Is this a scam? “ScoreSense preys on customers”

Richard Mitchell has a problem with a company called ScoreSense. A big problem.

ScoreSense provides a credit score, identity protection and credit monitoring service. It offers its subscription for a low introductory rate — free, which includes an initial credit report. When Mitchell responded to an ad through an online brokerage firm, he was charged just $1.

Then he received his credit card bill.

ScoreSense had billed him $29.95.

That didn’t sit well with Mitchell, who had expected free to actually mean free.

He writes,

I disputed the charge with ScoreSense but they denied it by saying “they sent me a welcoming e-mail and in it they quoted I had 7 days to cancel or else I would be charged $29.95 monthly.

First, they never sent me a welcoming e-mail. If they had I would have cancelled their program.

And second, he says he never received his “free” report.

“The bottom line: ScoreSense preys on customers to get their money and rejects any and all disputes to return the money,” he says.

He wants to know — is this a scam?

Well, let’s break this down. ScoreSense seems to have a good answer for the missing email. Check out the frequently asked questions section of its site.

Within 24 hours after signing up with ScoreSense, you should receive a Welcome e-mail containing important membership information. If you did not receive this important e-mail, check your Spam folder and make sure to add to your address book. Also visit your account page to ensure we have your correct address on file.

Question is, was its pricing disclosed prominently on its site?

Not really. Even when I try to sign up for the service, it doesn’t prominently display its rates. (Even clicking on its terms and conditions doesn’t reveal the price.)

That makes me uncomfortable.

ScoreSense gets plenty of complaints from people who feel they were snookered into signing up.

The Federal Trade Commission even warns against “free” credit report companies. (By the way, here’s how to get a real free report.)

So, to answer Mitchell, this may technically be a legal operation, but its tactics are questionable.

(Photo: Red/Flickr)

Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • Jesse Radin

    Yes, Scoresense is a scam. I have gotten emails from them referring to me as “Christina” despite never using their “service”.

  • Tk

    I saw the free trial period when signing up and got the welcome email. Really, common sense. Whatever brokerage firm you work for, I will be sure not to use since the common sense factor is missing. Nothing in this country is truly free there is always catch. You’re firm probably offers free services along with paid services, but only advertises the free to gain clientele. Now, as far as the scores provided, I don’t believe they are accurate. But do you really expect to continue to get your credit report and scores free? Give me a break.

  • Glenden Breed

    Score sense .com is a great company I have used them for years. They are upfront about their pricing as much as any of the “free” credit monitoring websites. The emails are automated once then sign you up it gets sent automatically. this guys just an idiot and doesn’t know how to work the spam filter.
    The one thing I really like is you get the real credit scores not the ones that the site just makes up from their own calculations.

  • Rob Woods

    Dido Glenden I have been using them for a couple years and have a great monthly rate. It alerts me when someone or something has changed in my credit. I am not sure how accurate the scores are but it does give me a base of where they are. Every Credit company has there own scoring system any way not many people know that I guess. In other words you can go to B of A and get a loan and they came back with a credit rating of 706 and then you can go to a car dealer ship and they give you a credit score of 630 just saying :). Also I have protection with Scoresense up to a $ 1.000.000 It’s a credit protection just like life lock. And they are accurate every time I use my credit under my soc number or use my credit cards I get an alert. Robb W

  • gman992

    The only problem with scoresense is that it says that two of more scores need updating. But, instead of hitting the update button it takes you to the Transunion and Equifax websites where you have to pay $30.00 each. So, you are paying $90 dollars for your scores–($30 for Scoresence, $30 for Equifax and $30 for Transunion.) Has this happened to anyone else?

  • Marie Balt

    Just here to say that SS is not a scam… just because you don’t read anything, I mean it basically says it’s “free” for 7 days, it’s like a trial, I mean the same way they give free samples at the grocery store or at the local chinese place in your mall… It’s common sense people… It’s just advertisement.. Besides, it is a great service and has many good things to offer so it’s worth the price… start reading the fine print people!