Question: Yesterday I had tried to make a payment to my sprint account using a check, which I normally do not do, and it was declined. They gave me a receipt, and a phone number with a seven digit code. I called the number, it was all automated, and I was still confused.
I had to call a second time, and finally whenever I had reached the option of “paying for my delinquent fee” I was answered by a customer service representative. She told me that there had been two charges on my account, one for Walmart and one to Home Depot for over $400.00. This was from 2006, and I do NOT remember making any purchases to Home Depot. I was either 17 or 18 year old teenage girl at that time.
Today I requested my bank records from that time period, and I couldn’t find that charge anywhere. What should I do? I don’t know if this affects my credit, how I prove that the charge wasn’t mine. I’m just lost. Do I verify with the last four of my social security number? She had asked for my license and bank account information. I’m so lost, please help me.
Answer: Telecheck is a consumer reporting agency just like the three major credit bureaus. You have the right to see your Telecheck Report along with the right to dispute inaccurate, erroneous and outdated information in the report.
If you are uncomfortable giving your personal and financial information to Telecheck over the phone; and, I wouldn’t blame you one bit, deal with them in writing only after you receive the Telecheck report. Here is what you can do:
Order Telecheck Report. You are entitled to a free Telecheck report once a year pursuant to the Fair Credit Reporting Act. This would include consumer reporting agencies such as Experian, Equifax, Transunion, Chexsystems also. Telecheck is included as a consumer reporting agency because they collect, store and sell consumer data.
According to Telecheck’s website, they require the following information to verify your identity:
(1) a daytime contact phone number
(2) a copy of your driver’s license
(3) your social security number
(4) a voided check
(5) a copy of a tax or utility bill reflecting your current address
I would only provide the minimum information necessary to verify identity such as:
(1) name and address
(2) previous address if you moved in the last 5 years
(3) social security number
(4) driver’s license number
Avoid offering information that is unnecessary to verify your identity such as a “voided check.” Your current banking information is none of their business along with your employer and any telephone number. Get the address to order your Telecheck report.
Dispute. Once your report is received, you will be able to see exactly what information exists about the outstanding debt. If the information does not ring true you can dispute it. The information may not even belong to you; it could be one huge mistake or worse, identity theft.
Investigation. Once you dispute the information an investigation will be opened and Telecheck will have 30 days to verify the information as accurate. However, if you get the free Telecheck report under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, it extends the investigation time period to 45 days.
Results of Investigation. The investigation process works something like this:
(a) Telecheck may verify the information with the company that reported you to Telecheck as correct. In this case the information will remain in your report.
(b) Telecheck may be unable to verify the disputed information in such case the information must be deleted.
(c) If the disputed information is verified you have the option of sending a letter requesting the method of verification. Once your request is received, Telecheck must tell you how they verified the information as correct. They have 15 days to send you the address and telephone number of the business they contacted to verify the information. You can then dispute directly with the business that furnished the information to Telecheck. Read more about the disputing directly with the furnisher of information.
Information can remain in Telecheck for 7 years. After 7 years, even if the debt has not been paid, they must delete the information. Additionally, Telecheck will remove the negative information from your files if you pay the debt. The best of luck to you.