Updated with reply from Equifax below – 3/8/18
Yesterday, I received an email form Equifax, the company that leaked sensitive “personally identifiable” information about 143 or more MILLION American consumers into the wild. The email was written in a chatty “personal” style and was purportedly from “Nancy B.” an Equifax employee, giving advice on things to do to keep my credit secure when “life gets Busy.” I would have included Nancy’s picture in this post, but, of course, their email is copyrighted.
Thanks, Nancy, but if you really cared, how come the return email address is “no-reply@trustedID.com”? More platitudes and a picture of a comely woman in the header to make it feel all wonderful and comfortable. Well, giving me advice on how you keep your credit secure, Nancy, is really nice, but woefully empty.
So, upon receipt, I replied with the following email to TrustedID customer service who can be reached at this email address;
I will keep you updated as to their response, beyond the automatically generated reply that I received moments after sending my email, which among other things states, “We have received your inquiry and are working diligently to process it. However, due to higher-than-normal email volume, there may be a slight delay in our response time.”
I suggest that everyone that reads this post send their own request to Equifax for LIFETIME credit monitoring. Tell your friends, and maybe we can start something. Anyway, here’s my email to them. You can freely copy any or all of it as you see fit for your own purposes.
Dear Equifax Customer Care,
I have just received the ostensibly “personal” email from “Nancy B.” purporting to care about me and the condition of my credit security. It ends with the sentence, “I’m an Equifax employee, and we’re here to help.”
Well, I’m here to request some of that help.
Since the majority of risk to my credit has come from YOUR inability to properly secure MY personal data which you collected, stored, and released ALL without my permission, I think that it is incumbent on you to offer more of a solution that one year of credit monitoring and protection.
Since the sensitive personal information you so carelessly provided to the plethora of criminals out there isn’t likely to change over my lifetime, the risk to my financial security doesn’t end in one year. As this information becomes more widely disseminated as it is bought and sold for countless nefarious purposes, the likelihood that it will be used to damage my financial security actually INCREASES with time. The first year is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to my exposure to email hacking, bank account fraud, credit mis-use, investment account security, and a plethora of other fraud schemes.
At the end of the year, when my graciously supplied free TrustedID service ends, you will, no doubt, suggest that “this valuable protection can be continued for the low price of only $X.XX per year.” Well, since it was your security lapse that created this debacle and put me at risk in the first place, I am requesting that you extend my TrustedID subscription indefinitely as a small token of your sincerity if you are indeed serious about Nancy B’s promise that “We’re here to help you monitor your credit.” THAT would go a long way to wards restoring my faith in your promises.
Just as I suspected, I received a reply from Equifax written in a very non-personal and dismissive tone that included the following corporate flannel mouth line; “Our sincere apologies for any inconvenience this may be causing and we appreciate your patience. ”
Patience? I don’t have any patience! What they said, as I expected, is that they feel that a year of their TrustedID service is all they are willing to offer. Their reply was replete with grammatical errors, consistent with what I expected from a poor cog in the wheel of their understaffed and overworked “Customer Service” department. Here is an example from their reply; “Equifax advice to contact their creditors, to monitor their credit and financial transactions via Trusted ID Premier, and to contact the sites in which your information has been found to request that it is removed.”
They did offer a link to their “new” Lock & Alert service which they claim is free for life. Clicking on the link that they included in their reply netted this page…..
In all fairness, once you are on their site, finding this new “Lock & Alert” page isn’t difficult, but the broken link is just another indicator of their incompetence.
Additionally, the free Lock & Alert service is paltry compensation for them exposing my personal information to the underworld, and doesn’t provide any of the functionality of all-important credit monitoring.
While there are numerous class-action suits against Equifax in process, history shows us that typical settlements are years in coming, and that, as individuals, it is in our best interest to act independently and quickly now! I will reply to their email and update you accordingly.