Consumer Complaints Rise over Credit Monitoring Services
According to American Banker, there has been a sudden rise in the number of consumer complaints in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) complaint database over credit monitoring services provided by the three major credit bureaus.
In 2019 alone, 86 people filed complaints in the CFPB’s database against TransUnion’s credit monitoring services. Most of the consumers allege that they were unaware of signing up for credit monitoring. More than 25 consumers filed similar complaints against Experian, and another four against Equifax.
News reports state that credit bureaus automatically enroll consumers trying to access their credit report into credit monitoring services, which typically entails a month subscription fee. Consumers then have to proactively cancel this subscription to stop the monthly payments.
Many consumers were not regularly monitoring their bank accounts and were completely unaware of the automatic fees being debited from their accounts. Some racked up more than $500 in fees before realizing that they were subscribed to a credit monitoring service.
A TransUnion spokesperson defended the company’s actions, saying that “Free tools are clearly labeled as such on our website, and fees for paid services are disclosed clearly and prominently.”
Nonetheless, credit bureaus make up the lion’s share of complaints on the CFPB’s consumer complaint database, much more so than other high-profile financial institutions like Wells Fargo and Navient.