Should You Use TransUnion's Credit Monitoring Products?
The company has been repeatedly cited for deceptive practices
The short answer is no.
There, now you don’t have to read the rest of this post.
But if you want to know more, read on.
TransUnion is making news again for the deceptive practices it uses to lure customers into purchasing its credit monitoring products.
Here’s the longer version:
American Banker notes:
The lawsuit is being closely watched because TransUnion already paid a $3 million fine and $13.9 million in restitution to consumers to resolve the 2017 order — only to be sued for the same violations five years later.
Here’s the deal, though: They didn’t stop deceiving customers. TransUnion’s argument seems to be that they already paid a fine for deceiving customers, now they can’t be punished again for repeat deception.
However, as American Banker reported, the CFPB didn’t stop receiving complaints about TransUnion:
By 2019, however, the CFPB had received nearly 100 complaints from consumers alleging that TransUnion enrolled them in monthly credit monitoring services they didn’t want. Many of the consumers said they had responded to ads to obtain a free credit score but had not read the fine print disclosing that they were enrolling in a monitoring service.
And Law 360 says a federal judge in Chicago sided with the CFPB and is allowing the case to go forward:
A Chicago federal judge ruled Friday that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau can proceed with its lawsuit accusing TransUnion and a former executive of violating a prior marketing practices consent order, rejecting dismissal bids that included a constitutional challenge to the agency.
The case is considered a warning to consumers about using credit monitoring services, according to consumer advocates.
Advocates at the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) warned against using credit monitoring services.
“This type of flagrant violation is typical behavior for not just TransUnion, but all three credit bureaus,” said Chi Chi Wu, staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center. “Federal regulators, state Attorneys General, consumer advocates, and private attorneys have been battling a culture of impunity and arrogance by the credit bureaus for decades. Unfortunately, it’s the American consumer who ultimately pays the price for the credit bureaus’ longstanding habit of flouting the law.”
The CFPB also had harsh words for TransUnion specifically:
“TransUnion is an out-of-control repeat offender that believes it is above the law,” said CFPB Director Rohit Chopra. “I am concerned that TransUnion’s leadership is either unwilling or incapable of operating its businesses lawfully.”
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