“Free credit scores” sounds good, right? But what if you signed up for “free credit scores,” then found out you were enrolled in a credit monitoring program that costs $29.95 per month? Not so good. That’s what the FTC says happened with a company called One Technologies, Inc.
One Technologies has agreed to settle the FTC’s charges that it misled consumers by advertising “free credit scores” but failing to tell people that they would be enrolled in a credit monitoring program with a monthly fee.
Here’s what happened: One Technologies offered people “free” online access to their credit scores through at least fifty websites, including freescore360.com, freescoreonline.com, and scoresense.com. But according to the FTC, the company didn’t clearly inform people that once they got their score, they would have to pay $29.95 per month for a credit monitoring program. You could only get out of that monthly fee by calling to cancel. Some people had to call multiple times. Others were denied refunds.
One Technologies will pay $22 million to compensate affected people and must get people’s consent before billing them. And it must provide people with an easy way to cancel.
If you’re considering using a free credit report or credit score service, here are a few things to consider: