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I had the Fidelity rewards Amex (2%) and, at the time, they were clear that a CLI request would cause a hard pull. So I didn’t ask for a CLI. Simple.

When Fidelity recently switched the card over to Elan Financial (amex to visa), I looked and the CLI process said NOTHING about a hard pull (or any other common terminology for a hard pull). So of course, I made the request for more ($4k on top of existing $10k). Then I found out they actually did a hard pull (TU). I have the CLI process pages printed out of the Elan CLI request process and it says NOTHING about a hard pull.

On the flip side, I recognize that sometimes (usually?) CLI require a hard pull. For example, that’s why I haven’t requested a CLI from Chase since I got the Freedom card. However, Citi usually doesn’t require a hard pull, thus, I’ve been steadily increasing my limit at Citi. I step through the CLI process, and when they inform me they will be doing a hard pull, I weigh my options and proceed, or NOT proceed. My (fully informed) decision. This was not the case for Elan.

In my opinion, ELAN did an illegal hard pull without my permission.

Realistically, what are my options?
A)     Ask nicely to Elan to remove the hard pull, while also informing them that what they did is wrong. I recognize this will be a big uphill battle. Most customer service reps don’t have a “button” for that. If there’s no button, and if there’s nothing in their manual, then they are generally clueless.
B)      If I get too much resistance, I would/could go directly to TU and dispute the Hard pull.
C)      File a lawsuit? 
D)     Sit around and do nothing

This isn’t really about the hard pull, it’s about the mis-information/lying. I want them to know that they did something wrong, they should not do it again, and if I get some “consideration” in the process, that’s fine too. Don’t even know what I would ask for “consideration” if I did ask for some.

But realistically, if I dispute something with TU, or file a lawsuit (it’s a Free Country and I’m allowed to do that) there’s nothing that says that Elan HAS to do business with me afterwards (again, Free Country). They could lose and say “congratulations, you won, but now we won’t do business with you anymore, and we’re keeping all the points you’ve earned over the past few years”.

Any advice from the gallery? Should I just let this go? Should I call and ask nicely, to at least put it on their radar that they are not properly informing their customers? Go thermonuclear (lawsuit)?

Thanks. 

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For a minute there I thought I was on another forum. Then I realized wait... As I just posted in another thread, this is... (more)

btuttle (Sep. 28, 2016 @ 9:57a) |

Fraud alerts have been placed on accounts when disputing a pull.  Disputing it means you didn't authorize it (OP DID), a... (more)

Tiggerlgh (Sep. 28, 2016 @ 10:42a) |

who cares...this concern over getting a hard pull is so overblown.

bNeta86 (Sep. 28, 2016 @ 10:54a) |

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guapo131 said:   I had the Fidelity rewards Amex (2%) and, at the time, they were clear that a CLI request would cause a hard pull. So I didn’t ask for a CLI. Simple.

When Fidelity recently switched the card over to Elan Financial (amex to visa), I looked and the CLI process said NOTHING about a hard pull (or any other common terminology for a hard pull). So of course, I made the request for more ($4k on top of existing $10k). Then I found out they actually did a hard pull (TU). I have the CLI process pages printed out of the Elan CLI request process and it says NOTHING about a hard pull.

On the flip side, I recognize that sometimes (usually?) CLI require a hard pull. For example, that’s why I haven’t requested a CLI from Chase since I got the Freedom card. However, Citi usually doesn’t require a hard pull, thus, I’ve been steadily increasing my limit at Citi. I step through the CLI process, and when they inform me they will be doing a hard pull, I weigh my options and proceed, or NOT proceed. My (fully informed) decision. This was not the case for Elan.

In my opinion, ELAN did an illegal hard pull without my permission.

Realistically, what are my options?
A)     Ask nicely to Elan to remove the hard pull, while also informing them that what they did is wrong. I recognize this will be a big uphill battle. Most customer service reps don’t have a “button” for that. If there’s no button, and if there’s nothing in their manual, then they are generally clueless.
B)      If I get too much resistance, I would/could go directly to TU and dispute the Hard pull.
C)      File a lawsuit? 
D)     Sit around and do nothing

This isn’t really about the hard pull, it’s about the mis-information/lying. I want them to know that they did something wrong, they should not do it again, and if I get some “consideration” in the process, that’s fine too. Don’t even know what I would ask for “consideration” if I did ask for some.

But realistically, if I dispute something with TU, or file a lawsuit (it’s a Free Country and I’m allowed to do that) there’s nothing that says that Elan HAS to do business with me afterwards (again, Free Country ). They could lose and say “congratulations, you won, but now we won’t do business with you anymore, and we’re keeping all the points you’ve earned over the past few years”.

Any advice from the gallery? Should I just let this go? Should I call and ask nicely, to at least put it on their radar that they are not properly informing their customers? Go thermonuclear (lawsuit)?

Thanks. 

Option D

OP - for Elan you are a NEW customer - they do not have your prior Credit Report that was pulled whenevr you had originally applied for the AMEX version of this card.
So, you pulled the trigger asking for more credit and HOW IN THE WORLD would elan know what crap you are worth? or how good you are worth?

You requested additional credit, so they had permissible purpose. For the purpose of the law there's no difference between a soft and hard inquiry.

If they told you there'd be no hard inquiry and they did it anyway, then they wouldn't be permissible purpose. They you'd have a case.

stanolshefski said:   You requested additional credit, so they had permissible purpose. For the purpose of the law there's no difference between a soft and hard inquiry.

If they told you there'd be no hard inquiry and they did it anyway, then they wouldn't be permissible purpose. They you'd have a case.

This isn't true - I believe based on the law they have PP based on the fact that they have a relationship with the OP.  PP doesn't change based on what a CSR says.  Technically I believe most soft pulls could be hard pulls. As stated above the law does not differentiate between hard and soft pulls. In short they don't need OPs approval to pull a hard inquiry.

I just went through almost the exact same thing with them, stanolshefski. I wish they had made the hard pull clear.

ETA - misread earlier posts, I thought stanolshefski was OP. My commiseration was for guapo, but I was resigned to it. Not a huge deal and I didn't try to confirm that there would be no pull. 

This is one of the reasons I keep a freeze on my credit. No hard pulls without explicit permission from me.

So if the CLI process says nothing about credit pulls, then they can do a hard pull? That doesn't seem right to me. EVERY other time I have EVER had a hard pull, the entity on the other side of the screen/desk has said something to the effect of "we'll need to check your credit". It’s not always a big deal, but they say SOMETHING about checking credit. Elan said NOTHING. That’s what strikes me as wrong.

Also, I’ve been switched over to Elan for more than just a few months now (june/july-ish), so they would have had at least that much of my usage and payment history. Also, they asked for monthly housing payment, work information, and annual income. So they knew me better than “Adam” (like the phrase: I don’t know you from Adam). Also, I did not have to write in my SSN on the request form. So they at least got my SSN from the previous card issuer.

Regarding this whole “permissible purpose” thing… Should I understand it as, “just since I’m a customer, they can (hard) pull my credit anytime they feel like it?” Taken to the extreme, they could (hard) pull my credit once a month, and just because I’m a customer, I’ve signed off on that? Hmm, that’s unsettling if true.

The credit “freeze” thing is a good idea. I hadn’t thought of that.

Here is how the law reads 15 U.S. Code § 1681b - Permissible purposes of consumer reports - I believe this is the correct section if not I am sure someone will correct me.  I have bolded the applicable parts but nothing differentiates between a hard and soft pull in the regs.

(a) In general Subject to subsection (c), any consumer reporting agency may furnish a consumer report under the following circumstances and no other:
(1) In response to the order of a court having jurisdiction to issue such an order, or a subpoena issued in connection with proceedings before a Federal grand jury.

(2) In accordance with the written instructions of the consumer to whom it relates.

(3) To a person which it has reason to believe—
(A) intends to use the information in connection with a credit transaction involving the consumer on whom the information is to be furnished and involving the extension of credit to, or review or collection of an account of, the consumer; or

(B) intends to use the information for employment purposes; or

(C) intends to use the information in connection with the underwriting of insurance involving the consumer; or

(D) intends to use the information in connection with a determination of the consumer’s eligibility for a license or other benefit granted by a governmental instrumentality required by law to consider an applicant’s financial responsibility or status; or

(E) intends to use the information, as a potential investor or servicer, or current insurer, in connection with a valuation of, or an assessment of the credit or prepayment risks associated with, an existing credit obligation; or

(F) otherwise has a legitimate business need for the information—
(i) in connection with a business transaction that is initiated by the consumer; or

(ii) to review an account to determine whether the consumer continues to meet the terms of the account.


(G) executive departments and agencies in connection with the issuance of government-sponsored individually-billed travel charge cards.


Should have read the T&C
Disclaimer
OK, well. Looks like legally they are in the right. Shame on me for not fully reading the terms and conditions. (to be fair, I absolutely read every word on the CLI request pages/forms).
I guess either I’ll:
A) call them and voice my displeasure in hopes that maybe it’ll help the next guy, or
B) just sit on that hard inquiry (and spin).

 But on a higher level, I still think that they should have told me that there was going to be a hard pull before they did it.

 Lesson learned. Thanks for the input guys.

A few years ago, I had BOA phone rep tell me no hard pull to transfer credit limits between two cards. Hard pull showed up. Secure messaged about it and the hard pull was removed within a couple weeks....

You can always dispute it with the credit agencies and let Elan answer the dispute. If we break this down to the core of the situation - Elan did a hard pull, you don't recognize giving them permission to do so. End of story. If the CRA responds that they did it for a CLI, you submit the papers that you printed out showing them every step of the process.

Thrilla said:   You can always dispute it with the credit agencies and let Elan answer the dispute. If we break this down to the core of the situation - Elan did a hard pull, you don't recognize giving them permission to do so. End of story. If the CRA responds that they did it for a CLI, you submit the papers that you printed out showing them every step of the process.
Unless Élan said no hard pull, they had permissible purpose and OP loses the dispute. OP's only hope is that they just don't respond. 

stanolshefski said:   
Thrilla said:   You can always dispute it with the credit agencies and let Elan answer the dispute. If we break this down to the core of the situation - Elan did a hard pull, you don't recognize giving them permission to do so. End of story. If the CRA responds that they did it for a CLI, you submit the papers that you printed out showing them every step of the process.
Unless Élan said no hard pull, they had permissible purpose and OP loses the dispute. OP's only hope is that they just don't respond. 

  

That's pretty much my point.  Nothing to lose here really and it's a very simple process.  He wouldn't be doing it fraudulently because he really did not give them explicit permission to do so.

Thrilla said:   
stanolshefski said:   
Thrilla said:   You can always dispute it with the credit agencies and let Elan answer the dispute. If we break this down to the core of the situation - Elan did a hard pull, you don't recognize giving them permission to do so. End of story. If the CRA responds that they did it for a CLI, you submit the papers that you printed out showing them every step of the process.
Unless Élan said no hard pull, they had permissible purpose and OP loses the dispute. OP's only hope is that they just don't respond. 

  

That's pretty much my point.  Nothing to lose here really and it's a very simple process.  He wouldn't be doing it fraudulently because he really did not give them explicit permission to do so.

Biggest risk is fraud alert on your account.  Elan had Permissionable Purpose.

Thrilla said:   
stanolshefski said:   
Thrilla said:   You can always dispute it with the credit agencies and let Elan answer the dispute. If we break this down to the core of the situation - Elan did a hard pull, you don't recognize giving them permission to do so. End of story. If the CRA responds that they did it for a CLI, you submit the papers that you printed out showing them every step of the process.
Unless Élan said no hard pull, they had permissible purpose and OP loses the dispute. OP's only hope is that they just don't respond. 

  

That's pretty much my point.  Nothing to lose here really and it's a very simple process.  He wouldn't be doing it fraudulently because he really did not give them explicit permission to do so.

OP gave Elan permission when OP applies for more credit.

"OP gave Elan permission when OP applies for more credit"
Not explicitly/actively/knowingly.  Hence, this is why we are here.
However, apparently, yes I did implicitly, by way of laws and ToS.

Anyways, I appreciate the input guys. Even though I might be able to get away with disputing the hard pull directly with TU, I won't play that game since technically I have a losing hand. But I do think I'll still call Elan and complain to a CSR. Just from a "good business" standpoint - you should clearly inform your users. I just want to get that message across. At least it'll be one complaint and if enough pile up, maybe they'll actually do something to properly inform the next guy. The CSR will probably act all defensive and not apologize and give me a bunch of static (similar to dealagain in post#2), and I'll do my best not to get heated explaining the difference between legally right and socially acceptable/good business practices. Then I'll outright tell them what I want to hear:
"Look! just tell the appropriate people that they should add some verbiage on the CLI process that says 'Elan will check your credit report and this may affect your credit rating'. That's all I'm really asking! "
Then the sub-minimum wage CSR in India will probably just say "Oh yes, of course I'll do that (just to get me off the phone) and have a nice day".
 

We are like ships passing through the night. The point was made that there is a permissible purpose, no one is disputing that. OP agrees but would like to see more disclosure when this happens. I'm responding to the earlier question around whether or not one can dispute it with the CRA and if there are negative consequences of it.

The answer is yes you can dispute it. Are there negative consequences of that action? I've never heard anyone getting blacklisted from disputing credit inquiries. I've only done it once and there wasn't even a response from the counter party so it was removed. A lawsuit is a different story.

By the way, the point about a fraud alert placed on your account is BS. Disputing a credit inquiry is not the same as reporting fraudulent activity.

OP, if you want to fight the good fight, I encourage you to do so as I think that the disclosure should have been more clear.

Thrilla said:   
stanolshefski said:   
Thrilla said:   You can always dispute it with the credit agencies and let Elan answer the dispute. If we break this down to the core of the situation - Elan did a hard pull, you don't recognize giving them permission to do so. End of story. If the CRA responds that they did it for a CLI, you submit the papers that you printed out showing them every step of the process.
Unless Élan said no hard pull, they had permissible purpose and OP loses the dispute. OP's only hope is that they just don't respond. 

  

That's pretty much my point.  Nothing to lose here really and it's a very simple process.  He wouldn't be doing it fraudulently because he really did not give them explicit permission to do so.

  There is something to loose - your account with Elan, due to raising suspicions as to its validity.  A CLI was requested via a process that you are now disputing, implying your account has been compromised or is otherwise fradulant.

No, this isn't theoretical or something I just made up...

Just from a "good business" standpoint - you should clearly inform your users.
They are not in education services business. From "good business" standpoint you may consider stop being a self-centered customer who thinks he is entitled to being always right.

Matr0skin said:   
Just from a "good business" standpoint - you should clearly inform your users.
They are not in education services business. From "good business" standpoint you may consider stop being a self-centered customer who thinks he is entitled to being always right.

  For a minute there I thought I was on another forum. Then I realized wait... As I just posted in another thread, this is FW, where everybody thinks they are entitled to everything for nothing.

Thrilla said:   We are like ships passing through the night. The point was made that there is a permissible purpose, no one is disputing that. OP agrees but would like to see more disclosure when this happens. I'm responding to the earlier question around whether or not one can dispute it with the CRA and if there are negative consequences of it.

The answer is yes you can dispute it. Are there negative consequences of that action? I've never heard anyone getting blacklisted from disputing credit inquiries. I've only done it once and there wasn't even a response from the counter party so it was removed. A lawsuit is a different story.

By the way, the point about a fraud alert placed on your account is BS. Disputing a credit inquiry is not the same as reporting fraudulent activity.

OP, if you want to fight the good fight, I encourage you to do so as I think that the disclosure should have been more clear.
 

  Fraud alerts have been placed on accounts when disputing a pull.  Disputing it means you didn't authorize it (OP DID), as such its fraudulent as some one else must be trying to get credit based on OPs report.

who cares...this concern over getting a hard pull is so overblown.



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