Equifax sucks: A Rant

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Chat with a Customer Care Agent

Status: Disconnected
Misty: Hi, my name is Misty. How may I help you?
Me: I recently was contacted by Etrade because they had changed my date of birth to the date given to them by Equifax.  The date of birth they had was incorrect.
Misty: I would be more than happy to address this concern for you.
Misty: I do apologize. We can only report what is being reported to us by creditors. If the personal information is not correct, you will have to send in documents to have it corrected.
Me:  From where does Equifax get date of birth information, and why did it change?
Misty: I do apologize. We can only report what is being reported to us by creditors. If the personal information is not correct, you will have to send in documents to have it corrected.
Me: That is not a helpful response.
Misty: You need to contact all your lenders and creditors to make sure they have the correct information on your account with them. To update any personal information, such has your name or address, it requires information be sent to us. You will need a cover sheet with your name, address, date of birth, email address, phone number, and a brief description of the changes you need made. This is the information you will need to send:1. Copy of your Drivers License or State ID (with current address)
2. Copy of Social Security Card or W2 Form
3. Copy of a utility bill, bank statement, or rental/mortgage agreement in your name.
4. A Cover letter stating what you need verified with an email and telephone number.You may fax to 1-888-729-0083, email to customer.care@equifax.com, or you may mail it to:Equifax
PO Box 740256
Atlanta, GA 30374 Me: All of the above or one of the above?
Misty: We can only report what is being reported to us by the creditors. If the information is reported, then by law we must place it on your report. You will have to send all the information provided above.
Me: From where do you get this information?
Me: And what do you do when the information from different creditors contradicts itself?
Me: Because I was not born in 1970.
Misty: We get the information from your creditors. So, one of them may have reported the information incorrectly.
Me: ok, well, this was somewhat helpful
Misty: I do also want to let you know you can monitor your reports so you can keep an eye on any key changes.
Misty: We do have the Equifax Complete Premier Plan.
Misty: You can purchase Equifax Complete Premier Plan for 19.95 per month. With Equifax Complete Premier Plan, you get one 3-n-1 report with scores per 12 months, you get unlimited access to your Equifax Credit Report and Score, and monitoring of all three reports and your Equifax Credit Score. You will receive alerts every 24 hours if there are any key changes to your credit reports or score. You also get automatic Fraud Alerts, with the ability to lock and unlock your Equifax Credit Report. That way you control who and when someone looks at your credit report. You get one million dollars of identity theft insurance per incident. To purchase Equifax Complete Premier Plan for 19.95 per month you need to go to  http://myservices.equifax.com/CC2K01_uplanr.
Me: unhelpful
Misty: Are there any other questions or concerns that I can assist you with today?
Me: Looks like the other two credit agencies have my correct information.  That’s something at least.
Me: No.
Misty: Thank you for contacting Equifax.
Please disconnect or close the chat window to end this chat session.
Misty has disconnected.
So, dear readers, I contacted all of my creditors and not one of them had the incorrect date of birth.  I would also like to note that of the three credit agencies, Equifax had the scammiest page that tried hardest to get people from annualcreditreport to accidentally give them money.  Also they still think I have a capital one card open even though they have no information from Capital one since it was closed.  (Again, the other two agencies had everything correct.)  I hate them, yes I do.  Have I send in all that paperwork yet?  No… I’m hoping a creditor will send my correct information in and then “by law they’ll have to change it.”  Hopefully that will happen before they convince the world that I was born in 1970.  Because I wasn’t.
Do you have any general ranty complaints to share?  We will shake our tiny fists on your behalf.
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36 Responses to “Equifax sucks: A Rant”

  1. Practical Parsimony Says:

    I hate scripts with customer service over the phone. because they read me the same thing to 5 questions I ask. This is particularly bad with non-native English speakers. I hate the menus and the voices on the menus. During an internet chat, it seems the person is helping more than one person at a time. They can pop their own script on the screen, leaving me wondering if the person actually understood my question or concern.

    Recent conversation with a non-native English speaker from overseas. After a totally off-the-wall answer from him–

    Me: I don’t think you understood what I said.
    Him: Yes, you did understand what I said.
    Me: what?
    Him: Yes, you did understand what I said.
    Me: I understand every word you say. You don’t understand me.
    Him: Yes, you did understand what I said.
    Me: I don’t think you can help me because you don’t understand my problem. You keep saying I understand you. What you mean is you understand me.
    Him: Yes, you did understand what I said.
    Me: Okay, what did I say? What is the problem I am having?
    Him: Yes, you did understand what I said.
    Me: May I speak with someone else.
    Him: You understand what I said, so tell me the problem so I can help you.
    Me: (sound of me rudely hanging up and stomping around the house.)

    I would suspect that there is something screwy and immediately shut down everything financial. If they think for one moment that your birthdate is correct, ANYWHERE, you could be in jeopardy. What if there is someone, somewhere with the same name and different birthdate?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      *Shakes tiny fist*

      My mom was telling me the other day that one of Mitt Romney’s big things at Bain was outsourcing customer service to other countries. I thought that would make a hilarious Funny or Die ad.

      There is someone with the same name, but she was born lonnnnng before 1970.

      I’m fairly sure Equifax just made a typo. There’s nothing unfamiliar actually on the credit reports. No new creditors, no requests for credit etc.

  2. NoTrustFund Says:

    This is interesting because when we went to buy a car a few months ago they had my husband’s birthday wrong, ‘from social security’ although they would not tell us where it was coming from. All this on a credit report for a car we were buying in cash and they were not going to let us buy the car because of this. Luckily we had an easy fix of bringing in his SS card but it was unbelievably frustrating to be treated like a fraud. What is also interesting is that this has not come up for our recent mortgage calculation.

    I heard a report on NPR recently on how impossible it is for consumers to fix errors on their credit reports. Which is certainly the experience we had while trying to track down an unpaid bill that we had never received that came up during our mortgage application. It’s amazing people are buying anything in this country when it’s this hard to pay cash for a car and to fix an error on a credit report for a mortgage application. Yikes.

  3. graduate.living Says:

    This does not make me hopeful for when I check my credit report/scores in July… *makes mental note to set aside an entire afternoon for reconciling inaccurate information*

  4. Michelle Says:

    Ugh that is SUPER annoying! I hate talking to people on the phone.

  5. rented life Says:

    When trying to decide our internet provider for the move husband had a hard time with verizon fios. A solid five minutes of the conversation was “Please provide your account number.” “I don’t HAVE an account number, I want information about possibly having an account.” “Ok, sir, please provide your account number and we will help you.” Needless to say, that (and price) made the decision pretty easy.
    For a credit card that I had activated I received a call that a charge had been made, hundreds of miles away, despite not having activated the card, and the fraud had the card numbers slightly incorrect. When I explained this shouldn’t be possible if 1) I haven’t activated yet and 2) if the numbers don’t 100% match and was told “Oh, well those things really don’t matter. You can still put charges on the card.”

  6. First Gen American Says:

    That’s got to be one soul-less business person who comes up with a way to profit off of the company’s own inaccurate information. We know this info can wreak havoc on a consumer, so let’s charge them extra to monitor accuracy for us. It feels like there should be a law against this.

    • chacha1 Says:

      Indeed there should be. Unfortunately the “people” deciding what laws get passed these days seem to be corporations, not, you know, actual people.

      Write your congresspersons! Shaking our tiny fists of rage can be cathartic, but it changes nothing. :-)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Unfortunately my representative is a crazy tea party person, like literally crazy. Every time I write to him he sends me a 70 page letter full of Fox News bullshit via postal mail. He sucks to high heaven. Wish life here were a little more purple.

      • chacha1 Says:

        Okay, I’ll revise that to “if your congressperson is not a crazy ideological nitwit, write to hir!” :-) Sorry, I forget (though I shouldn’t) that not everybody has actual rational beings representing them. :-(

  7. Linda Says:

    There are two thought streams in my head around this: dealing with customer service reps (in general) and credit report inaccuracies. [Also going through my head: "Why does Internet Explorer on my work laptop make interacting with WordPress sites so painfully slow? I can only scroll one line at a time?! WTF?!" But that's a serious digress and I'm very glad that I'm telecommuting today and can turn to my MacBook Pro to be able to bring this site up. :-)]

    Every time I need Tech Support for work I am dealing with someone in India. [And as you can imagine I talk to them *a lot* considering what a decrepit POS laptop I am working on for my job...I'm *so glad* I'm getting a new one issued tomorrow!!! *happy dance*] I have had some pretty good conversations with these folks, both on the phone and via IM/chat. We hire some really awesome people with very high English skills.

    But…I do get some weird responses from them that make me realize they are sometimes way out of their depth. Like the time a couple months ago that I had to call Tech Support twice in less than 8 hours (once late at night and again early the next morning) while I was trying to do some work from a hotel room. The second time I called about how my password had been disabled and needed resetting the guy said “You have a work-issued PDA with unlimited data; don’t use the wifi setting on it because that is what is messing up your password.” Waaaaa…what??? I almost, almost told the guy, “I know you just made that up. That is completely ridiculous; using my iPhone on wifi *has nothing to do with why my laptop disables my password seemingly at will.*”

    I’m very lucky to not have to contact customer service more often in my personal life, I guess. A few months ago I had to call AT&T Uverse when my connection went down, but I got someone right away who was easy to communicate with and my problem was quickly resolved.

    As for the credit report inaccuracies…I really need to check my reports. I don’t know why I keep putting it off. *sigh*

  8. chacha1 Says:

    Yes please. Check your reports annually. It really is free.

    But you really do have to be paying attention on the websites because they really will try to hook you into a monitoring contract. Equifax sucks the largest at this. Equifax sucks, in general. Who owns them? Let’s find out and start a campaign for Equifax to stop sucking!!

    Also, this may be counterintuitive to much PF advice, but I personally advise working with an actual brick-and-mortar bank or credit union for primary banking, even if it “costs” you a fraction of a percentage of interest rate. There is nothing like being able to walk in and talk to a real live human being when you find out your ATM card number’s been boosted.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      #2 hates credit unions with a passion… #1 does her primary banking with one (but hates Regulation D or something like that with a passion… did not realize that all withdrawals from savings count in that 6 online transactions per month law. Stupid law.)

  9. Comradde PhysioProffe Says:

    (1) I have never looked at my credit report. Now I’m afraid to.

    (2) One of the reasons I have stuck with Verizon Wireless for years is that they have awesome telephone billing customer service and tech support for Blackberries.

    (3) I shake my fists *shake shake* on everyone’s behalf.

  10. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    It looks like I’m not the only one, according to Google… and apparently if you try to change it it keeps changing back.

  11. Shannon Says:

    Ugh – went through something like this with my bank over the past few weeks. They “upgraded” their system which left me completely unable to access my money while traveling through rural China. I spent HOURS on the phone (while on vacation), trying to get access restored to my account. Each time, they assured me the problem was fixed, but of course, it never was. The killer is – if they had only informed their customers about how their rules would change after the upgrade went through, I could have easily followed them. Instead, they upgraded then told me a new, different rule each time I called. Grrrr. Theoretically, I now have access to my account, but as we’re planning to head off to Vietnam/Cambodia (lots of traveling as we’re at the end of a Fulbright year in China), I’m sure some new, hidden rule will kick in that I will knowingly violate, thus requiring me to spend yet more time dealing with them.

  12. Undine Says:

    Until you said “phone” I was sure you were dealing with an automated online response bot. Frustrating!

  13. monsterzero Says:

    Yeah, Equifax is horrible. There was an error on my report a couple of months ago and when I notified them, Experian and Transunion fixed it immediately. Not Equifax! Not even after two requests.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      That seems to be what the rest of the internet is saying as well!

      Additionally, it looks like they harass people by freezing their accounts if people complain too much or threaten justified legal action. Very big brother.

      • becca Says:

        What does it mean to have a ‘frozen’ account? Does it mean nobody can get credit report info from them (like employers or others checking your payment history)? Or does it just mean *you* can’t get your own information?
        If it’s the former, it might actually be better to get your account ‘frozen’ than to have wrong info on it! If it’s the later, it’s super-creepy!

        I don’t see why credit reports aren’t required to list where they get every iota of information on them. Saying “we’re just quoting a source!” AND “we won’t name sources” should be illegal.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        According to the anon. forums, the owner can’t make changes or access the report except through the legal team, and the company’s customer service can’t look at the report, only the legal team.

        Agreed on the sources– and I called up every single one of my creditors and not one of them thought I was born in 1970. It must be a mistake on Equifax’s end. I had to call up Etrade again because they’d switched back one of my accounts to 1970.

  14. Revanche Says:

    From a customer perspective: my recently blogged rant on getting calls from that d*mned “law office” (impersonator I am guessing).

    From a professional perspective: The moron-head of a new department trying to set up what will essentially be a call center like your useless scripted response center that I’m desperately trying to make a useful thing instead but will probably fail because their boss is such a complete incompetent hack that ze has literally zero comprehension of how to train people, what their jobs should be and what they actually are, and appropriate workload that it’s just a wreck waiting to happen.

    But hey, given the hundreds of hours I’ve put in by now, maybe it won’t be a total failure, people will get halfway decent service and the idiot will get rewarded for an achievement ze fought so hard against. … I so quit.

  15. Readings | Funny about Money Says:

    [...] the runaround department, nicoleandmaggie received a masterful one from Equifax the other [...]

  16. Andi Says:

    I understand COMPLETELY!!!! Equifax thinks I was born in 1931. 1931, REALLY?!?!?! It’s a freaking miracle that ANYONE would want to loan me anything. According to them, I am now 82 years old. They’ve had my DOB wrong for the last 10 years. I haven’t bothered correcting it. Too much work. It has never affected me negatively in any way but it is quite amusing. I’m thinking I just should leave it & see how long it takes for a creditor to question it. After all, I’ve only got 20 more years until I’m 102. HAHA

  17. David No Name Says:

    These neanderthals are located in India and have no authority to do anything but to act useless. I guess I’ll be crude and say Too bad the big three credit bureaus were no located at the WTC on 9/11. I would not party, but would have no bad feelings about that scenario.

  18. Paul Says:

    Equifax also has my birthday wrong. They say I’m 62 even though I’m 45. I asked them to change it, they requested a ton of documentation, I sent it all in, they requested more documentation, I sent it all in, and THEY DIDN”T CHANGE IT. Equifax completely blows, though the other 2 are much more competent, and have everything correct. Who knows, it may help protect me. I can’t apply for small loans, because I’m denied by the Equifax info, but for large ones, like our house and vehicles, the loan agents have dug deeper, and asked for more documentation, to discover that Equifax is wrong. A scammer wouldn’t go through that.

  19. monica Says:

    This has nothing to do with birthday. just wanted to warn people. Don’t pay Equifax to keep a eye on your credit. The score they give you is not your true score. We are trying to buy a house and just bought a car both places we went to pulled Equifax reports and both were different and neither one was the score they were giving me save your money.


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