About the Steve O Zone


Monday, March 16, 2009

When FREE isn't FREE...

Only in America, with our rich and proud tradition can the word "free" not mean "free." Think about it... we're the Land of the Free for chrissakes. If the word loses its meaning here (or at least part of it), we're in big trouble. BUT... how many times in a given day do you come across an ad promising something free, only to discover it's anything but? Free cookware. Free books.

Free music. Free vitamins.

FREE. FREE. FREE!

The word is everywhere...

Now who doesn't love the TV spots pitching FreeCreditReport.com?

Here's my favorite:


We all love them, right? Or at the very least, we love some of them. The catchy lyrics, the subtle humor... and hey, it's a free report, right?

Um... no. Sort of.

Oh it's free alright. But only AFTER you enroll
in a $14.95-a-month credit-monitoring program.

Turns out the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is tired of seeing us, the consumer, getting hoodwinked (does anyone even use that word anymore?) and is fighting fire with fire...

Turns out, at least according to the FTC, the ONLY government authorized site offering truly free credit reports is annualcreditreport.com.

So, ok... I love the fact that FTC is fighting back on our be
half but why not just go right to the source and have "that other site" either change its name or make the fact that it's actually NOT free more prominent on their commercials? Sure, there is a reference to this fact but as they say, if you blink, you missed it.

Or perhaps they (FTC) fine Experian, the company that owns FreeCreditReport.com, significantly more than the $1 million they levied on them back in '05 or the 300 Gs in '07.

Hell, Experian spent nearly $71 million in '07 alone to promote this "free" service, so how much is $1.3 million dollars in fines going to affect them?


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3 comments:

The Daily Blonde said...

Every time I see that commercial I feel badly for the people who get sucked in. Not much for free these days...

Melissa said...

I often chuckle at the "free" part of that commercial. I do pay for a credit and ID theft monitoring service, but only because I had issues with a credit card company attempting to scam me. It's beneficial for some to pay the $14.95, but otherwise, just use annualcreditreport for a free report.

Steve Olenski... said...

THE DAILY BLONDE: I AGREE, I FEEL BADLY TOO FOR THOSE PEOPLE WHO FALL FOR THE PITCH, BUT BUYER BEWARE...!!!

MELISSA: YOU'RE POINT IS WELL-TAKEN IN THAT IT DEPENDS ON YOUR PERSONAL SITUATION WHETHER YOU NEED MORE THAN THE AVERAGE PERSON RE: CREDIT PROTECTION & INFO...

THANKS FOR YOUR RESPONSES!
STEVE O