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Using credit monitoring may force you into arbitration


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So I found out something interesting today. CreditCheck Total is owned by Experian. Many credit monitoring sites out there are owned by, or have some relationship with, the big 3 bureaus. Look what I found in CreditCheck Total's terms and conditions today:

ARBITRATION

YOU UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT ALL CLAIMS, DISPUTES OR CONTROVERSIES BETWEEN YOU (OR ANY OF YOUR MINOR CHILDREN) AND CIC, AND ITS PARENTS, AFFILIATES, SUBSIDIARIES OR RELATED COMPANIES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO TORT AND CONTRACT CLAIMS, CLAIMS BASED UPON ANY FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL STATUTE, LAW, ORDER, ORDINANCE OR REGULATION, AND THE ISSUE OF ARBITRABILITY, SHALL BE RESOLVED BY FINAL AND BINDING ARBITRATION AT A LOCATION DETERMINED BY THE ARBITRATOR. ANY CONTROVERSY CONCERNING WHETHER A DISPUTE IS ARBITRABLE SHALL BE DETERMINED BY THE ARBITRATOR AND NOT BY THE COURT. JUDGMENT UPON ANY AWARD RENDERED BY THE ARBITRATOR MAY BE ENTERED BY ANY STATE OR FEDERAL COURT HAVING JURISDICTION THEREOF. THIS ARBITRATION CONTRACT IS MADE PURSUANT TO A TRANSACTION IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE AND ITS INTERPRETATION, APPLICATION, ENFORCEMENT AND PROCEEDINGS HEREUNDER SHALL BE GOVERNED BY THE FEDERAL ARBITRATION ACT ("FAA"). NEITHER YOU (NOR ANY OF YOUR MINOR CHILDREN) NOR CIC SHALL BE ENTITLED TO JOIN OR CONSOLIDATE CLAIMS IN ARBITRATION BY OR AGAINST OTHER CONSUMERS OR ARBITRATE ANY CLAIM AS A REPRESENTATIVE OR MEMBER OF A CLASS OR IN A PRIVATE ATTORNEY GENERAL CAPACITY. THE PARTIES VOLUNTARILY AND KNOWINGLY WAIVE ANY RIGHT THEY HAVE TO A JURY TRIAL.

The way I read that, if you use this service, and Experian violates the FCRA and you sue them, they could invoke arbitration and you wouldn't get your day in court.

If you use a credit monitoring service to get reports regularly, I encourage you to look over the T&C and see if there's an arbitration clause. Post your results here.

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I was looking into getting Citi IdentityMonitor and based on your post, I looked for the arbitration clause. On the main web page, I found:

Disclaimer

NOTICE.

PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY. BY ACCESSING THIS SITE AND ANY PAGES THEREOF, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BELOW. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BELOW, DO NOT ACCESS THIS SITE, OR ANY PAGES THEREOF.

COPYRIGHT ® CITIGROUP 2001. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Copyright in the pages and in the screens displaying the pages, and in the information and material therein and in their arrangement, is owned by Citigroup unless otherwise indicated.

GOVERNING LAW

Use of this site shall be governed by all applicable Federal laws of the United States of America and the laws of the State of New York.

Then, when I went to sign up, I read the "Terms of Use and Consent to Obtain my Credit Report" and found:

General. These Terms of Use are governed by the laws of the State of South Dakota, USA, exclusive of its choice of law principles. Any claim arising out of or relating to the Program shall be settled by binding arbitration in accordance with the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association on an individual basis not consolidated with any other claim. These Terms of Use state the exclusive terms, conditions, representations and warranties governing the Program.

How do I find out if CitiGroup has an affiliation or if they're owned by any of the 3CRA's? Based on this info in the T&C, would this monitoring service be a good one to go with? Thanks for your help!

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I was looking into getting Citi IdentityMonitor and based on your post, I looked for the arbitration clause. On the main web page, I found:

Disclaimer

NOTICE.

PLEASE READ THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS CAREFULLY. BY ACCESSING THIS SITE AND ANY PAGES THEREOF, YOU AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BELOW. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS BELOW, DO NOT ACCESS THIS SITE, OR ANY PAGES THEREOF.

COPYRIGHT ® CITIGROUP 2001. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Copyright in the pages and in the screens displaying the pages, and in the information and material therein and in their arrangement, is owned by Citigroup unless otherwise indicated.

GOVERNING LAW

Use of this site shall be governed by all applicable Federal laws of the United States of America and the laws of the State of New York.

Then, when I went to sign up, I read the "Terms of Use and Consent to Obtain my Credit Report" and found:

General. These Terms of Use are governed by the laws of the State of South Dakota, USA, exclusive of its choice of law principles. Any claim arising out of or relating to the Program shall be settled by binding arbitration in accordance with the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association on an individual basis not consolidated with any other claim. These Terms of Use state the exclusive terms, conditions, representations and warranties governing the Program.

How do I find out if CitiGroup has an affiliation or if they're owned by any of the 3CRA's? Based on this info in the T&C, would this monitoring service be a good one to go with? Thanks for your help!

Well, that one says that any claim arising out of or relating to the "Program..." Program is a defined term, so you'd need to find out the definition.

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So I found out something interesting today. CreditCheck Total is owned by Experian. Many credit monitoring sites out there are owned by, or have some relationship with, the big 3 bureaus. Look what I found in CreditCheck Total's terms and conditions today:

QUOTE]

How do you find out if a company is owned by, or has some relationship with, the big 3 bureaus?

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