There are three big credit bureaus that track essentially everyone’s financial history and viability – TransUnion, Experian, and Equifax. They keep track of how much you owe and to whom, whether you’ve made your payments on time, where you live and where you have lived, and on and on the list goes. They provide this information at request to businesses who use it to determine whether they are going to sell or rent a product or service to you.
The Free Trial
Each of these bureaus tends to offer free trials – in this instance I signed up for a seven day free trial to TransUnion which included both a credit score and report (from TransUnion – the three bureaus don’t necessarily have matching information).
It was a good thing I did – they had Charity’s employment listed as mine and Charity’s employment listed as her former employment. I was also able to take care of a false delinquency charge on both Charity and I’s accounts.
Now I was done and the choice was to keep the service for $11.97/mo. or cancel it. Well, that was easy – I want to cancel it. Unfortunately, unlike most web services, it isn’t particularly easy to cancel your service. I scoured everywhere within my account and profile settings for TransUnion for a cancel option but all I could do was upgrade my services to more expensive plans – not cancel them. What?!?!
Finding a Phone Number:
When everything else fails there is one solution remaining (okay two, one can also find a postal address) – find a phone number and talk to a real person (time consuming and I don’t like phones). I went to the TransUnion site and clicked on Contact Us. Okay, a whole bunch of options…which one to try? In the end I chose Consumer Resources – called the number and within three minutes was somehow placing (via their automated system) an order for another credit report and pressing 0 repeatedly only caused them to hang up on me rather than sending me to a real operator / support person. Usually 0 indicates the person needs help not “please end my phone call.” Thankfully, the order didn’t go through.
I ended up searching via Google for “how to cancel transunion free trial” which eventually led me to their terms of service page where there is a hyperlink (not hyperlinked) to another contact page (that I have no clue how to navigate to otherwise) here: https://tui.transunion.com/contact.jsp. On this page you’ll find a phone number you can call and cancel your service. The operator picked up quickly – I expect b/c no one is able to find the number and fairly quickly and without too much argument canceled my service.
For what it is worth – I think it is great that we now get a free credit report annually from each of the bureaus, but I don’t think this goes far enough. These bureaus are trading on information about us – sensitive and personal information – which is used to make life-altering decisions for us (can you buy that house, lease that car, qualify for that credit card) and it is unfair for them to charge us for the privilege of viewing and/or correcting our credit score/report at any time, any place, for any reason at no cost to us. In fact, I think someone could probably make an excellent class-action suit on this basis.