Sunday, April 3, 2011

Questionable ads question a newspaper's integrity.

The ad prominently displaced on the opening screen of The London Free Press Web page read, "View your credit score now". Just go to Free Credit Reports in Canada. It was clear this was a free service; There was no charge.

Interested, I clicked; I got a screen asking for my name, complete address plus e-mail. This seemed reasonable. How else could they provide my credit score? Reasonable or not, I balked. I noticed the name TransUnion in the top right of the screen.

I googled "TransUnion" and discovered this was a major player in the credit reporting business in Canada. The other company is Equifax Canada. I also came across a CBC News in Depth report: "Checking your credit rating".

The first thing I learned from the CBC was that credit reports are free:

"You can ask for a free copy of your credit report by mail. . . . Complete details on how to order credit reports are available online." (Here are the links: TransUnion and Equifax Canada.)

So, what's up with the whole Free Credit Reports in Canada stuff? What's with the ad on The London Free Press Web site? Before continuing, I decided to do a little googling. I found a post on the blog Moo's virtual world: Privacy Protection Plus is a fraud. This privacy protection name was a new wrinkle, but interested I read on:

I read the blogger's post and then scanned the comments:

"I renewed my classmates.com account using my Visa. . . . 1st mistake. I don't recall being asked about any Privacy Protection or 24-hour Assistance. Just received this months bill and that I was being billed 19.95 for Privacy Proctection and another 19.95 for 24-hour Assistance. I called my credit card comp and they couldn't help me as it is Sunday. I tried contacting the company Privacy Proctection and again they are closed. I can't go online cuz I don't have a username and password. . . . what a scam. . . . I tried contacting Classmates and that was hopeless. I am not impressed with their underhanded techniques. How dare they allow another company to have access to my personal info and especially my credit card info? . . . ya I am PO'd and will be dealing with this first thing in the morning. Then I will be canceling my credit card.


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