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

Michelle Singletary on

He called what is supposed to be the dedicated call center for the breach -- 866-447-7559.

"I got a human who told me they were overwhelmed with calls and I should try again in a few days. I did so and got the same result. I am really unsure what to do at this point and dread having my identity stolen. In a bit of a panic."

Equifax keeps apologizing for the delays. At one point the company said it faced difficulties because of Hurricane Irma.

"We are experiencing a high volume of requests for security freezes, and have experienced some technical issues," a spokesperson emailed me. "We are working diligently to ensure an improved consumer experience."

I get it. The company is overwhelmed. Still, do better.

It is not too much to demand (because we are way past the polite phase of asking) that the company hire as many people as it needs and/or amp up its online system so that it can handle the volume of requests from folks potentially harmed by the company's failure to protect their personal information.

Further, given the delays, Equifax needs to extend the arbitrary Nov. 21 cut off to sign up for the identity theft protection service. Keep enrollment open as long as it takes to sign up people who were harmed.

And perhaps a name change is in order for its TrustedID Premier service. We did trust the company and look where we are.

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Readers can write to Michelle Singletary c/o The Washington Post, 1301 K St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20071. Her email address is michelle.singletary@washpost.com. Follow her on Twitter (@SingletaryM) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/MichelleSingletary). Comments and questions are welcome, but due to the volume of mail, personal responses may not be possible. Please also note comments or questions may be used in a future column, with the writer's name, unless a specific request to do otherwise is indicated.

(c) 2017, Washington Post Writers Group


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