WASHINGTON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Credit monitoring company One Technologies LP will refund $22 million to customers to settle U.S government allegations that its websites inadequately disclosed its charges for credit scores, the two sides said on Wednesday.
A draft complaint from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission alleged that the Dallas-based privately held company advertised free access to credit scores but charged customers $29.95 per month. At least 210,000 people have complained about One Technologies’ practices since 2008, the FTC said in the complaint.
In addition to $22 million in customer refunds, One Technologies changed its websites to make advisories about what it charged more conspicuous, the company and the FTC said.
One Technologies said it has about 15 percent to 20 percent of the credit monitoring market, which is dominated by Experian and Equifax One Technologies has some 50 websites with names like FreeScore360.com, FreeScoreOnline.com and ScoreSense.com.
“One Technology is pleased to have resolved this matter. Our intention was always to sign up only those customers who wanted our product and were aware of its benefits,” General Counsel Fred Loeber said in a telephone interview. “We always believed that we complied with the law.”
The company said in a news release that it had made disclosures about charges more prominent on its websites, in what it claimed “set a new standard for the industry’s clearest and simplest subscription disclosures.” (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)