Equifax Officially Apologizes — And Promises To Make Amends

Never underestimate the power of saying you’re sorry.

Equifax is giving it go this week, combined with some some renewed efforts to make it easier for consumers to wrest control of their credit records back from the legions of cybercriminals that now have access to them.

Equifax’s interim chief executive officer, Paulino do Rego Barros Jr., has promised to introduce a free service by Jan. 31 that will let consumers control access to their own credit records.

It’s well timed, since the CFPB (one of Equifax’s regulators) chief Richard Cordray just announced that the credit rating agencies should all be made to create just such a system.

Barros, who stepped into the job of CEO this week after former CEO Richard Smith stepped down, also took the time to add an official apology to the mix — particularly with regard to the level of support and information the firm made available to consumers after the breach was first disclosed on September 7th. He acknowledged that, given the scale and scope of the breach, the response so far would need work — and promised to add call-center representatives and bolster a breach-response website.

“I have heard the frustration and fear. I know we have to do a better job of helping you,” Barros said in a statement published in The Wall Street Journal.

Equifax announced the free credit freeze service after the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) director, Richard Cordray, announced more scrutiny was coming to Equifax and its peers at TransUnion and Experian.