So, I’ve been working on a few posts about credit scores, and I though I would go see if there’s a good source for the official FICO score on the internet. So, how do I start research? With Google. Here’s what I find:
“Free FICO Credit Score”, eh? I’m all up for that. Let’s take a look at what I see when I click through to myFICO.com:*
Wow, a free FICO score! Awesome! Sign me up! So I click through to “YES! Get my FICO score. FREE” button and see…
So I all rared up, I’m gonna get my FICO score, I’m gonna have an awesome-useful post for the blog. Then I take a moment to look at the top: “Special Offers”? “Payment”!?! Free things don’t require payment. What’s going on? I click my back button and see this:
Where did my Free FICO score offer go? Now I have a page selling me some pricey kit featuring Suze
Sellout’s Orman’s overly Photoshopped face (not pictured).** I was finally able to bring back the original page by refreshing the page. The secret’s in the miniscule type:
Oh, too small for you to read? I will admit, it’s a smidgen larger on the original page. Here’s, allow me to quote them:
*IMPORTANT INFORMATION: When you order your free FICO® Score here, you will begin your 10-day trial membership in Score Watch®. You may cancel at anytime[sic] within the trial period without charge, after 10 days you will be billed $14.95 for each month you continue your membership.
As usual, “IMPORTANT INFORMATION” could be code words for: “This is how we’re gonna git’cha! Heh heh heh.”
So, given that the free FICO score offered is just a gimmick to up-sell the customer to buying a monthly charge, I think I’ll decline. While their marketing is probably entirely legal, and they disclose their plans for signing you up for charges in the future, I still think of this sort of sales tactic as smarmy. So, no, myFICO.com, I don’t want my free FICO score if I might have to pay for some silly monitoring program.
* No, I’m not putting in a hyperlink to myFICO.com. I don’t want to make it easy for you to do business with them.
** You’re welcome.