16 July 2007

Big Brother Speaks Up.

I love computers. Really, I do.

Recently the auto insurance bill came in the mail (insurance is a whole 'nother can of worms which I will not tip this time). My rate went up $200 from last year. They kindly tell me that they have used a Consumer Credit Report to evaluate the probability of my filing an automobile insurance claim. Seems if you are late paying your credit card bill you are at a higher risk for having a fender bender and thus imposing on the financial well being of the insurance company by asking them to pay a claim on the policy you have been paying for 20 years.

They also kindly tell me where I can get a free copy of the credit report used by them to evaluate my worthiness to receive their "best" rate; or in this case, "Not the Best Rate". So, I go there. It is a web site of a company which does not produce credit reports. It is a company which purchases credit reports, apparently mine among others, and sells them to auto insurance companies. THEY kindly supply instructions to request a free copy of the credit report that they purchased from a third party and furnished to my auto insurance company.

I request the report. Three days later I get a letter form the report purchasing folks that they have my request and since they are nice people they do not know who I am or what the report says since they only buy and sell the reports, but do not read them and that the report will be coming along shortly from the folks who really created the consumer credit report.

O.K. Report arrives in a few days. Great I say, very efficient! The system, the powers that be, Deus Ex Machina, etc. seems to be working. Not so.

On this "Credit Report" there are:

17 names listed as information sources: I am only one of them.

21 Addresses listed: Only 2 are places I have lived.

3 "Negatives" listed: I fess up to one. The other two are unknowns.

60 "Accounts in Good Standing": 46 of these are definately not me.

3 social security numbers listed: All three are wrong.

3 phone numbers listed: You can guess. All wrong.

Date of Birth Listed: Wrong again. This is boring.

2 employers listed: Never heard of them.

And, according to a casual survey of all the data contained in the report, one can infer that I have at least 3 wives and have lives in 21 different houses or apartments in 5 states over the last 20 years, and that I have simultaneously held 4 mortgages and 18 credit cards, give or take a few.

Call the "800" number and you get, can you guess? A computer? And a stupid one at that. Go to the dispute website and you get another stupid computer. Beautifully laid out pages that make it easy to dispute any item on the report. Except when you try to do so on most of this stupid report you get a pop-up that says, "NO NO NO! Can't do that here! You must contact us directly".

Great . Just Dandy. There goes another lunch hour talking to some dumshit on the phone.

Gee, I love computers!

1 comment:

Maria said...

Well, John, I'm not sure I've ever seen the word "dumshit" anywhere- I think I'll add it to my vocab. I can think of a few right of the top of my head.

I'm in the midst of an identity theft/credit history nightmare of my own. I feel your pain. I have not called the credit agencies yet. I cringe at the thought. I figure if I don't think about it, it'll go away.

CMaria from St. A