Archive for January, 2009

Feedback, Evaluation and Analysis of www.freecreditreport.com

Monday, January 19th, 2009

As we discussed in our post about a week ago, we are going to review and evaluate all of the major credit bureau report fraud alert services. These services are also called identity theft detection services. While we make no money doing this, we believe that this service will assist our business customers substantially. I hope that you can get some valuable information about these services in order to protect your personal credit score which is critical to getting loans and credit for your business in today’s difficult credit environment. Your personal credit score is just as important as your business credit score since most bankers, credit card companies, etc will look at both of them before lending.

As we discussed in the previous post, each of the major credit bureau companies own their own credit card fraud alert services. These services are great for many reasons. These services will let you know if anyone is attempting to use your personal information such as social security numbers, address, credit card numbers, etc to fraudulently get credit. But, these services are also important to see your most recently updated credit report and credit score.

I thought that we would start off with www.freecreditreport.com since it is the most popular identity theft protection service on the Internet. You will not only see this service advertised on the web, but it also uses lots of T.V. commercials to sell the product.

Free Credit Report (or www.freecreditreport.com) is owned by Experian which is one of the three major personal credit bureau’s. And probably the most important credit bureau as it relates to gaining credit from credit card companies. It seems that most of the major credit card companies like American Express (Amex), Advanta Financial Corp, First National Bank of Omaha. But, I also think that it is the worst service among the three major credit card companies. This is not to say that Experian does not have a good service since they do, but it is definitely not Freecreditreport.com. The service that Experian has that is much better than www.freecreditreport.com is called Credit Expert or www.creditexpert.com…..and Credit Expert at $11.95 per month is less expensive then Freecreditreport.com at $14.95 per month. It does make you wonder why the biggest service they have is www.freecreditreport.com. We will devote a blog post in the coming weeks about Credit Expert or www.creditexpert.com and explain its benefits and it advantages over www.freecreditreports.com.

Here is a brief summary of what www.freecreditreport.com can do for you.

  1. www.freecreditreport.com will provide your email alerts throughout the month when anything changes within your credit report that could lead to identity theft such as new credit inquiries, change of address, etc.
  2. www.freecreditreport.com will provide you your credit score once per month.
  3. www.freecreditreport.com will provide you a new credit report once per month.
  4. They will make certain to market every service they have while you are reviewing your credit report and score which is very annoying.
  5. www.freecreditreport.com will charge your $14.95 per month and only give you the information from Experian. If you want the other credit bureaus information than it will cost you $24.95 per month.

Here is a brief summary of what www.freecreditreport.com will NOT do for you:

  1. www.freecreditreport.com will not update your credit score during the month.
  2. www.freecreditreport.com will not provide you an updated credit report during the month.
  3. Negative credit items generally stay on your record and effect your credit score for 7 years, but www.freecreditreport.com will only show you the last 24 months of payments.
  4. www.freecreditreport.com does not have a way to look at your entire credit history simultaneously for ALL creditors without clicking each and every creditor. They need a button that can be clicked to allow a customer that option.
  5. www.freecreditreport.comwill not inform you during the month if your credit balances change during the month. For example, if your credit balance on your Visa or MasterCard goes up by $5000 during the month due to fraud, www.freecreditreport.com will NOT notify you.

In summary, I believe that www.freecreditreport.comis overpriced and does not deliver enough to warrant the service. I believe that there are a lot better identity theft detection services (Fraud alert services) on the Internet and we will evaluate those in future posts.

Tired of Your Restroom Air Fresheners Always Empty?

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

Restroom air fresheners are great additions to the restroom. But, have you noticed that it seems like they are always empty. The air freshener industry was built on the idea of providing 30 days of use per air freshener can, gel or other product.

But today the 30 day air freshener is “so yesterday”.  We always advise customers that there is now a new 90 day alternative. Technical Concepts (the air freshener guru’s) introduced several years ago a new 90 day air freshener dispenser and a related air freshener can. The product is called the TC 9000. The related TC 9000 air freshener cans come in many different odors.

While Technical Concepts introduced the product for a use of 90 days, you can actually get a lot more use out of them. For example, if you purchase the TC 9000 Dispenser — SKU # TC 401218. This dispenser lets you set the time and days you want the air freshener dispensed. Some of the combinations will extend the life of this air freshener dispenser to 180 days.

So if you are tired of constantly having your air fresheners out of service (empty), then it is time that you select a TC 9000 model and extend your air freshener life from 90 to 180 days.

Sullivan’s Steakhouse Restaurant

Thursday, January 15th, 2009

Sullivan’s Steakhouse Restaurant is an up and coming steakhouse chain that currently has 18 locations throughout the United States. Sullivan’s recently opened one of its restaurants in Leawood, Ks (a suburb of Kansas City, Mo).

Sullivan’s website describes their restaurant  as a 1940′s Chicago-Style Steakhouse offering the finest Certified Angus Beef, select seafood, veal, pork, lamb and chicken entrees. In this case,  I believe that Chicago is well represented.

The Leawood Sullivan’s Steakhouse Restaurant has been a huge success for the company. The General Manager has told me that it is one of their largest locations, but the bar is for certain the largest bar in their chain. The bar has been a huge success for Sullivan’s. Thursday night has special prices for the bar’s drink and food. When it first opened you had to get to the bar by 5:30 P.M. to get a seat on Thursday night. Within a few weeks, if you were not in the bar by 4:00 P.M. you did not get a seat….can you believe that people left work at 4:00 P.M. to get a seat at a happy hour…that is a popular bar.

Sullivan’s has a great steak. I have had it on a number of occassions. While it has been a little inconsistent, I have chalked it up to being a new restaurant with new staff. But, when the steak is made right, it is hard to beat anywhere. I had the steak last night and it was GREAT!

Are You Having a Hard Time Finding Cinch– The General Purpose Cleaner by Spic and Span?

Monday, January 12th, 2009

We hear from frustrated customers who have a very difficult time finding Cinch–the general purpose cleaner made by Spic and Span. Cinch is a retail product sold primarily thru Retail Grocery Stores. But, unfortunately, the product is not sold nationwide. Instead, you will find it in some communities grocery stores, but not find it elsewhere.

Some communities do not have it available at all. So our typical customer is one that has used it in a community where they use to live or they bought it at their grocery store to find out one day that the grocery store stopped carrying it.

Well, we understand your pain! It seems as if our CEO’s wife was “addicted” to Cinch. She thought that it was the best product that she had ever cleaned with. Well, if it was that good, we needed to sell it!

So, if you want to try one of the best general cleaning products, we hope that you will consider purchasing a case of Cinch. You will not regret it!

 

Which Identity Theft Detection Service Should You Use?

Wednesday, January 7th, 2009

Great Question!

Identity theft in the United States has become huge and we are seeing ads daily for services that you can subscribe to monthly to watch your credit account for any potential activity. These services then alert you via email that something has changed on your personal credit file.

Beginning in the 1990′s, banks and credit issuers began using your credit bureau scores as one of the primarly tools in deciding to extend credit. The days of relying on a personal relationship with a banker has disappeared. While a personal relationship with a banker is still important, federal and state banking regulations have required them to rely on the credit score. One of the banking industries concerns is if they lend to someone with a low credit score (because they know the individual real well) , then regulators will challenge them as to why they gave loans to some people with low scores, but not to other people. Thus, your credit score is critical.

We thought that we could use this blog to discuss the differences between the services and make a recommendation to you as to which service you should use if you decide to subscribe to one. We are not affiliated with any of these services and get no revenue from them so this is just an honest evalution of the service. We will be using this blog for all sorts of issues that we believe will assist our customers. We will not use it  to exclusively discuss our industry or promote our products. We want it to be a place where consumers and businesses can come to get some great information.

Before signing up for the services, we began researching the various services on the web. I have to admit that I was frustrated since I could not find much independent information on the various services. There is a lot of information out on the web about Identity Theft Protection, but almost all of it is written by affliliates of the various Indentity Theft Services. Since these websites want to primarily sell you the service, they do not provide much honest feedback.

Before we get started, let me explain a little about the industry. There are three primary credit service bureaus that follow the credit patterns of most Americans. These credit bureaus are Equifax, Experian and Transunion.  Each of these companies provide a monthly Identity Theft Protection service and some of them actually provide several different services.

In addition to these Identity Theft Services, there are independent companies that buy the credit bureau data from Equifax, Experian and Transunion and then use it to provide a service to you. Examples of Companies that are independent service providers are Identity Guard, My Credit Privacy and Life Lock.

We are going to begin a series of blog articles on the various services beginning next week starting with the services provided by the three primary credit bureaus: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.