Credit: Wires, Australia
Every year, billions of pieces of junk mail are sent to consumers by financial companies. In addition to contributing to the destruction of this cute little koala bear’s home, there’s another significant cost: the sale of your financial data without your approval, including your credit history, income, assets, net worth, and address.
Credit reporting bureaus sell consumer credit report data to financial and marketing companies, who in turn, use the data to determine whom should receive their mailers. After talking with our friends, they all kept saying how much they’d love to stop this pile of waste.
Your data belongs to you, and you should be able to decide who has access to it. Wisely has built a service that allows people to opt out of credit card junk mail for the reasons below.
Today, credit reporting bureaus collectively own a company called Opt Out LLC, which is responsible for maintaining a website that consumers can use to opt out of credit card offers. Unfortunately, the site is vastly inferior relative to other web applications that consumers interact with on a daily basis. There are three primary issues with the website:
Opt Out has no presence on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networks. At Wisely, we would expect a service as valuable as Opt Out to be easily accessible via search and social networks. Plus, OptOutPrescreen uses a robots.txt tag, which prevents Google from indexing the content on its site, resulting in abnormally low search rankings. Fortunately, OptOutPrescreen still ranks highly in Google because it has hundreds of sites linking to it.
In the years since Opt Out created its site, websites have become much more user friendly. Today, a website’s design greatly influences consumer trust – people trust things that look legitimate. Opt Out’s design resembles a phishing scam more than it does a legit website. On a personal note, Opt Out’s design even deterred members of Wisely’s team from using the site until we researched it further.
Once you’ve opted out online, Opt Out automatically puts you back into the marketing pool after five years. Perhaps there are valid reasons for requiring that, but the site doesn’t make it easy to remember when you need to opt out. There are no email reminders or push notifications, both of which have become common practice in today’s world.
Regardless of the reason why Opt Out is inferior, Wisely has built a service that solves all of these issues.
Wisely’s Opt Out Service allows consumers to easily and securely opt out of credit card offers. Wisely’s site can be easily found on search engines, and people can share the site with their friends via Facebook, Twitter, and Google Plus. When it’s time to renew your opt out in five years, Wisely will send you an email to remind you. Lastly, Wisely only asks for data that’s required to submit the Opt Out form; said differently, you don’t need to give up your SSN in order to opt out. To be fair, Opt Out Prescreen says that providing your SSN will help them find successfully opt out out vs. relying on Name or Address (which could have data issues e.g., St vs Street).
“Why did Wisely go through the effort to do all of this?”, you might ask.
Simple: We want to establish Wisely as a trusted consumer brand. We offer other products, such as our iPhone app, and building consumer trust is job one for us.
In closing, consumers can trust Wisely to have their financial best interests in mind. We hope that you’ll share Wisely’s Opt Out service with your friends and family, so they can protect their own data and save a rainforest .
To learn more about Wisely, please visit our homepage.
For more frequently asked questions about Opting Out, please visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Website.