Consumer Reports error in July, 2013 issue

Email didn’t work.  Calling for his resignation didn’t work.  An overnight train trip to his office didn’t work.  And now, in this month’s edition, in an unsubstantiated screed by its president and CEO, Consumer Reports magazine misinforms consumers about credit scores again.

James Guest writes, “The score that lenders really use may factor into your chances of getting a car loan, a mortgage, or a job, and into what you’ll pay in interest, as a deposit for rent and utilities, and, in many states, for insurance.”

Five years on, as the truth implodes in statehouses, this strange chapter is more fascinating than ever.  Get the history, and read the story about Consumer Reports (and the governor of the State of New York) on the Credit Scoring Site.

State of New York

The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo
Governor of New York State

You state, “For Sandy Victims, Blemishes on Credit Score Can Mean Higher Costs for Home, Auto, and Business Loans, Greater Difficulty Finding Employment.”

Employers do not use credit scores.  See Item 1.

Make a retraction.

Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio 45409

[UPDATE 5/6/13: There is a link, dated 4/27, to this page from https://twitter.com/creditscoring/status/328182948165734401.]

Talk back to your screen

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:28 PM
To: Brian L. Roberts, chairman and CEO, Comcast Corporation (via Adam Miller, EVP, Corporate Affairs, NBCUniversal, Comcast)
Cc: Allen Wastler, managing editor, CNBC.com; Daniel Bukszpan, staff writer, CNBC.com, Comcast; Daniel Bukszpan, staff writer, CNBC.com, Comcast (2); Jennifer Dauble, director, public relations, CNBC; Bernard T. Gugar, Harpo Productions; Steve J. Bernas, president/CEO, Better Business Bureau of Chicago and Northern Illinois, Inc.; MSNBC.com; MSNBC.com (2)
Subject: RE: US national average credit score, “States with the best credit scores” II

Do you mean to tell me that you actually believe that the national average credit score could have decreased by 22 points in 11 days?

No way.  Really?

Chicago Union Station, TO ALL TRAINS
Chicago Union Station, TO ALL TRAINS

On a recent whistle stop trip to New York (via Chicago), I was able to make a small dent in the misinformation about credit scores.  However, these things have a life of their own, and I am not sure that Oprah Winfrey got my message (sent directly to her lawyer, however!).  The inaccuracy on her website still exists.  She even published this: “That history is digested by a company called Fair Isaac and converted into your credit score, which ranges from 350 to 800.”

Ha, ha!

That’s not true, of course, and it’s an old story.  But, even the New York Times fell for Experian’s campaign, so don’t feel bad.  Like the Times (until enlightened), you’re just in a Funk.


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

[prevous message]

Who told you that?

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Friday, March 23, 2012 2:34 PM
To: K. James Yager, CEO, director, Barrington Broadcasting Group, LLC
Cc: Walter D. Bristol, chairman, Consumer Reports, Consumers Union; Amanda Walker, Consumer Reports senior project editor, Consumers Union; Communications, Consumers Union; James A. Guest, president, CEO, consumer Reports, Consumers Union
Subject: Whistle-Stop, Consumers Union, Barrington Broadcasting, Who told you that?

With incredulity, you published: “Your credit score is obviously important if you’re borrowing money. But many employers also look at scores when hiring.”

At the bottom of that story is a link to the “Consumers Union website,” however, the Consumers Union page at the link address does not support your statement; it does not mention employers.

New Yorker Hotel

On a whistle-stop tour this month, I visited Consumer Reports.  The person with that organization I spoke to there wrote:

Sent: Thursday, March 08, 2012 1:34 PM
To: greg@creditscoring.com
Subject: Follow up to your visit earlier today

Hello Greg,

After your visit, I conferred with Mandy Walker and our experts over at Consumers Union (the advocacy arm of Consumer Reports), and we’ve since updated Mandy’s quote in my blog to more accurately reflect the updated language now found at the website cited.

I just wanted to thank you for bringing this to my attention, and apologize for the communication disconnect that occurred on this end between Consumers Union and Consumer Reports, which meant the update was not made to the blog post sooner.

Again, thanks for your sharp eye and follow through,
[name]

(Despite that, still, another Consumers Union document states, inaccurately, “Without a Disaster Information Shield, FICO scoring models could pose an affirmative barrier to the efforts of disaster victims to regain, and maintain, financial stability, access reasonably priced credit, and even regain employment.”)

Your page even contains advertisements while misinforming readers by saying that employers use credit scores.

Who told you that?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

 

Consumer Reports’ inaccurate information, whistle stop

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 13, 2012 9:55 AM
To: Walter D. Bristol, chairman, Consumer Reports, Consumers Union
Cc: James A. Guest, president, CEO, consumer Reports, Consumers Union; Amanda Walker, Consumer Reports senior project editor, Consumers Union; David Butler, communications director, Washington DC, Consumers Union; Michael McCauley, media director, Financial Privacy Now, media director, Stop Hospital Infections, Consumers Union; Michael McCauley, media director, Financial Privacy Now, media director, Stop Hospital Infections, Consumers Union (alt); Margaret Shader, Web associate editor, Consumer Reports, Consumers Union; Kara Kelber, media relations associate, Consumers Union; Heather C. McGhee, director, Washington Office, Demos, and board member, Consumer Reports; Financial Services Team, Consumers Union; Financial Services Team, Consumers Union (alt); Press office, U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
Subject: RE: Follow up to your visit earlier today, Consumer Reports’ inaccurate information, Whistlestop

Walter D. Bristol, chairman
Consumer Reports, Consumers Union

See this message and your response at http://blog.creditscoring.com/?p=3629 and http://blog.creditscoring.com/?tag=consumer-reports.

You still make these claims:

  • “An automatic FICO disaster information shield would also prevent FICO scores from becoming a barrier to reemployment of displaced people looking for new work with employers who rely in part on credit scores.”
  • “Experian also sells its proprietary PLUS scores along with its credit reports. The company says your score helps ‘lenders, landlords, and employers quickly gauge your credit history and decide what kind of risk they are taking if they approve your application.’”
  • “’Your score is used by lenders, insurers, and even prospective employers, to judge how great of a credit risk you are,’ says Amanda Walker, Consumer Reports Senior Project Editor.”

Employers do not use credit scores.

What is your correction policy?


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

 

 

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:19 AM
To: Walter D. Bristol, chairman, Consumer Reports, Consumers Union
Subject: credit score, employers, Consumer Reports

Correct this, fire James A. Guest, then resign.

https://twitter.com/#!/creditscoring/status/162542622710312961


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342

 

 

From: creditscoring.com [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: 2/16/2009
To: Gail Hillebrand, Consumers Union
Subject: credit score, employers

You said, “An automatic FICO disaster information shield would also prevent FICO scores from becoming a barrier to reemployment of displaced people looking for new work with employers who rely in part on credit scores.”

See http://www.creditscoring.com/influence/government/employercreditscorebelievers.html#consumersunion.

Who is your source regarding credit score use by employers?

What is the name of an employer who uses credit scores?

 

credit score, employers, Consumer Reports

Today, Consumer Reports stated, “‘Your score is used by lenders, insurers, and even prospective employers, to judge how great of a credit risk you are,’ says Amanda Walker, Consumer Reports Senior Project Editor.”

Consumer Reports is not telling the truth.  The consumer reporting agencies do not provide credit scores for employment purposes.

Those shenanigans go way back:

Today’s email to Consumer Reports:  

From: Greg Fisher [mailto:greg@creditscoring.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 26, 2012 10:19 AM
To: Walter D. Bristol, chairman, Consumer Reports, Consumers Union
Subject: credit score, employers, Consumer Reports

Correct this, fire James A. Guest, then resign.

https://twitter.com/#!/creditscoring/status/162542622710312961


Greg Fisher
The Credit Scoring Site
creditscoring.com
PO Box 342
Dayton, Ohio  45409-0342