Credit report

FTC Finalizes Order Against Credit Report Provider for UDAP Violations

On April 7, the FTC finalized a Ordered against a respondent company credit reporting provider to settle allegations that the respondent engaged in deceptive and unfair practices by failing to provide companies with a clear, consistent and reliable process to correct errors in their credit reports, even though the respondent sold products to these companies that claimed to help companies improve their reports. FTCs administrative complaint also alleged that the respondent’s telemarketers deceptively offered another service to businesses and falsely claimed that businesses had to purchase the service in order for the respondent to complete the business’s credit profile. Furthermore, the respondent allegedly failed to disclose to the companies that the subscription to the service automatically renewed each year and that other renewal practices could lead to increased costs (covered by InfoBytes here). Under the terms of the final order, the respondent is required to make substantial changes to its processes and to reimburse the injured companies. Remedies include (i) free removal of disputed information or reasonable re-investigation to determine the accuracy of disputed information in a corporate report; (ii) meet specific deadlines to promptly investigate and correct errors; (iii) inform companies of the results of the survey and provide companies with free access to the revised information; (iv) clearly disclose to Companies the rate at which Company responds to Subscriber requests to add payment history information, as well as its limitations in providing assistance in adding such information; (v) allow current subscribers to cancel their services and obtain refunds; and (vi) impose restrictions on the Respondent’s ability to automatically renew subscriptions or switch subscribers to a more expensive product.