Thursday, October 29, 2015

The Internet of Infallible Algorithms


            Capital One, a major credit card issuer, offers customers access to a streamlined credit report.  Upon examining my score, I found a B rating for oldest line of credit in light of having had a card only for 12 years.  One needs 15 years for an A rating.

            Hmmmm.  My Bank of America credit card states “Cardholder since 1997,” yet repeated efforts to get that company to correct its mistake have failed.  I keep getting canned responses from—get this—a collection agency that has expended its service wingspan to providing unhelpful “answers” to bank algorithm failures.

            Bank of America has violated the Fair Credit Reporting Act by refusing to correct a credit mistake within 30 days of notification.  The algorithm lists my start date as 2003 and that becomes the truth notwithstanding what my card says, or the verifiable truth of the matter.

            So the next time a credit card company has to issue you a new card due to a security breech understand that the clock starts at zero in terms of line of credit vintage.

            In other words banks and their algorithms win every time.  They are infallible and there is no way to correct a mistake.

            This should trouble you as the future promises more algorithms and things making decisions and determining “facts.”  In my case, my credit rating takes a hit based on a clearly wrong calculation of time.

            It’s a matter of time before you find yourself immersed in a dispute that you cannot win, because the algorithms knows all and serves as judge, jury and executioner.

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