Equifax take payment but fail to give access to statutory report

Thinking of checking your credit rating? Well here’s what happened when I tried to get a copy of my statutory report from Equifax that may make you think twice about dealing with this company.

I’d previously ordered a credit report a couple of years ago so I could log in to my account without going through all the detailed questions necessary to order a report. I clicked on Statutory report, entered my credit card details and paid the £2. Up came the helpful message “Congratulations! Your order is now complete and ready to view. A receipt for your order can be found below.” I decide to save a pdf copy of the receipt just in case which I’d recommend if you decide to take your chance. But read this first.

Next I click View Product expecting to see the credit report. I’m taken to a Summary page with lots of options to order Credit Reports and Statutory reports but no way to see the report I just paid for. I click My Account and see my details so I know it’s taken me to where my report should be. I try Available products and am presented with the same set of products to order along with Current products are at the bottom  with a message “No Active Current Products”

So I hunt for a help line number that I thought I saw on the first page. I click each of the menu buttons at the top Summary, Credit Report, Credit Score but the only one that works is My Account. No support number. So I find a number in an email and call. A lady answers and we go though the standard security dance. She says the transaction is voided and that’s why I can’t see the statutory report. So why do I have a transaction reference number and a Congratulations message I ask. She says something about a glitch but I must admit it’s difficult to understand her English and the line is bad. The Equinox Global call centre is in Manilla, Philippines. She suggests taking my credit card number over the phone instead. I decline and ask how I’d view report online if she does transaction over the phone. She says I will be able to view online but I had my doubts and of the security issues with offshore call centres. I ask to speak to a manager to make a complaint.

I’m put on hold and listen to distorted music for several minutes followed by attempts to transfer the call with the tone dial numbers echoing in my handset. Eventually she figures out how to transfer and a guy answers. His English is also difficult to understand made worse by the poor quality call that sounded like a 60s transistor radio running out of battery. He tries to explain the same thing about the transaction not going through and how I’d receive payment back to the card in 48 hours. It made no sense. The transaction was voided and not gone through but a payment will be credited back to the card. “Has a payment been made or not I ask, it did not go through, the transaction failed he says.

But I have a transaction number. Who’s telling the truth? No £2 report available, check your bank account there’s no change showing here he says. Then he admits there’s a soft charge been taken that will be credited back. But you are telling me it did not go through. I don’t understand. If my account has been charged why can’t I view the report? He can’t explain. Has £2 been debited yes or no? No he says. He rambles about a soft charge. What is a soft charge? It’s if the card is valid or not, if card is valid soft charge is taken. It makes no sense.

Do you have a way to register a complain and issue a reference number so I can track this? Yes he says and after a short delay he comes back, trying to gain a reference number and gives it to me missing out a digit to start with but I read it back and he corrects it.

In the end the guy asks if I’d like to take a customer satisfaction survey? Terrible service, no I don’t want to take a survey I exclaim. The call lasted 29 minutes and I still had no statutory report or any faith in getting one.

It takes me a few minutes to calm down. I try some mindfulness but my mind keeps wondering how much of the financial system is broken. I log into my online credit card account and what do I see in recent payments? You guessed £2 charge. But it’s only soft so I should not worry. Keep clear of Equifax. It’s not worth it.

In case you are thinking what an idiot, he should have signed up for the 30 day free trail and cancelled. Well I did two years ago and found the trial ended at the weekend and it’s not possible to cancel online you have to call and the accounts are closed at weekend. So go ahead and sign up but remember to cancel before the final weekend else you will be charged £14.95 / month. And if you don’t pay they know exactly where to put the bad credit score.

Also worth reading the Trustpilot reviews for Equifax.



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