/ Money

Ask Which? – Why was I charged for a ‘free’ credit check?

Credit check and stethoscope

You ask: I did a free trial credit check on Creditexpert.com… the only thing is, it isn’t free unless you cancel it. When I phoned customer services, I was told I would get a refund, but four days later I had no refund.

I phoned again only to be told my 30 day trial had expired, and I would have to pay the £14.99 fee that had been charged to my credit card, every month, until I cancelled it.

This is very misleading, surely they could have emailed to say my trial period had expired?

Which? credit expert, Martyn Saville, responds:

Credit reference agencies offer these free trials in the hope that you’ll forget to cancel before the trial period ends. Unfortunately, they don’t have to let you know that this period is coming to an end.

However, as you were told that you’d get a refund and this hasn’t materialised, I’d submit a formal complaint to Experian (who run Creditexpert.com). If it still refuses to deal efficiently with your case, you have the option of taking the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). Our guide on how to complain about financial services may be useful too.

We think that most monthly subscription services from credit reference agencies offer poor value. Most people would be better off ordering a £2 statutory report on a one-off basis. Read our guide to credit reports for more information.

Have you ever had a credit check that’s cost you more than you thought it would? Or have you had problems with a credit reference agency? Put your questions to Martyn here…


If anyone wants to take a complaint further (e.g. Trading standards/ombudsman) make sure you put your complaint in writing to Credit Cove/Call Credit/etc & send it as registered mail. Apparently complaining via email doesn’t count as an official notice of complaint in writing

FYI – If you decide to take the ombudsman route to complain about Credit Cove they won’t appear on the FSA list under the name Credit Cove. You have to make the complaint about Credit Cove as ‘a trading style of Total Solutions Northwest Ltd’ who are FSA registered under the number 600371.

Ellen says:
27 October 2016

I’m being asked for my bank account details when the credit check is free for life why is this

Bank accounts are one of the things they have to check, e.g. Overdrafts/outgoing payments/etc. However, I would be wary of anything being “free for life”, make sure you get this in writing when you sign up & check your outgoing payments regularly

They took it of me 14.99 how do I get it back