I’m sure by now you have seen the freecreditreport.com commericals, known for its pirates, renaisaance fairs and catchy jingles. This trio of young musicans, sing of promises of credit salvation for anyone who gets a free report from the site.
Here’s the catch, at the end of the TV commercials, there’s a 1.5 second speed reading disclosure paragraph, noting that anyone who wants the free report must enroll in “Triple Advantage.” What’s that you ask? Well, its a $14.95 monthly credit monitoring service that will be charged to your credit card for those who fail to quit before the initial trail period.
Yesterday, the New York Times reported that these types of ads caught the attention of the FTC which has now declaired this type of advertising as misleading. Freecreditreport.com will now be required to charge a $1 fee for the report and than give that money to charity. Check out their revised web site feecreditreport.com
And what do you get for your buck, which Experian (owner of freecreditreport.com) will graciously turn around and donate to charity? An Experian credit report, a “free” credit score, and the familiar 7-day trial membership in their Triple Advantage credit monitoring service. And you know how the rest goes…sign up for the trial, get your free stuff, forget about it, and then pay $14.95 per month for a service you may not even be utilizing.
So what do you think? How many more people will continue to sign up for a $14.95 per month credit monitoring service in return for a $1 credit report, free credit score, and a non-deductible donation to charity? My guess is a lot.
File Under: Beware of men in green leotards