. They were deceiving people about usefulness and actual cost of credit scores they sold to customers. Costly reoccurring payments were attached to promises of better scores.
These companies market, sell, or provide credit related products directly to consumers, such as credit scores, credit reports and credit monitoring. Credit scores are numerical summaries designed to predict consumer payment behavior in using credit. No single credit score or credit score model is used by ever lender.
How they violated the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Financial Protection Act by
- Deceiving consumers about the value of the credit scores they sold. They led people to believe that their scores were typically used to make credit decisions by lenders.
- The companies falsely claimed that their credit scores and credit related products were free or in some cases cost 1.00 but instead if consumers signed up they received a trial subscription for 7-30 days then were automatically charged a recurring fee or 16.00 per month. This is called negative option and was not clearly and conspicuously disclosed to consumers.