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Invasion of Privacy

Published:

Last Edited: September 11, 2007, 6:00 pm

For those of you who get bombarded with "pre-screened" or "pre-approved" credit card offers or piles of marketing material, you will probably want to join me in my rant to stop this mailbox invasion. I estimate that the amount of trees that it took to print all this junk in only a month would build homes for an entire community.

What many people don't realize is that the majority of these offers are generated by information furnished by the 3 credit reporting bureaus, not your bank or credit card company. (Obviously they have no idea how broke I am!) 

Today I got "only" 4 of them.  About 2 months ago, I sent letters to each of the 3 reporting bureaus (Trans Union, Experian, Equifax) These addresses are usually listed on the back of the offers where it says "if you no longer wish to receive these offers."  No longer?  I don't remember asking for them in the first place.

Oh, if anyone is going to suggest I call the toll free opt-out number, I already tried that option.  Their automated system recognizes your home phone number and states your address.  First "she" started speaking to me in Spanish.  Maybe I pressed 2 instead of 1 or 1 instead of 2.  When I called back, "she" had my address all wrong. I can't understand it, because all the offers are arriving in my mailbox.  Now I realize this isn't a human, but after a few tries to correct it, I began yelling like a fool "No, that's not right" and then she asked me to state my correct address into the phone slowly.  "Okay, so you live at 1234 Sunny Lane. Is that correct?"  No! No!  "Okay, let's try it again," she repeats.  Then we moved onto "Let's try something else. What is your social security number?"  Maybe this sounds weird, but I felt uncomfortable telling an electronic voice I don't know or even had a drink with my date of birth and social security number.

I guess what triggered this blog entry today is that Capital One mailed me some checks.  The offer says "Nancy, just write yourself a check!"  So what happens if Suzy or Mary get a hold of these checks?  I've never heard a store clerk say to anyone "Ya know, this license photo doesn't look anything like you."  Have you?  Sure they ask you some "secrets" when you call, but considering all the people who have worked for banks, mortgage brokers, credit card companies, Verizon, AT&T, etc., I am sure there are thousands of people who know my mother's maiden name. They really need to come up with something better like "where did you first lose your virginity?" By the way, these are some other ways companies get your name, address and telephone number.

http://optout.com/

Well, none of these efforts has made much of a dent in the pile of junk I receive.  Maybe I'm becoming inpatient, since it's supposed to take at least 8 weeks for the mailings to stop.  However, when I first learned how my personal business was being shared with the world, I got angry and felt this whole process violates my privacy.  So let's start a class action lawsuit against these 3 credit bureaus!  The problem is, I know exactly what will happen then.  Mysteriously our credit scores will drop 250 points! 

 

Entry #77

Comments

1.
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 11, 2007, 6:25 pm
OMG! Todd, I apologize if this in any way conflicts with the banner ad above. Too late to edit. I really never looked up the whole time I was typing.

Well my complaint about junk mail is something entirely different anyway. Just want everyone to know it is a complete coincidence.
2.
SirMetroComment by SirMetro - September 11, 2007, 8:13 pm
LOL about the banner ad

In your defense, about 10 years ago when I had my own little company, it infuriated me to receive faxed in commercials. The fax paper I used is thermal based and cost right at $20 a roll.

So, for each one that had a return fax number attached, I would fax a bill for use of paper and my time for the amount of $450 per fax sheet I had received. Easily justified since my minimum charge for work was also $450 per sheet of paper.

I never received payment, but I also didn't get anymore faxes either
3.
justxploringComment by justxploring - September 11, 2007, 11:39 pm
people with premium memberships have no idea what I am talking about
4.
TenajComment by Tenaj - September 12, 2007, 11:15 am
Nancy, what gets me is that I couldn't go the the bank drive through without being hassled every time to get one of their premium credit cards. They said I was pre-approved right that minute and all I had to do was sign in the drive thru and get a card within 3 days.   And everybody knows that BOA is the most expense credit cards you can get.   I would just say "no thank you"

I would be making deposits from pick 4 straight hits and that started something because they never hassled me before. I told the teller on one occasion that I didn't have a job - hoping that would make them stop giving me the spill each time I came thru, but I couldn't believe what she said to me after I told her I didn't have a job. She said "more reason to get a card".

You would think that a big bank like BOA wouldn't result to something as tacky as that.

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