Experian faced accusations of using deceptive marketing tactics by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Justice Department. The credit reporting agency has now been issued a $650,000 fine and a permanent injunction by the US District Court in California.
The allegations focused on Experian’s emails to customers, which were sent alongside free credit monitoring memberships. Regulators claimed that these emails did not clearly provide an option to opt-out or offer a mechanism to do so. This led to a violation of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM Act).
Three common formats were identified for these emails, including alerts about a new car noticed on a customer’s account, the need for dark web monitoring, and offers to boost a customer’s FICO score. Upon logging into their accounts, users were redirected to pages urging them to upgrade their account or sign up for a loan. However, this particular aspect of the case was not included in the final decision.
The FTC transferred the case to the Justice Department, which filed the injunction in court. The court ruling also ordered Experian to pay the fine within seven days.
These actions highlight the seriousness of violating spam laws and using deceptive marketing practices. The FTC and the Justice Department aim to protect consumers and ensure companies adhere to regulations. Moving forward, it is expected that Experian and other credit reporting agencies will take this incident as a lesson to improve their marketing practices and provide transparency to their customers.