Last week, I wrote about the compensation offered by Equifax as a result of their 2017 data breach. Customers had the option to file a claim for free credit monitoring or $125 USD reimbursement. I selected the cash option because I purchased credit monitoring some time ago and did not need to duplicate that effort. It appears as if Equifax thought more customers would opt for the credit monitoring than cash.
Equifax earmarked nearly 300 million USD to reimburse customers, with only 31 million USD for the cash option. The following excerpts are from an article I found on CNN:
The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday consumers who have already requested their checks — which are meant as subsidies for outside credit monitoring services — will soon be contacted by the third party administrator handling Equifax settlement claims. The administrator will provide consumers with the chance to switch benefits, the FTC said.
So many Americans have filed for the cash reimbursements that each individual check is likely to be vanishingly small — “nowhere near” the $125 maximum payment that was held out initially, the FTC said.
“The option to obtain reimbursement for alternative credit monitoring, as set forth originally in the class action settlement, was never intended to be a cash payout for all affected consumers,” the FTC said in a statement.
This. Is. Insane. Not only did the company compromise millions of consumers personal information, now they are saying there is not enough money to cover the small cash reimbursements. Why would the company only set aside 31 million USD for the cash option, when the breach affected over 100 million people? Did Equifax think people would wait until now to purchase credit monitoring? It is appalling. Now, customers will get almost nothing for having their privacy invaded. Well done Equifax, well done.