Credit bureaus are known for their sloppiness and incompetence, but you're forced to deal with them1. Recently, a family member tried to freeze her credit score but she was having problems with it. I had recently found again this wonderful link that explains how to write proper complaint letters, so I decided it was a good opportunity to put this in practice. It's a good idea to always deal with these companies in writing so that there's a record.
We drafted a letter explaining what she wanted to do, what wasn't working, and what we expected from TransUnion, attached all the relevant documentation, and sent it by certified mail. A couple of weeks passed and we received a very standard response: "This communication is written in response to your correspondence and/or documents received disputing the accuracy of certain information in your credit file"... which is not what we had done.
In Quebec, credit reporting agencies are regulated by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF). They have a process to help citizens with their complaints, and they'll be a middleman with authority between us and a company that's not doing what we requested. The process can be started here and it takes 10 minutes to fill. So we decided to do that: we explained what we sent to TransUnion, what we expected them to do, and what we received back, and attached all the communications we had with them so far.
A few days later (this was fast!), she received an e-mail from TransUnion asking how they could help, and offering to call next morning; this solved the problem promptly.
I'm writing this because at this point I've seen many stories in different forums of people trying to deal with these companies with no success. This workflow worked for us:
- Contact (in writing!) with the company and tell them very clearly what you want them to do. You can follow that link I mentioned above; this FTC guide is also good.
- Wait for a response. If it's good, you're done.
- If it's not (most likely), contact your provincial regulator and check if they offer a service like the AMF does, or in any case contact them with the relevant documentation so that they know that a company under their supervision is not doing its job properly.
they already have your data whether you like it or not, so you have no choice. ↩