A more honest FAQ page of the FTC Equifax Settlement website

August 3, 2019

(Here’s the real one, if you’d like to read it)

This is definitely not advice in any way and things might change very quickly and no, I don’t know what you should do other than walk directly into the sea, which I personally have not ruled out as an option. Everything is bad, submit your claim or opt out or fake your own death and move to a wooded area, it doesn’t matter. I am grumpy and we should eat the rich and I don’t particularly like being a product, but I do like to write as a mediocre way to process my feelings.

I also realize that the FTC and Equifax are not one and the same, but there is their cooperation in this settlement and that in and of itself is yikes, but I do kinda wander around a bit with who I’m identifying in this post. Also of course this is not legal advice, a thing I shouldn’t have to say, but I’m saying it.


1.When will the claims process start?

It started already, you greedy punks. You’ve got till January of 2020 to file and get your stupid like, 21 cents of settlement money. Vultures, all of you. Why do you think you deserve to be compensated when the information from the breach hasn’t been found anywhere on the dark web? Oh, you say “right but I had to freeze all my credit and worry about things and my information still isn’t safe and the linear passage of time creates the possibility that my identity could be stolen and misused in the future”? It is goddamn a-DOR-able that you think we care even a little and frankly we zoned out after you said “information.”

2. When is the deadline to file a claim?

What, are you gonna file twice? You have till January, like we just fuckin’ said, but you definitely filed already, didn’t you, because you’re so desperate for that money to spend on PopSockets or avocado toast or whatever the hell you guys like now. In fact, write us an essay about what you’re gonna use the money for, and we’ll give you some if we like your answer. 500 word minimum, but we’re not gonna read past the second sentence.

3. When will I get my benefits?

When you pay for them. LOL, just kidding, not like last time. Totally different than when we gave you a free year of stuff and then tried to make you pay for it after that while also trapping you into binding arbitration. We’re the New and Morally Improved Equifax.

What was the question? Oh, right, when will you get the stuff you asked for.

*shrug* when they tell us we have to give them to you? It’s January 23, 2020, at the earliest, and you know that means “not January 23, 2020” so have fun waiting for that during the holiday season and whatever else you’re doing, we don’t care, not even a little.

4. How will I get my benefits?

Well, if you *snort* asked for actual money *giggle* we can send you a check that will be worth less than the stamp it required to mail it, or you can get a *wild laughing* debit card. Oh, my God, please take a selfie video of you trying to use that debit card, and the card not working, and everyone getting frustrated at you for trying to use a debit card with twenty cents on it.

5. I thought I could choose $125 instead of free credit monitoring. What happened?

Well, the settlement inexplicably set aside a total of $31 million for alternative (read: cash, which is apparently alternative now? words mean nothing) payments, despite fucking over half of America with this breach. If the fund did pay out $125 to each claimant looking for the equivalent of a decent pair of sneakers for the egregious loss of their most personal data, it would be empty before we hit 250,000 people. We have labeled this response “overwhelming,” because we’re fucking incompetent, and we don’t know how to do math or relate to people.

The free credit monitoring offers a much better value, if you don’t already have it because of the dozens of security breaches all of these institutions have suffered, and at least one source is saying it’s being offered by Experian, which is not Equifax, so you don’t have to worry there! And definitely don’t ask if Experian or anyone else is getting paid to do the monitoring ha ha ha who would do that

But yes! This monitoring! It will protect you and your information and your identity!

6. Wouldn’t the offer of a credit freeze be a much better way of accomplishing this protection?

We do not understand the question! Ha ha!

7. Why is it not automatically free to place a credit freeze?

We do not understand the question! You are guaranteed 4 years of monitoring at each of the three credit bureaus! 4 years! That is more than 3 years!

8. Right, but rather than a freeze, which is just a hard backstop against fraud unless you affirmatively unlock it, the free credit monitoring is a gamble on the consumer’s part that it works and actually catches an attempt to open credit that you didn’t authorize-

Why would ANYONE not want to continue to open lines of credit!!! We do not understand! The fact that we get money when credit histories are pulled is completely unrelated to our bone-deep dislike of credit freezes!

9. *enormous sigh* I’d like to change my claim to get free credit monitoring instead of a cash payment. Can I do that, or in the alternative, be permitted to punch one of your executives in the face?

Of course you can! That’s the spirit! You’re gonna get an email if you picked the cash and it’s gonna say “hey so what credit monitoring do you already have” and then you’re gonna say “I have a structured settlement, but I need cash NOW” just kidding that’s JG Wentworth just a little hip humor for you kids. Oh, and if you want to stick with the cash, you have to give us more information about your credit monitoring and we promise to be good with it and definitely not get hacked and then have to offer you more free credit monitoring like some monstrous financial ouroboros which you’ll endure until you die.

Ha ha!

10. How much of the settlement fund can be used to pay claims for time spent dealing with the data breach? Can I just submit a bill with my hourly rate, you soul-sucking profit-prioritizing complicit ghoulish assho-

Ohhhkay let’s stop you right there. But yes, you can submit a claim for time spent getting credit monitoring or dealing with a fraudulent charge or any of the myriad ways this breach could have screwed you. You will be able to get a whole $25/hour for this! If you spent more than ten hours though, we want proof. Oh, and if you paid for anything we will need receipts.

What was the question? Oh, right

Remember that $31 million? Yeah the hourly stuff and the stuff you paid for is coming out of that too. We will slice this pie so thin you’ll be able to see us laughing at you through it.

11. *sharp inhale* did ANYONE with ANY amount of experience or skill or knowledge of even basic fractions look at this settlement or was it thought up by vindictive, drunk toddlers?

This seems like a trick question! But, yes, toddlers. We didn’t let them nap, either, before they drew this up. We really, really don’t like the idea of people getting money.

12. Equifax literally earns money by selling our information. Your revenue in 2017 was $3.36 billion. And that new CEO you hired can get up to $4.5 million in salary and bonuses and has $17 million in stock options. You didn’t even double the value of his stock options for the whole cash settlement you planned to offer. Are we a joke to you?

Mostly, yeah.

13. *rubs eyes tiredly* I’m not sure I was affected by the data breach. How can I find out?

Flip a coin, honestly. It was half of you.

14. What else can I do?

There’s a whole other website with different FAQs, if you still have the will to live. It includes the very complicated process for doing literally anything else other than signing up.

Oh, and you could refinance. Or get a car loan. Or do anything that lets us back into your life to an uncomfortable degree. See you next time!

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