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Color of Money: Equifax needs to do better in handling data breach

Michelle Singletary on

I've used credit monitoring in the past but I did not find it useful, so I've been on my own keeping watch over my information. But I figured it couldn't hurt to get the free protection for a year, right? I mostly just wanted the locking feature.

I was told what to expect: "You will receive an email with a link to finalize your enrollment and activate your product. Please be patient. Due to the high volume of requests, emails may be delayed. If you have not received your email within a few days, please check your spam and junk folders. Thank you again; we appreciate your patience!"

I was told it could take up to 72 hours.

Six days and counting and I've still not received a link. I checked and double-checked my spam folder. Nothing.

And I'm not alone.

Nikolaos from Virginia, like so many other readers nationwide who reached out to me, also complained of not being able to successfully enroll. He also is frustrated that he hasn't been able to put a freeze on his Equifax file, which many security experts are advising. A credit freeze will lock out new lenders from seeing your credit report. (Lenders and companies you already have a business relationship with can still see your file).

"The credit freeze requested me to first enter all my information, only to deny the freeze and requiring me to send that same information via regular mail," Nikolaos wrote.

Another reader, Lornie, had a similar experience. "I've been trying for three days and five times."

Tim from Massachusetts hasn't been successful either. He got this message: "To ensure delivery of our emails to your inbox, please add no-reply@trustedid.com to your address book."

He did and made some headway. He got a link to complete the enrollment. But when he clicked it, he was asked for a username and password. He hadn't been prompted to set up either.

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