Update: On August 16, 2005, the Federal Trade Commission announced that it had filed a complaint against Experian and reached a settlement. The settlement requires Experian to change representations on its web site, to disgorge almost $1 million in profit, and to give certain consumers who used the site a refund. If you were scammed by Experian, you may be entitled to a refund. See the Federal Trade Commission website for more information.
Federal Trade Commission
In the Matter of Experian
Complaint and Request for Injunction, Investigation and for Other Relief
1. This complaint concerns the marketing practices of Experian, a credit reporting agency. As set forth in detail below, ConsumerInfo.com, a subsidiary of the credit reporting agency Experian and supplier of Equifax, Experian and TransUnion reports, engages in deceptive marketing practices affecting commerce, a violation of 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1). ConsumerInfo.com violates the law by deceptively advertising through a television advertisement a "free" credit report that upon order locks consumers into a high-cost, long-term subscription service without adequate notice of the terms of service, including opt-out procedures. Further, the credit reporting agency profits from raising fears of inaccuracies in reports, thus driving consumers to request the reports or monitoring service via its Web site. EPIC urges the Federal Trade Commission ("the Commission") to take immediate action to investigate these practices by credit reporting agencies, to enjoin the offending credit reporting agencies and their subsidiaries from violating 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1), and require all credit reporting agencies to provide credit monitoring services to consumers without charge.
2. The Electronic Privacy Information Center ("EPIC") is a non-profit research organization incorporated in the District of Columbia. EPIC's activities include the review of government and private sector polices and practices to determine their possible impact on the individuals' rights. Among its other activities, EPIC has prepared reports on online privacy practices and presented testimony before Congress and administrative agencies on the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") and business practices with regards to the Act.
3. Experian, a GUS P.L.C. subsidiary, is one of the three biggest credit reporting agencies in the world. The company sells credit and demographic information on 205 million consumers and 15 million businesses in the United States. Experian has corporate headquarters at 475 Anton Blvd., Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
4. ConsumerInfo.com, an Experian subsidiary, "is the leading supplier of online credit reports, scores and related information to consumers in the United States." ConsumerInfo.com's address is One City Blvd. West, Suite 1000, Orange, CA 92868. Founded in 1995, ConsumerInfo.com is linked to at least three sites that provide the type of service discussed in this complaint: www.FreeCreditReport.com, www.FreeCreditReports.com, and Qspace.Iplace.com. While all these sites self-promote their services-a "free" credit report tied to a subscription service that provides online credit monitoring and credit content for an annual fee of $79.95-www.FreeCreditReport.com also draws consumers via a televised commercial.
FAIR AND TRUTHFUL MARKETING PRACTICES ARE ESSENTIAL TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY MARKET.
5. Congress explicitly recognized the importance of regulating misleading marketing claims when it granted the Commission the authority to challenge deceptive advertising that harmed market competition in 1914. In addition, by 1938, the Commission had acquired the power to regulate deceptive advertising that hurt consumers, with the requirement of showing of economic harm to the market. The expansion of the Commission's regulation authority over false advertising signals that not only is marketing regulation necessary to maintain healthy market competition, but also to safeguard consumers from personal harm. Consumers are directly affected when they rely on a fraudulent or misleading claim that influences their buying behavior, likely costing additional money, time and loss of trust. The Commission must ensure that consumers are able to participate in the market absent the fear that advertisers will extend offers with hidden conditions and terms that the consumer is not likely to become aware of during the course of the transaction.
6. Marketing practices by credit reporting agencies that exploit consumer fear of inaccurate credit reports-the accuracy of which the credit reporting agency itself is responsible-are unethical. ConsumerInfo.com, a subsidiary of a credit reporting agency, Experian, provides "free" Equifax credit reports, and Experian and TransUnion credit reports for an additional charge. The company markets their service with an advertisement that plays on consumer fears of inaccurate credit reports and pushes their credit monitoring service as necessary to maintain accuracy. In other words, here is a credit reporting agency promoting its subscription service by capitalizing on its own failure to adequately fulfill its statutory responsibility to maintain the maximum possible accuracy of credit reports. It is unethical for a company to market itself by suggesting that it is not doing a satisfactory job fulfilling its government-regulated responsibilities and requiring consumers to pay for an additional subscription service to ensure proper protection.
PRIVACY AND ACCESS ARE ESSENTIAL TO ACCURATE CREDIT REPORTING.
7. Under a myriad of interlaced companies, as that of which Experian is a part, the practice of affiliate sharing further raises risks that will exacerbate the privacy of credit reports and undermine the purpose of the FCRA. Mergers have resulted in sometimes thousands of affiliates linked under one umbrella-company. These conglomerates threaten consumers' personal privacy because consumers' information can be shared among the various subsidiaries, sometimes even foreign controlled companies, based on their affiliate status. Studies have shown that an overwhelming number of consumers are against the sharing of their personal information for reasons other than the transaction for which it was gathered. Regardless, when consumers transact with a credit service monitoring subscription provider, who acquires the consumers' personal information to validate their identity as a requestor, the provider also acquires the ability to share that information with any and all affiliates. The consequence of a subscription service, like the one described here, is that consumers seeking to maintain the protection of their information-its privacy and thus follows its accuracy-relinquish all ability to protect their privacy. In essence, consumers seeking subscription services to obtain control over their information, greater privacy protection and increased credit accuracy, actually impede all of those outcomes.
THE COMMISSION HAS JURISDICTION OVER DECEPTIVE MARKETING PRACTICES.
8. Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act ("FTCA") prohibits deceptive practices in or affecting commerce. As a guide to acceptable conduct, the Commission put forth the "Guide Concerning Use of the Word 'Free' and Similar Representations" (hereinafter "the Regulations") which states that, in order to use the term "free" in advertisements for products or services, the advertisement much make clear any terms that exist by virtue of the retention that product or service. Specifically, any "conditions and obligations upon which receipt and retention of the '[f]ree' item are contingent should be set forth clearly and conspicuously at the outset of the offer so as to leave no reasonable probability that the terms of the offer might be misunderstood."  In other words, "all of the terms, conditions and obligations should appear in close conjunction with the offer of '[f]ree' merchandise or service." While a violation of the Regulations does not itself establish that a company has acted illegally, it is a strong indication of questionable practices that may likely violate the FTCA.
9. Another indication of questionable activity is a practice that resulted in settlement with the Commission. The Commission has settled with companies engaging in similar deceptive practices as those of ConsumerInfo.com-the offering of free products or services that are tied to a subscription service without adequate notice. Those settlements stand for the proposition that companies must sufficiently prominently disclose at the onset any conditions of a no-cost provisional membership, any cancellation policies and any automatic charges that will be incurred if a consumer fails to opt-out.
CONSUMERINFO.COM ENGAGES IN DECEPTIVE MARKETING PRACTICES.
10. Deception occurs when there is a (1) representation that (2) is likely to influence the purchasing decision (3) of a reasonable consumer. ConsumerInfo.com engages in deceptive marketing practices by failing to notify consumers that the offer for a "free" credit report has strings attached-customers will be charged if they fail to opt-out of the subscription service. Even reasonable consumers may not notice the fine print discretely placed at the bottom of the last page of the online registration process. Moreover, the ConsumerInfo.com's television commercial does not even refer to the subscription service at all. Undoubtedly, consumers will be harmed when they send off for a "free" credit report and, one month later find themselves locked into a high-cost, long-term subscription service.
ConsumerInfo.com's Television Commercial Deceives Consumers.
11. ConsumerInfo.com's television commercial for www.FreeCreditReport.com is a representation that is likely to mislead a reasonable consumer. ConsumerInfo.com's television commercial depicts a cartoon stick figure that is asked several questions which suggest that credit reports may not be very accurate or secure. The commercial, stressing the urgency of obtaining a credit report to calm these fears, directs the character and viewing consumers to the Web site www.FreeCreditReport.com in order to obtain a "free" credit report. The tone, frame of the questions, and lack of any reference to the subscription service create a representation by omission that is likely to cause a reasonable consumer to expect the offer to come with no additional terms.
12. First, ConsumerInfo.com makes a representation with their television ad. According to a policy statement the Commission's put forth regarding deception: "Most deception involves written or oral misrepresentation, or omissions of material information." The Commission defines omissions as "material information, the disclosure of which is necessary to prevent the claim, practice, or sale from being misleading." ConsumerInfo.com's television commercial offers consumers a "free" credit report, but fails to make any mention of the subscription service. Yet, ConsumerInfo.com does not offer a "free" credit report without the coinciding the subscription service. Without knowing of the subscription service, consumers are being mislead about the extent of their acceptance of the offer; they are unaware that accepting the offer means not just accepting a credit report, but accepting a service that they will be charged for if they do not opt-out before the trial period ends. ConsumerInfo.com's omission of the subscription service from the television commercial meets the representation requirement.
13. Second, ConsumerInfo.com's representation is material. The Commission defines a material representation as "one which is likely to affect a consumer's choice of or conduct regarding a product." The omission from the television commercial is likely to affect whether or not a consumer will send off for the "free" credit report. If a consumer knew of the high-cost, long-term subscription service that comes as part of the "free" credit report, the consumer would likely think twice about requesting the report from www.FreeCreditReport.com since there are other outlets for obtaining a credit report at a lower cost. ConsumerInfo.com's omission of the terms of the subscription offer is a representation that would likely affect consumer behavior if it was properly included in the offer.
14. Lastly, even a reasonable consumer would be misled by ConsumerInfo.com's television commercial under the circumstances. According to the Commission: "The test is whether the consumer's interpretation or reaction is reasonable." It is reasonable for a consumer, after viewing the commercial, to think that the report was free-no strings attached-because there is no indication otherwise. Furthermore, the commercial frames its offer in an atmosphere of fear. The commercial voiceover taunts the consumer: "Do you have good credit? Or do you only think you have?" The commercial also suggests that unauthorized persons may have accessed the consumer's report. "Who's been checking [your report]?" the voiceover prods. In an environment of instant credit and stolen identity, and after ConsumerInfo.com's television commercial instills doubt into consumers' minds by playing on anxiety about unstable credit, consumers are likely to feel that they must obtain a "free" credit report from www.FreeCreditReport.com. It is also reasonable for consumers not to expect to be locked into a subscription service of which the television commercial makes no mention-all the better for ConsumerInfo.com because if consumers do not know about the service, they cannot know to opt-out.
15. Under the Regulations, use of the term "free" must not confuse the consumer into believing that there are not further terms of the offer when there actually are; those additional terms must be just as clear and prominent as the "free" offer. ConsumerInfo.com's television commercial is in clear violation of the Commission's guidelines. Moreover, ConsumerInfo.com's television commercial qualifies as deceptive because the company omits pertinent information, and that representation is likely to mislead reasonable consumers about the terms of the "free" credit report offer.
ConsumerInfo.com's Web Site Deceives Consumers.
16. ConsumerInfo.com's Web site, www.FreeCreditReport.com, is a representation that is likely to mislead a reasonable consumer. A consumer visiting www.FreeCreditReport.com is immediately greeted with a colorful and bold headline that reads: "Get your free credit report in seconds!" In the headline, the word "free" is capitalized and set off in a different color font from the majority of the text. There is no asterisk in the headline indicating any additional term of the offer. In fact, the only indication that an annual subscription service is even linked to the offer of the "free" credit report is found in one of the paragraphs below the headline, set in significantly smaller font. It reads: "Plus, along with your FREE credit report, we'll give you a 30-day FREE trial of the CreditCheck Monitoring Service membership with no obligation." However, this mention of the service does not relay that the service is an annual service, that there is $79.95 charge for the service, or that customers will be automatically billed for the service unless they affirmatively opt-out of the transaction. On the contrary, the offer continues: "So what's the catch? There isn't one! But we're convinced that once you've tried the CreditCheck Monitoring Service on a FREE trial basis, you won't want to be without it! But if you don't realize the value of the service, there's no obligation and no commitment to keep the membership." Not only does this text indicate that there are no terms to the offer, but it can be reasonably interpreted by a consumer that she would have to opt-in in order to keep the subscription service.
17. If a consumer decided to begin the registration process, the only notice that the consumer would receive that the offer of a "free" credit report coincides with a subscription service comes at the very end of the process. However, this notice is far from prominent. The announcement is placed in very small print at the bottom of the second of a two-page registration process, accessible only by a consumer who has started the registration process by submitting personal information to the company, including name, e-mail and one or more addresses (if recently moved). Further, not only is the fee quote overshadowed by the surrounding more prominent text, but its meaning is muddled by the company's message that the customer must "do nothing" in order to "continue [the service] without interruption," assuring a partial "money-back guarantee" in the case of cancellation. Amid other distracting messages and splashy colors created to draw attention away from the payment requirement, the small notice presented on the very last page of registration is neither clear nor conspicuous. It is only accessible when a consumer has decided to register and is likely to mislead reasonable consumers about the terms of the offer.
18. First, ConsumerInfo.com makes a representation by omission on www.FreeCreditReport.com. As stated above, an omission can be a representation if, without the omitted material, the consumer may be mislead. Although the high-cost, long-term service is a significant term of the agreement, ConsumerInfo.com omits any adequate explanation of the subscription service. Of the two references to the service, one is misleading and the other vague. This omission meets the representation requirement.
19. Second, the representation on www.FreeCreditReport.com is material. If a consumer was aware of the terms of the agreement-that the "free" credit report comes with a high-cost, long-term subscription service automatically billable upon failure to opt-out-it is likely that the consumer would reconsider ordering a report from www.FreeCreditReport.com. A consumer would likely consider other options which include obtaining a credit report from another service, even one that charges a nominal fee, as long as there are no strings attached. Since the omission significantly affects the substance of the offer, it is likely to affect the consumer's behavior, meeting the requirement of materiality.
20. Lastly, even a reasonable consumer would be misled by www.FreeCreditReport.com's offer under the circumstances. A consumer may have no knowledge that ConsumerInfo.com is locking them into a subscription service unless they opt-out because there is neither a clear nor prominent notice that this outcome will occur. On the first page of the Web site there is an indication that along with the "free" credit report a consumer will also get "free" access to the service, but there is no explanation that the consumer will be billed for the service after the trial period ends if the consumer fails to opt-out. Further, if the consumer chooses to click to the first page of the registration process, there is absolutely no indication that the consumer is getting anything other than a "free" credit report by placing an order. It is only on the second and last page of the registration process that there is an indication that the subscription service costs a substantial amount and that the consumer is not obligated to keep the service. However, not only is the notice in fine print, but it does not clearly indicate that the burden is on the consumer to opt-out. Because the notice of additional terms is virtually hidden and confusing, it is likely that a reasonable consumer would not understand the terms of the offer and may change behavior with this knowledge, the last requirement is met.
21. ConsumerInfo.com attempts to hoodwink consumers by suppressing the terms of the "free" credit report offer. The obligation placed on the consumer to opt-out of the service is not "set forth clearly and conspicuously at the outset of the offer" as the Regulations state. In fact, it is not indicated anywhere in the offer that opt-out is required. ConsumerInfo.com's Web site www.FreeCreditReport.com constitutes a deceptive marketing practice because by omitting essential information it is likely to mislead a reasonable consumer into accepting the offer without being aware of all the terms.
IN THE INTEREST OF "MAXIMUM POSSIBLE ACCURACY," CREDIT REPORTING AGENCIES SHOULD BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE CREDIT MONITORING SERVICES TO CONSUMERS WITHOUT CHARGE.
22. Consumer access to credit reports is necessary in order to maintain the accuracy of credit reports. Consumers have very little incentive to access their credit report unless they fear inaccuracy. Credit reporting agencies have seized on consumer fear to market their monitoring services and their services are benefited by these possible inaccuracies. The more inaccuracies or chance of inaccuracies a report, the more the credit service provider can persuade the consumer that the service is necessary because no one can prove or correct an inaccuracy without accessing a report. Credit agencies require that a consumer have an actual report with them before being able to talk to a consumer service person at the agency.
23. Credit reporting agencies are required to pursue reasonable procedures to guarantee "maximum possible accuracy." By continuing to market by exacerbating consumer fear and charging for a service to monitor their own mismanagement of credit data, credit reporting agencies are violating this "very high standard set by statute." Far from charging consumers for the credit monitoring service, credit reporting agencies should be providing it for consumers without charge. In order to fulfill the statutory requirement of maximum possible accuracy, credit reporting agencies are duty-bound to provide consumers with a way to ensure the accuracy of their reports. By the mere existence of the credit monitoring services, it is shown that such services are technologically and economically feasible to convey to consumers the status of their credit on an on-going basis. Thus, the credit reporting agencies are aware that there are steps available to improve and assure the accuracy of the reports they maintain, and with this awareness comes the obligation to take such steps. Consumers must have constant access to their reports if credit reporting agencies continue to share information and update credit files based on affiliate sharing or other information sources. Consumers should not be required to compensate credit reporting agencies for fulfilling their statutory duty, especially because the monitoring service infrastructure is already in place and functioning, operated by the credit reporting agencies themselves. Therefore, in order to assure accuracy-the maximum possible accuracy required by statute-credit reporting agencies should cease their statutory infringing practices and provide credit monitoring services to consumers without charge.
REQUEST FOR RELIEF
Because deceptive marketing practices can be linked to the credit reporting agencies, the Complainants request that the Commission:
Order ConsumerInfo.com to provide free credit reports to consumers upon request;
In the alternative, order ConsumerInfo.com to immediately discontinue airing their television commercial promoting www.FreeCreditReport.com, and order ConsumerInfo.com to immediately discontinue their offer for a "free" credit report as it appears on www.FreeCreditReport.com;
Order credit reporting agencies to provide credit monitoring services to consumer without charge;
Monitor how credit reporting agencies promote their report-providing services;
Monitor how credit reporting agencies shift inaccuracy costs to consumers;
Provide such other relief as the Commission finds necessary to redress injury to consumers resulting from credit reporting agency practices as described herein.
Chris Jay Hoofnagle
ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER
1718 Connecticut Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
September 16, 2003
1 A digital copy of the television advertisement is attached as Exhibit A, and is available online at http://privacy.org/experianexhibita.mpg. A transcript of the television advertisement is attached as Exhibit B.
2 PDF copies of the referenced Web pages are attached. See Exhibit C for ConsumerInfo.com's Web site index page at http://www.FreeCreditReport.com.
3 See Electronic Privacy Information Center, Surfer Beware III: Privacy Policies without Privacy Protection (1999), available at http://www.epic.org/reports/surfer-beware3.html; EPIC, Surfer Beware II: Notice is Not Enough (1998), available at http://www.epic.org/reports/surfer-beware2.html; EPIC, Surfer Beware: Personal Privacy & the Internet (1997), available at http://www.epic.org/reports/surfer-beware.html.
4 See EPIC, The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) & the Privacy of your Credit Report, at http://www.epic.org/privacy/fcra.
5 Experian, "Media Fact Sheet" at http://www.experian.com/corporate/factsheet.html.
6 California Secretary of State, California Business Search for "Experian Services Corp.," at http://kepler.ss.ca.gov/corpdata/ShowAllList?QueryCorpNumber=C2218743.
7 The Great Universal Stores, P.L.C. - 2002 Ann. Rep. & Accounts, ICC Rep. No. 322087 (2002), LEXIS, 2002 ICC Online Ltd. 1, at *1.
8 Id. at *10.
9 California Secretary of State, California Business Search for "ConsumerInfo.com," at http://kepler.ss.ca.gov/corpdata/ShowAllList?QueryCorpNumber=C1828996.
10 ConsumerInfo.com, About ConsumerInfo.com, at http://qspace.iplace.com/qspace/popups/about.asp (attached as Exhibit D).
11 ConsumerInfo.com's services are also marketed on Experian's Web site directly, all except for the "free" credit report offer. Experian, "Your Credit" at http://www.experian.com/yourcredit (attached as Exhibit E).
12 The subscription fee is first mentioned on the bottom of the second page of the registration process. Registration is available via http://www.FreeCreditReport.com and to reach the fee quote requires the input of a consumer's personal information, see the first page and second page of registration as Exhibit G and H, respectively.
13 Federal Trade Commission Act, ch. 311, 38 § 717 (1914) (codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. §§ 41-58 (1976)); See also FTC v. Winstead Hosiery Co., 258 U.S. 483 (1922).
14 Wheeler-Lea Act, ch. 49, § 3, 52 Stat. 111, 111-14 (1938) (codified as amended at 15 U.S.C. § 45 (1982)).
15 Cal. Dental Ass'n v. FTC, 526 U.S. 756, 773 n.9 (1999) (citing FTC v. Algoma Lumber Co., 291 U.S. 67, 79-80, 78 L. Ed. 655, 54 S. Ct. 315 (1934), to support the proposition "[t]hat false or misleading advertising has an anticompetitive effect, as that term is customarily used, has been long established.").
16 Supra, n.3.
17 15 U.S.C. § 1681(e)(b) (2002).
18 Hearing on "Affiliate Sharing Practices and Their Relationship to the Fair Credit Reporting Act" Before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, 108th Cong. 8 (2003) (statement of Joel R. Reidberg, Fordham law professor and authority on the regulation of fair information practices in the private sector) [hereinafter "Reidenberg's testimony"].
19 For example, Citigroup, Inc., a financial service provider, is comprised of around two thousand entities. Hearing on "Affiliate Sharing Practices and Their Relationship to the Fair Credit Reporting Act" Before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, 108th Cong. 3 (2003) (testimony of Martin Wong, General Counsel for Citigroup Global Consumer Group). Bank of America Corporation, another financial service provider, has nearly fifteen hundred entities. Attorneys General, Comments to the United States Department of the Treasury, "Comments on the GLBA Information Sharing Study" 16 (May 1, 2002) (citations omitted), available at http://www.ots.treas.gov/docs/95421.pdf.
20 For example, ConsumerInfo.com is a subsidiary of Experian North America which is a subsidiary of the GUS plc, a retail and business services group in the United Kingdom that has other subsidiaries worldwide, including Europe, Asia and Africa. See The Great Universal Stores, PLC - 2002 Ann. Rep. & Accounts, supra, n.3; see also GUS P.L.C. 2003 Ann. Rep. at http://www.gusplc.com/gus/investors/reportsaccounts/ar2003; About GUS/History at http://www.gusplc.com/gus/about/history (noting GUS' company acquisitions and sales, and the principle's several name changes); accord Reidenberg's testimony, supra, n. 16 at 8.
21 Harris Interactive/Privacy & American Business Poll, Privacy On and Off the Internet: What Consumers want, 39 (Feb. 7, 2002), available at http://www.aicpa.org/download/webtrust/priv_rpt_21mar02.pdf (95% of those polled expressed concern that companies would use information gathered from one transaction for reasons other than that transaction-"for example, to offer . . . other products and services.").
23 See State AG Comments on the GLBA Information Sharing Study (May 3, 2002) available at http://www.epic.org/privacy/financial/ag_glb_comments.html.
24 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(1) (2002). The FTC has the authority to enforce violations of the FTCA under 15 U.S.C. § 45(a)(2)(2002).
25 FTC Guide Concerning Use of the Word "Free" and Similar Representations, 16 C.F.R. § 251.1(c) (2003) (emphasis added), available at http://www3.ftc.gov/bcp/guides/free.htm [hereinafter "the Regulations"].
27 See In the matter of Juno Online Services, Inc., No. 002-3061 (2001) (requiring Juno to make all offers and cancellation policies clear), available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/2001/05/junoconsent.pdf; In the matter of America Online, Inc. No. 952-3331 (1997), (requiring that America Online "shall not represent, expressly or by implication, that . . . [its s]ervice is offered 'free,' 'without risk,' 'without charge,' 'without further obligation,' or words of similar import denoting or implying the absence of any obligation on the . . . [customer] to pay for the . . . [s]ervice unless [the company] discloses clearly and prominently any obligation of the [customer] to cancel or take other affirmative action to avoid charges for use of the . . . [s]ervice") available at http://www.ftc.gov/os/1997/05/ameronli.htm.
28 Letter from the Federal Trade Commission to Rep. Dingell, Chairman of Comm. on Energy and Commerce (Oct. 14, 1983) (setting for the Commission's policy on deception), available at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/policystmt/ad-decept.htm.
30 Id. (citations omitted).
31 Id. (citations omitted).
32 Id. & n.20 (citing Heinz W. Kirchner, 63 F.T.C. 1282 (1963), the Commission states, "[a]n interpretation may be reasonable even though it is not shared by a majority of consumers in the relevant class, or by particularly sophisticated consumers. A material practice that misleads a significant minority of reasonable consumer is deceptive.").
33 See Exhibits A and B.
34 The Regulations at § 251.1(c), supra, n.23.
35 Attached as Exhibits C-H.
36 See Exhibit C.
37 Letter from the Federal Trade Commission to Rep. Dingell, Chairman of Comm. on Energy and Commerce, supra, n.26 (citations omitted).
38 Id. (citations omitted).
39 The Regulations at § 251.1(c), supra, n.23.
40 15 U.S.C. § 1681(e)(b) (2002).
41 Andrews v. TRW Inc., 225 F.3d 1063 (9th Cir. 2000), rev'd on other grounds, 534 U.S. 19 (2001).
42 FTC Official Staff Commentary § 607 item 3B (1995).