Credit reporting companies have so much power in hand, considering that they have to manage personal data and information from their clients, allowing them to gain easy access – as well as letting others know personal information about the clients. Credit reporting companies like TransUnion, Equifax, and Experian understand about that power, and they had to deal with legal issues and disputes concerning personal data of their clients in the past.
They also realize that with that much power, they tend to do whatever their wishes – neglecting their basic obligations and responsibilities toward their clients. Sometimes, they neglect to fix credit report errors of their clients, resulting in their clients’ chaotic situation and condition that can affect their financial stability and condition. But it is about to change, with those three big firms agreed to do better on their performance, in relation to a new credit report guidelines. The new guidelines are set to be implemented by New York Attorney General, and he also has made sure that the three companies will follow the rules.
Understanding How Credit Report Agencies Work
As it was mentioned before, credit reporting companies have a lot of obligations and also the power within their hands. Not only they issue reports for their clients about the condition of their credits, they also provide the information to other parties, such as insurance companies, lenders, financial institutions, and others. When you are trying to apply for an insurance coverage, for instance, your background and everything about you will be investigated and checked by the insurance company, based on the data provided by the credit reporting firms. Moreover, a credit report is able to show a person’s financial situation as well as the character they have. Whether they are discipline by always paying the bills on time, whether they are always late on their payments or whether they have healthy financial condition will be reflected in their credit reports and score.
The credit reporting companies generally track and gather data from collection agencies, credit card issuers, or lenders in order to produce the scores. Healthy scores generally mean that one can get a car loan, have a mortgage, or rent a condo, while unhealthy scores will hinder their access to those privileges. Unfortunately, credit reporting companies have been long criticized for not addressing complaints about the mistakes happening in the credit reports. Instead of investigating the complaints and issues, they prefer passing all of the complaints on to the lenders. This may seem like a simple action, but it takes the great toll on the clients’ financial condition. If you have healthy credit score, for example, you certainly don’t want such mistakes happening in your score, showing as if you had the unhealthy score. So far, that what happened to the clients, but it won’t be long. The new settlement and guidelines are certainly good news for the clients.
The investigation of this problem has been done after many New Yorkers complained that not only they experienced problems when they wanted to correct the mistakes happening to their reports, but their financial is also deeply affected because of it. Everything about their financial status – including the FICO score – has been jeopardized because of the mistakes made by the companies, not by them. If they are lucky, those errors can be fixed, but it generally takes years and their financial stability has been damaged.
The New Era and Regulation
With the new settlements, the companies have to hire and use trained employees when responding to customers’ complaints about their credit score mistakes. All these years, the activities for credit reporting have been going on automatically. The bureau had the disputes outsourced to workers overseas that were responsible for translating the problem into two or three-digit code fed automatically into the computer. The code would then be sent to creditor, who will decide whether further investigation should take place or not. But such thing won’t anymore. These companies have to spend extra budgets to hire professional employees that are responsible for investigating the claims, communicating and contacting the lenders, and finding solutions for the issues. And all the data and documents should be reviewed thoroughly, including those with identity theft or fraud issues.
According to Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2012, credit reporting companies only solve 15% of the complaints from their customers in all these years. The 85% have been given back to the lenders so they can conduct their own investigations. With the new settlement, these firms have shown their goodwill to dedicate themselves into better services and provide better responses of the prosperity of the consumers, along with their families. They had worked together with the Attorney General and also other state attorneys to come with the plan, and the settlement was the ultimate outcome of it.
The settlement certainly changes things, including how they deal with unpaid medical bills report, which has been responsible for the bulk of (unnecessary) overdue debts of the clients’ credit reports. After all, Consumer Financial Protect Bureau records that around 52% of the debts written on credit reports come from medical cost and expenses. In most credit reports, the unpaid medical bills appear as account in collection or process, but in most cases, the unpaid bills happen when the insurance companies postpone payments, and this is totally not the consumers’ mistake or fault.
With the new settlement and agreement, the credit reporting companies are required to wait for 6 months (18 0 days) before they can write the unpaid medical bills on the credit reports. The 6 months time should be enough for consumers to catch up on their payments or to deal with insurance claims. And under the new settlement, the credit reporting companies should remove the negative record from the report right away when the insurance companies have paid the medical bills – regardless of the time it was paid. These changes should take effect within the following three years and it will be implemented very soon nationwide.
The president of Consumer Data Industry Association, Stuart Pratt, claims that the industry has been showing their commitment and dedication about enhancing how the industry can benefit customers through working with them as well as increasing transparency of their services. The association is the trade group that is responsible in representing the three biggest credit reporting firms.
Do you depend on your credit cards so much? If you are one of those who rely so much on their credit card, it is quite logical and reasonable that you always need a certain service provider that can tell you about the right way of managing your credit. Having (a) credit card(s) is quite tricky as you always make sure that you have healthy credit score and the solid credit management so you won’t exceed your limit.
Among the many companies that deal within this field, Experian plc is one of the biggest global credit reporting companies that is operating worldwide. It is one of the biggest credit reporting firms in America and also one of the biggest in UK. The business is running through an online system, and they provide services to both individuals as well as businesses. The main objective of the company is to provide the needed and important tools to improve and maintain credit credibility and worthiness, which will lead to financial stability and freedom. Most businesses use the service to gain access to consumers’ credit files and data. If you are interested in using their service, you should know the Experian customer service number in order to contact them easily. However, there are some guidance and protocols of contacting the customer service in regard to the company’s information.
About the Company
Since Experian is designed as a global company, its service has been offered to 40 different countries around the world, with total employees reaching 17,000 people. The corporate headquarter is located in Dublin, Ireland with operational headquarter in Nottingham, England. Other operational headquarters are also scattered around the globe and continents, such as the office in Costa Mesa in California, Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Heredia in Costa Rica. The company alone is listedwithinLondon Stock Exchange.
The company has undergone a long history into reaching its current success. Everything started in the 70s, when GUS plc, decided to employ John Peace, a computer programmer. GUS plc alone is a retail conglomerate system with millions of its customers paying for the goods they purchase through credits. Peace was hired to combine the company’s mail order data from different GUS business platforms. He was responsible to create a specific central database that can be added country court judgments and electoral roll data. The database was then made commercial in 1980 under CCN (Commercial Credit Nottingham) name. Later on, GUS plc, purchased Experian (an American credit reporting company) that was formerly known as the name TRW Information Service, and then merged it altogether with CCN.
The company had spent a decade to expand the products and their ranges; so they aren’t focusing on financial services only. They also decided that they would enter new markets such as Asia Pacific, Eastern Europe, and also Latin America. Their expansions happened through acquisitions and organic development. However, the success made Experian wanted to stand on its own, so it demerged from the GUS plc in October 2006 and it has its own name listedunderLondon Stock Exchange.
Issues and Problems
Experian’s success didn’t happen smoothly because they had to deal with some legal and federal issues. They also experienced some minor setbacks that required them to rethink and re-plan their management. They had to deal with fraud and scam issue related to their services. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) accused Experian of violating their settlement concerning customers’ right. The company offered free credit report service in their website: consumerinfo.com, but in reality, they enroll the customers automatically in their credit monitoring programs costs around $80. For that action, Experian had to deal with FTC and their settlement.
Moreover, Experian had to close some of their offices as well as cutting off about 200 jobs in January 2008. The 200 job cuts happened in Nottingham office because they were thinking about developing their business to India to cut off costs. They also shut down their Canadian operations on April the 14th 2009.
The Business and Operation
Despite some issues that have happened to them on their journey, they have experienced quite success and their clients are basically scattered all over the world. Moreover, the company has more than 25 years of experience, so they basically understand what they are doing.
Their main perks (when compared to other services) are:
· They have greater and wider data quality as well as selections
· They provide high-quality products and services – covering innovative, market leading, and value added variants – that are all inspired and based on their customers’ need.
· They always keep up with the latest regulatory, legislative, and compliance requirements
· They have strengthened their information security, privacy, and also fraud prevention to protect customers.
As it was mentioned before, credit cards management can’t be taken for granted because it will determine the stability and condition of your financials. By knowing your credit status and you get regular reports on your condition, you know how to manage your financials and you won’t have to worry about any financial chaos. And this is the main purpose that the company seeks; providing assistance and help to customers so they can manage their financials without having to worry about anything.
Another benefit offered by Experian is their expansive experience since they are operating on a global platform. They have seen different kinds of demographic, lifestyles, cultures, and environments that can influence one’s financial condition. That’s why they are able to provide services that can be adjusted and customized to their customers’ needs and requirements. Experian consists of only the skilled, professional, and experienced consultants and staffs that will dedicate themselves to work and customers. This is one of the main reasons why Experian is always able to deliver the newest, smartest, most innovative, and most effective services and products. The customer service is considered as one of the best, and you can actually have different formats when asking for information or filing for complaints – there are different formats offered. You won’t be disappointed when you contact the customer service as you can get the answers to your questions satisfactorily.
When you want to contact Expedia for further info or you are simply attracted to their traveling packages, you can always find Expedia customer service phone number by googling it or simply visit their official site and have a look around. Being one of the biggest companies specializing and focusing in traveling in America, Expedia has set up expansive and wide networks and partnerships with different services, especially in accommodation, hotels, and airline. If you want to travel and you want to choose your own package, feel free to contact the company and choose whatever options you see fit. You won’t have to worry about anything else; simply enjoy your trip and have a memorable one!
About Expedia Inc.
Expedia Inc. is basically a public company that is running in travel sector. It was first founded in 1996 as Microsoft division and it now has different brands that cover Egencia, expedia.com, eLong, Venere, hotwire.com, and so many others. The top key people include Barry Diller as the chairman, Mark Okerstrom as the CEO, and Dara Khosrowshahi as the CEO. Its employees reach 14,570 people in December 2013 and its official website is www.expediainc.com.
Expedia Inc. is an American company that is running on several traveling brands that are mostly operating online. Besides the names mentioned above, the brands also include CruiseShipCenters, Classic Vacations, and Expedia Local Expert. Expedia alone has 100 branded sales point within 60 different countries all around the world. it works together with more than 10,000 partners in consumer brands, airlines, high traffic websites, and also hotels within its Expedia Affiliate Network.
The Long History
As it was mentioned before, Expedia was founded as a part of Microsoft before it was spun off later on in 1999 and then finally bought by TicketMaster, who then changed name into USA Networks and later on InterActiveCorp (IAC). They then spun off a certain traveling group division under new name of Expedia, starting in August 2005. The new spun off includes Expedia, Egencia (it was Expedia Corporate Travel), Classic Vacations, TripAdvisor, hotels.com, eLong, and hotwire.com. Expedia then decided to spin out TripAdvisor in 2011, while still retaining the traveling transaction brands portfolio. In their attempts at expansion, Expedia then purchased the major stake of Trivago with stock and cash combination that is worth $630 million, and it all happened on the 21st of December 2012.
The decision to buy Trivago is a perfect and right decision since it is basically a metasearch hotel engine that can help online users make price comparison of all hotels all over the world, where the results and findings are gained from more than 200 booking sites. After all, with heavy competitors like Priceline Group (covering agoda.com and booking.com), book-a-bnb.com, and BookIt.com, Expedia feels the need to have the right ‘ammo’ to keep the business up and running.
As it weren’t enough, Expedia expanded its reach and stages to purchase wotif.com Holdings Ltd, a traveling company covering Asia Pacific area. The decision was made on the 6th of July 2014. However, the deal still needs approval and agreement from wolf shareholders, and Expedia has to wait for wolf’s other brands like travel.au.com, lastminute.com.au, and wotif.com.
Reasons to Use the Service
One of the main reasons why people like using traveling service from Expedia is because they are given loads of options and choices when it comes to their traveling destinations and comfort. With more than 10,000 partners around the world, Expedia customer service number can give you the flexibility that you want – not to mention also the perks in enjoying the fun and memorable traveling experience. For instance, when you use some airlines that are working together with Expedia, you can get generous discounts so you can save up more money. The same thing also applies to hotels and accommodations, where you can get attractive price cut.
Not to mention that you can also be Expedia member and enjoy more perks and benefits. Not only you can enjoy the safe and protected ways of transactions, you can also earn points which you can redeem later on with attractive packages and offers. Your account is basically your source of action, so when you make bookings on other people’s name (but using your account), you can earn points. When you are making arrangements for your own trips and travels, you can also earn points. The more active you are, the more points you can generate and get. The memberships range from blue, silver, and gold, and each of them can deliver its own benefits for you.
Besides hotels and flights, Expedia can also be used to rent a car. Whenever you go and which country you decide to visit, be sure that you can always get the type of ride you want without fuss or hassle, thanks to the Expedia membership. That’s why it is quite understandable why this company is liked and become favorite among travelers.