EXPERIAN SEEKS TO ARBITRATE CREDIT REPORT ERRORS TO AVOID JURIES
Avoid all Experian products and services. Most people that sign up for on-line products and services quickly click through the terms and conditions, agree to what is required and move on. After all, who has the time to read all that fine print? Well… we do, and we have read it so you will not need to. More importantly, we know what Experian is trying to do with those contracts and how it claims that you have actually waived your right to a jury trial if the entity that reports the credit information is inaccurate and they fail to correct it.
Mix of online credit report properties owned by Experian are not credible sources
Experian has many products and services and entities that sell them, most of them have to do with credit reporting and credit scoring: Experian.com, FreeCreditReport.com, FreeCreditScore.com, CreditReport.com, Creditchecktotal.com, CreditScore.com, usa.experian.com, and experian.experiandirect.com. What they tell you in the FCRA Disclosure section of the terms and conditions is that the information that it provides is: “not intended to constitute the disclosure of Experian Credit Bureau information required by the FCRA or similar state laws.” Thus, if you want the actual report data, you will need to go to annualcreditreport.com.
Arbitration clauses void your right to trial by jury
There are free plans, paid plans, and all sorts of options from Experian, but they all have one catch in common: there is an arbitration clause imbedded in the terms and conditions and when you click the I agree button, you just waived your right to proceed in court and have a trial by jury. If that arbitration clause were limited to disputes concerning any product or service you purchased, then it would not be all that problematic or scary. The hidden catch is what Experian is now claiming in courts across the country. By agreeing (clicking) to an arbitration clause with all of these affiliated Experian entities and using any of those services to access your Experian file data, you may have agreed to arbitrate with Experian Information Solutions, Inc. (the company that produces and manages the Experian credit reports). Even though that entity is not a party to these contracts with all the other entities, they claim that if you discovered an issue on your Experian report using any of those products and then dispute the accuracy of information on your Experian file, that you have tacitly agreed to arbitrate any Fair Credit Reporting Act violation with Experian.
Without going into how absurd that concept is, courts tend to give arbitration provisions broad latitude and have agreed that the consumer has waived his/her rights to a jury trial.
Cancel services in writing!
So what can you do to protect yourself and your rights? Number one, cancel all Experian products in writing and tell them that you do not want any free ones as well. Do not log into any of their sites again. If you feel the need to check your Experian file, go to annualcreditreport.com and only that site to see what is reporting on your Experian file. If you see something that is not accurate or reporting correctly, dispute it directly with Experian by written letter and do not log into their on-line dispute platform. By following this simple advice, you can preserve your right to proceed in court and avoid any argument(s) about potential arbitration.
If you have an error on your credit report and need legal help getting it corrected contact the Virginia Credit report error lawyers at Blankingship & Christiano, P.C. (571) 207-8331 or fill out our contact form to discuss your case.