I have heard of paying to expedite certain activities, i.e. obtaining a D&B number; but not to correct an error. Does anyone have a similar experience?
Regis - Our company had to correct some extremely old reporting error that D&B had for us. It had A/P showing as over 120 days that was reported by someone back in 2009. Once we proved it to be false, and extremely old, it was corrected. But it was a terrible hassle. They were always trying to sell something to us. We also had to get Experian involved also. I think the error originates with a credit reporting agency. Check the various credit reporting agencies to ensure your company information is reported correctly. Best of luck.
Here is another discussion on Proformative about experiences with D&B calling for a congressional investigation, along with a little more about how one obtains a Duns # and its purpose and uses:
Regis-We have never had to pay to correct an error. We have typically called to give D&B updates, which they gladly take and correct. Sometimes, this may take a while to resolve.
I think D&B is a fraudulent acting company, living on a reputation from the 70's.
I don't work with, provide, ask or assume any data they have to be correct.
While I have a DUNS number, most of the information is not correct, which proves my point.
Thank you. completely agreed. Unless you're dealing with government contracts, I see no reason to even consider paying them a cent.
Agreed, Wayne. Pay-Mode just called me to verify an address & phone number that my company had 20 years ago, listed on D&B. The caller was amazed that what they had was 20 years old and flat-out wrong. After looking around the web, I'm NOT surprised. They appear to be sloppy with facts and could care less.
My D & B experience is a terrible one. I inquired about their database for Canada a little over a year ago. Sales rep told me that it was 96% accurate and contained every Canadian business. I purchased the service on monthly payments (total cost $5500). On receiving the link, I did a generic pull for the local town I am located in. I was very disappointed in the results. Firstly, it had my company at our old address from 3.5 years prior! Then, 28% of the list had NO PHONE NUMBERS. I did similar searches for other areas, only to find the same lacking results. I called D & B and, after a while, they admitted their seemed to be a "technical error" and that it will be corrected soon. It never was corrected - I never used their date once - I couldn't, it was far too lacking and innacurate - I switched back to my previous provider - OneSource Canada. I wrote D & B to cancel the order based on the fact they were not providing what they said they would. I received one letter from them (9 months ago) stating they had cancelled the subscription but I was still liable to pay the full $5500 for "BREACH" of contract - that's right - ME breaching the contract!!!! I heard nothing more until today when I get notice from a collection agency for the $5500. I think a class action suite against D & B is called for, along with as much media attention as they deserve. STAY AWAY FROM D & B - especially in Canada.
Over the years in different companies I have noted that D&B has problems with accuracy. Once they get it wrong it is not always easy to fix. For this reason, I do not rely on their data. However, I never have had to pay to fix something other than spending a lot of time and much frustration.
I dislike and distrust this dishonerable company. Have tried many times over the years to work with them. Their data is often times inaccurate and I've been lied to on several instances by their sales people. We don't use them and don't report information to them. More specifically, I don not recall ever being asked to pay to correct erroneous data.
Mike makes a fair point. However, in certain retail situations, there is no good alternative to D&B. When I worked for big oil, we spent a fair amount of time scrubbing and correcting their data.
For those selling to retailers, wholesalers in North America there is a much better solution. Credit International provides credit recomendations to over a dozen factors and hundreds of companies. We have analysts, they use algorithms.
They always send us "alert" telling us that "our credit score has decreased".
Couple of years ago, we contacted D&B agency and then they told us that we could improve our credit score by purchasing a package named "credit build-up" or something like that. That was more than $ 1200. Then they gathered lots of credit references from our vendors, and disputed bad (anonymous) reports. It was not very credible, since they do not reveal the company name who gave bad reference.
Then next year, when the $1200 package was expired, our credit score started decreasing again.... Well, you may say that was a coincidence, but they always tried to sell us something every time our credit score went down, even temporarily.
Other point is that the customer representatives are mostly outsourced people from South Asia and many times they didn't get the information in English 100% correctly when they tried to gather some data by phone...... So we had to follow up and call several times extra to verify if they got the correct information from our credit reference. That was one of the reason we cancelled their service. So cheap.
Can't tell you the number of times we've received those "alerts".
And then the sales pitch....
I ignore them now.
Yes they have told me the only way to correct and update our information is to pay for their services. I declined and have had to work with a few clients to make them understand that our DUNS information is inaccurate and I'm not willing to pay their price to correct it.
I know that I am just agreeing with everyone above but D&B is not an easy or accurate company to work with. To get our credit correct they required us to pay $1200 per entity (we have 8) per location (we have 6) so 48x$1200. I felt this was outrageous to make sure our DUNS information was correct in their system. Then one of their agents promised me that we could link everything and manage with just a $2000 package. This was an out and out lie that I've been working with them for over a year to get a refund (they promised me the refund in March and I have yet to see the funds as of December 2012).
I agee with Linda above that many people use it because it is the only common one avaliable. I would definitly look into other credit companies if possible as I wouldn't believe anything that I get from D&B.
Humorously, D&B is a fine example of a perverse incentive. As with all (but one) above, I've struggled to get D&B to fix bad data, and they definitely charge to add relevant data.
The perverse incentive is that much of what they do is necessarily free, and they need the sell up. The best incentive for selling up is to have a black mark fixed. Thus, D&B won't filter bad data or fix errors without getting paid.
I honestly don't dislike them; I understand why they exist, why they do what they do, etc. I just know that they have no incentive to provide good data (in specific cases; in aggregate they need to be reasonably good), so I have no use for them.
Kieth, I have to disagree. They are playing a game which is probably just shy of committing RICO. Their ethics, or lack thereof, are way past that line.
They need to go, and the void they so poorly filled can be accomplished better by using informal means and trade groups (some which do exactly what D&B does, but with much much greater accuracy and without the backhanded corruption).
Has anyone switched to Credit Risk Monitor and willing to share comments?
We have had similar horrid experiences with D&B. They sent us a credit downgrade alert. When I inquired about the details, they had false information on our account that appeared to come from a different company with a similar name. D&B refused to provide any details about these charges or to resolve the claims without us buying their credit monitoring service. I told them that I wouldn't consider paying them until they corrected our records. They should be prosecuted for fraudulent business practices.
D&B is still mad that the IRS saw them for what they were, what the DUNS number was really about, and created the FEIN/TIN/EIN etc.
I am adding to the D&B bashers... I've made the mistake a couple times in my career in getting upsold on their various mointoring programs, only to find ZERO value in their products. Also, on numerous occasions I have walked into companies that have their services in place (they sell hard to anyone who answers the phone). Needless to say, I do not renew.
If you are a small business do NOT sign up for any services of D&B, especially if you are privately held and have competitors trying to find info on you (have seen this first hand...)
If you need credit from a vendor and especially if you are a small business, just tell the company representatives that you do not report/update to D&B, but are happy to share appropriate financial information in confidence to help them make a credit decision and talk through things with folks at their company. I swear, this works 95% of the time! The same goes for you granting credit to a potential customer. Make a short credit application and evaluate based on your relationship/needs. Leaving a credit decision to a unknown rating agency does little to boost confidence. They are not going to help you if a customer becomes a collection issue.
I have never been asked to report payment of my customers info to D&B, so am not sure where they are getting their data from, other than super large companies like phone, utilities, etc.).
D&B's business model is dead and they continue to rely on the majority of the public to act like lemmings and blindly supply private information, without having any control over use of such.
The problem is that if you are dealing with some large companies (Walmart and Target - 2 examples) and you have a low score, you can't even get in the door. Regardless of how terrible we think the system is, it is still the system. At least for now.
Paul - I absolutely agree on your suggestion to "just tell the company representatives that you do not report/update to D&B, but are happy to share appropriate financial information in confidence to help them make a credit decision and talk through things with folks at their company". I have done exactly that many times, without fail. The same goes for customers.
D&B can be a real headache, but for larger businesses, their products can increase efficiency in decision-making filters (to say nothing of accuracy). In short, play the game or don't... businesses can find success either way.
Has anyone submitted complaints to the FTC? I would say that if you all banded together and each filed a claim, this would get noticed and investigated for fraudulent marketing practices that actually cause poor credit ratings.
If D&B is improving your credit report but only if you pay, then after you pay it goes down again, their practices should be investigated.
I would like to thank you all for your comments. They have been interesting and of great value in helping me decide how to approach this situation.
FYI: Dun & Bradstreet Credibility has posted largely incorrect information about our firm DIPLOMAT Languages Inc. --- they may have made a confusion, I already found other confusions in other such unsolicited (uncontrollable, useless) listings by other similar bureaus;It's been impossible to have them correct it, I was asked to go through the motions of contacting various offices and even pay! for that --- an effort I have no time for. Please note the only up-to-date correct information is posted by our office on our corporate and affiliated websites where you can also find verifiable related sources.
Is this a statement of fact or a public posting (which wouldn't suffice for most legal posting requirements I'm aware of.
D&B, CreditSafe,etc are pariahs and charlatans. When we in Finance stop using them, then they will either change or go away (I vote for go away).