Do you have an issue you need to put right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted.
I recently tried to open a new account with Investec, but ran into the most unexpected of problems.
I was told that according to Equifax, the credit reference agency it used, I am registered as deceased.
I am very much alive – how on earth can this be possible?
Janet Grigor, Merseyside
Simon Dicey, Which? Money Helpline adviser, says:
This is a bizarre story, but one that reflects wider problems. Credit reference agencies – in this case Equifax – puta note on people’s files when they die, to prevent fraudsters using their details to apply for financial products.
That’s sensible, but in your case has caused real problems. Whatever went wrong, it’s the credit reference agency’s job to sort it out.
The firm has 28 days to respond to your request, although it can refuse if it thinks the request is unfounded or excessive.
You formally complained to Equifax, and it emerged that the ‘deceased flag’ attached to your entry related to your late mother, who shared the same first and last name as you.
Frustratingly, Equifax told you that because of system ‘limitations’ it couldn’t remove the flag, nor could it list records by date of birth. Equifax instead said that it could add a note to your file explaining to lenders what had happened. It also offered you £500 as compensation.
You told us you were still considering whether to take this, as you felt Equifax wasn’t fixing the root cause of the problem.
Checking your credit report regularly is a good habit to get into. Doing so should mean that you spot any incorrect information that might affect your ability to access financial products in future.
Get in touch. If you've got a consumer rights problem you need put right email us at email@example.com.
Please be aware that we cannot help with, or respond to, every email that we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm.
For £4.99 a month you get: