One thing I really hate is hearing an ad for something that is "free" and then being charged for shipping or processing or some other junk fee. In my book, free means free - if I need to pay anything, then it's not free.
Or if I need to sign up for another service first, and only then do I get the item for free, then to me that's not really free either.
So quite often I get contacted by companies like FreeCreditReport.com to offer their products on my website. You know, the company with the catchy song on TV? Since they advertise the free part so loud and clear, you would imagine that your credit report would be completely free.
But is it?
Well, you must sign up for a trial of their credit monitoring service. Sure, you can cancel before the trial period ends. But that's a real pain. And the trial is only for 7 days. Otherwise, you get charged a monthly fee. So, is that really free?
Want to know the worst part?
You can actually get a free credit report without any strings attached. No fees. No sign up. No trials. So here's the service I choose to recommend:
Not that FreeCreditReport.com is dishonest. Or illegal. In fact, they tell you everything on their website. But like I said earlier - to me, free means FREE - otherwise I can't be bothered. So when those companies contact me, I say "no". Since it bothers me as a consumer to have to pay for something that is advertised as free, I won't offer to my site's customers. Maybe I'm being way too picky. Or maybe I'm being way too philosophical. What's the harm? They're just a company trying to make money, right?
Of course. But to me, FreeCreditReport.com is not really free. What do you think?