24 June 2011

More Evidence That We Live in a Feudal Society

This time, it's the credit report bureaus who are practicing Droit du seigneur* on us without lube:
The credit rating bureaus, whose reports influence everything from credit cards to mortgages to job offers, have a two-tiered system for resolving errors — one for the rich, the well-connected, the well-known and the powerful, and the other for everyone else.

The three major agencies, Equifax, Experian and TransUnion, keep a V.I.P. list of sorts, according to consumer lawyers and legal documents, consisting of celebrities, politicians, judges and other influential people. Those on the list — and they may not even realize they are on it — get special help from workers in the United States in fixing mistakes on their credit reports. Any errors are usually corrected immediately, one lawyer said.

For everyone else, disputes are herded into a largely automated system. Their complaints are often electronically ferried to a subcontractor overseas, where a worker spends, on average, about two minutes figuring out the gist of the matter, boiling it down to a one-to-three-digit computer code that signifies the problem — “account not his/hers,” for example — and sending a dispute form to the creditor to investigate. Many times, consumer advocates say, the investigation translates to a perfunctory check of its records.

“The legal responsibility of the credit reporting agencies and of the creditors is well established,” said Leonard Bennett, a consumer lawyer in Newport News, Va. “There is a requirement that they do meaningful research and analysis, and it is almost never done.”
For the rest of us, it's all just serfdom.

*Droit du seigneur is the apparently mythical practice of granting the lord of the manor the right to deflower new brides on their wedding night.


Elder Brother said...

The use of feudalism is incorrect.  There is no enfeofment. 

There is no giving of land -- or resources in exchange of for a pledge of service (with an explicity attendent judical devolution).

This action is the core defining activity of feudalism. 

Slaves and masters are another item.

Matthew G. Saroff said...

You are taking the metaphor way to seriously.

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