An Internet company incorporated in Nevada called MyPerfectCredit Inc. isn't leaving its customers feeling so perfect.
The Better Business Bureau of Northern Nevada processed 123 complaints in the last year about this company, which lists its resident agent in Carson City. Nevada Consumer Affairs fielded 14 complaints about MyPerfectCredit this year. Two of the complaints are still in review.
"That's definitely something to make us take notice," said Pam Morgan, chief executive officer of the Better Business Bureau in Reno. "They were doing a tremendous amount of business, but that's still a lot of complaints."
One customer said she was given an inaccurate credit report and then inexplicably charged $200 in fees.
MyPerfectCredit.com provides members with an analysis of their credit reports. It will also challenge the credit bureaus to remove negative items on the client's credit history, a service one credit counselor called unnecessary because consumers can do that for free themselves.
The Better Business Bureau didn't find out the company was located in Costa Mesa, Calif., until April.
MyPerfectCredit Customer Support Manager David Bryon said the company is aware of the Better Business Bureau issues and has responded to every complaint with full refunds. He said the company is not aware of any unresolved Nevada complaint issues.
"With over 280,000 customers, our complaint rate of 120 to the Better Business Bureau is a pretty good track record," Bryon said.
Morgan said the Northern Nevada bureau is still working on complaints that it has received from across the nation, including three in the area.
"What we've found is that even after canceling the charges to consumers, and saying they are going to write off the debt, the company is still going back and turning them in to a (credit) collection agency," Morgan said. "We've heard that from a couple of people."
That's Katherine Hill's story. The 34-year-old newspaper managing editor from McComb, Miss., is fighting that battle with MyPerfectCredit.com. She is filing complaints with the bureau, Nevada Consumer Affairs and the Federal Trade Commission.
What lured her into the company in March was the promise of a free credit report. Hill said she signed up to have free access to the report for five days. She would then have to pay per month to view it and for the company to dispute any items on her behalf.
Hill said the report given to her by MyPerfectCredit was full of inaccuracies, claiming she had many late payments and other odd charges. She called TransUnion, one of the nation's three largest private credit tracking companies, and it couldn't find these items on her credit report. The next day she contacted MyPerfectCredit and canceled her account by fax, which is what the company required.
"Two weeks later I look at my bank statement online and there's a charge for a $29.95 issuance fee from them," she said.
Hill canceled by fax for a second time. Ten days later a $35 charge showed up on her account. She canceled for a third time. But she's still out $65 the company wouldn't refund.
Later Hill received a barrage of phone calls from a credit collection agency. It wanted $150 from her to pay for a cancellation fee issued by the Internet company.
"I'm not opposed to paying a bill if I owe something," she said. "But I don't know what the $150 is for and it's outlandish for a credit report because they didn't do anything on my behalf. They didn't provide any service to me other than a copy of a credit report that was inaccurate."
The MyPerfectCredit manager said the company has had some minor issues with a few customers in the collections process. To help remedy the situation, it calls a stop to the collection process after three weeks to double check that only customers with legitimate debts owed are collected upon. He offered a full refund to those who have had problems with the billing system.
"We are very clear when a customer selects work to be performed," Bryon said. "If a customer is in a membership plan that is not a good fit for them, they are free to change their plan or cancel at any time."
Morgan, with the Better Business Bureau, said companies such as MyPerfectCredit incorporate in Nevada to take advantage of the state's tax status, which includes minimal reporting and disclosure requirements. The bureau is referring any more complaints to the Los Angeles bureau, which covers the Costa Mesa area.
A corporation search on the Nevada Secretary of State's Web site yielded no results from MyPerfectCredit. According to the Carson City business licensing department, MyPerfectCredit changed its name to Pathway Data on Jan. 19.
Natalie McKinnon, a manager with Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Northern Nevada, said consumers should be wary of services provided over the Internet.
"Nobody can clean up a credit report but you," she said. "People just have to really be careful who they're dealing with. It's much better to do it face-to-face."
MyPerfectCredit charges its clients to put an alert on their credit reports in case of identity theft. McKinnon said anyone can call a credit bureau and ask that the alert be put on free of charge.
Consumers can also contact a credit bureau to dispute items on their report for free and the credit bureau will dispute it for you.
n Contact reporter Becky Bosshart at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1212.