Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Equifax Sucks

On the way home I was listening to NPR and heard part of a program about customer service and how companies are increasingly making it a priority. Companies are more sensitive now about word of mouth due to the growth of social networking and other internet related communication. Well, that made me think of the Equifax credit monitoring service and how crappy their customer service is. So I think I'll use this newfangled internet thingy to share my feelings.

A few months ago I signed up for a free trial of their credit monitoring service to check my credit score. I canceled it the following day and didn't give it another thought. One month later I get a charge from Equifax out of my bank account. I called and explained what happened and I was told that it would be fixed. A few weeks later I called again to see what had happened and to ask why my money had not been credited back to my account. I was told some reason or other and that it would be fixed within 48 hours. Another few weeks later and still nothing. I'm going to call again now and see what happens.

Update: I was just told that I was given the refund on March 10th. It is March 31st, and I just looked through my bank statement; no refund is there. I was advised to call my bank about it. Great. I love this stuff.

Update #2: I just contacted my bank and they are crediting my account while they investigate the issue. I will be notified of the results within 90 days. Equifax will be sorry now...I will get my money back! My 12 dollars and 95 cents!

Update #3: It's been over a year since all of this, and at this point I don't even remember what happened in the end...I know I received my refund, but I'm not sure if it was from my bank or from Equifax. Either way, the whole thing was a pain.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Ideology and Science

President Obama today announced his lifting of the ban on stem cell research imposed by the Bush administration. During the announcement he said that ideology had been allowed to win out over science and that he was fixing that by letting the science guide decisions instead of ideology. This is nonsense. Now, I am not here arguing one way or the other about whether or not the ban should be in place. Rather, I want to point something out: namely, that science cannot say anything. People say things. When Obama says he doesn't think that ideology should guide policy, what he means to say is that the wrong ideology should not guide policy. For example, it would undoubtedly help further scientific research to begin experiments on human beings. Perhaps we could use prisoners, or the homeless. We could make great advances by inflicting them with certain ailments and diseases and then carefully monitoring and studying them (indeed, this happened not too long ago, with doctors inflicting STD's on African-Americans). "Science" cannot tell us not to do this. Only ideology (in the form of moral principles) can tell us not to do this. Therefore Obama's claim to be liberating science from ideology is nonsense; what he really means is that his ideology is the better one.