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Equifax to pay 3.5 million in Penalties

The federal court has ordered Equifax to pay $3.5 million in penalties for misleading and deceptive conduct and unconscionable conduct in connection to their credit reporting services.

Affected consumers also have 180-day redress period to seek refunds form the company.

“Equifax’s conduct caused people to buy credit reporting services in situations when they did not have to. Consumers have the legal right to obtain a free credit report under the law,” ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

The ACCC brought legal action against the credit reporting company in March of this year. At the time it was reported there were also concerns about the Veda Group as data custodians since prior to being a part of Equifax there were 500 lodged complaints against them.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said in a formal statement this week that the sales representatives gave false and misleading information “…that paid credit reports were more comprehensive than free reports.”

The company also mislead consumers by saying that the paid-for scores provided by the Equifax were the same as the credit scores used by credit providers.

“This result sends a strong message to businesses that making misrepresentations and acting unconscionably against consumers will not be tolerated,” Court said.

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