I’m not one to pay the slightest bit of attention to commercials, my brain just edits them out most of the time, but I keep hearing this series of commercials on the radio and something about them just piss me off. Experian seems to be doing it on purpose, I wrote an article a while back about exactly this kind of commercial, but now they’ve got a different tack and it just makes me roll my eyes.
So anyhow, this time, you get a voice, in the two I’ve heard, either a young girl or an older man, and the voice says that this is how creditors hear them, clearly not how they’re supposed to sound, because they either co-signed a loan with their teenage daughter or because their good-for-nothing ex-husband screwed up their credit. But now, Experian is helping them to track their credit, as though what happened before wasn’t their fault.
But it was! In both cases, it was entirely their fault that they got into credit trouble! In the first case, where the father co-signed for his daughter, the whole reason that banks have you co-sign for loans is to guarantee that at least one of you will be responsible for paying the loan back on time! Oh sure, maybe the father has to have a talk with his daughter about being responsible, but the time to do that isn’t when the loan goes into default, it’s before you take the loan out in the first place. The second case, where the woman’s ex-husband screwed up their credit, it’s still her fault for marrying the jackass in the first place! When you co-mingle your financial affairs, what one person does affects both. If you don’t trust the other, first off, you shouldn’t have married him, but secondly, you should have kept an eye on what was going on. And if you did trust him and he screwed you over anyhow, that says something about your poor taste in men, doesn’t it?
The commercials are framed as “it wasn’t my fault but Experian is helping me fix it.” It’s the same thing that happened in the last series of commercials. Making excuses for bad behavior and irresponsible financial decisions, that seems to be the kind of person Experan is looking for. People who are vaguely concerned about their credit problems, but not concerned enough to do something about it in the first place. Because people who really care aren’t going to get into trouble and won’t need their expensive credit tracking services. What we have here is a company making commercials to appeal to the stupid and irresponsible. It isn’t like they’re saying “something bad might appear on your credit report through no fault of your own, so come to us so we can help you clear up these reporting errors before they negatively impact your credit rating”. That I might respect. The kind of crap I’m hearing out of them on the radio makes my view of them go down every time it comes on.