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Complaints about credit enquiries

Credit reporting companies keep credit files about individuals and businesses. The credit files record information including:

  • applications for credit, and
  • defaults – that is, accounts that have not been paid.

Credit providers (including telecommunications providers) often check credit reports to decide whether to provide services, loans or credit cards to people.

If you apply for a post-paid telecommunications service, the provider may check your credit file to decide if it will give you the service.

When a telecommunications provider checks your credit file, the credit reporting company records this as an enquiry on your credit file. This shows:

  • the date the provider checked your credit file
  • that you applied for a telecommunications service, and
  • the amount you will pay over the length of the contract (if this is known – if the amount can’t be worked out, it will usually show as $0).

If you believe an enquiry on your credit file is wrong, we may be able to help. To resolve your complaint we consider the law, good industry practice and fairness.

Types of complaints about credit enquiries

We deal with complaints about credit enquiries such as:

  • A provider not telling you it would check your credit file
  • A provider giving a credit reporting body incorrect information about the type of account you applied for (for example commercial or consumer credit)
  • A provider checking your credit file when you did not apply for a post-paid service.

We do not deal with a complaint that:

  • You cannot remember if the provider told you it would check your credit file
  • A provider did not tell you the impact of a credit check on your credit rating
  • A provider listed $0 as the amount of credit you applied for

What you should expect from your provider: the law and industry practice

Your provider must tell you it will check your credit file

A provider must tell you it will check your credit file before doing so. A provider can do this either verbally, in the application form that you sign, or as a link on its website if you apply online. The provider is not required to tell you:

  • the impact a credit check may have on your credit score, or
  • the credit reporting body will list the check as an enquiry on your credit file.

Credit enquiries must be accurate

When an enquiry is listed on your credit file it must be accurate. It must show the date of the enquiry and what sort of service you applied for.

A provider should make only one enquiry for each application you make for a service.

Credit enquiries stay on your credit file for five years.

You have a right to see your own credit information

Generally, when you ask, a provider must give you information about credit enquiries it has made about you.

If your provider agrees there is a mistake in your credit information, it must correct the mistake promptly.

Laws and codes we consider in complaints about credit reporting

The laws and codes we consider in complaints about credit reporting include:

Here's how other cases were managed

Complaint
Consumer had a debt to a provider for a service they never resulting in a default listing that affected their ability to secure a home loan.
Outcome
The consumer had the credit default removed and received compensation from the service provider.
Complaint
Consumer agreed to a payment plan, but the debt was then on-sold to a debt collector.
Outcome
A financial counsellor approached the TIO on the consumer's behalf, and the original payment plan was reinstalled.

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This page was last updated on
02nd Jun 2020