Have you been lying awake at night wondering if Ben Stein ever got around to developing a sense of morality or love of truth and rationality? Allow me to put you at ease: he didn’t.
The image you are now attempting to avoid looking at directly appeared in my RSS reader this morning. At first glance I thought the spokesperson was a Mr. Potatohead that someone put in the microwave, but after a second glance I realized that yes, that’s Ben Stein. You may know Ben from his famous movie Expelled, in which he plays a creationist who was tragically born without the ability to notice that everyone is laughing at him, not with him. His Borat-like promotion for the film included in-character appearances on talk shows in which he claimed that science killed 6 million Jews and therefore should be destroyed, or at least exiled to an island off the coast of France or something.
Now, apparently desperate for money, Stein is shilling for FreeScore.com, one of the myriad sites that attempt to mislead consumers who have heard they’re allowed one free credit report a year. The correct, federally-mandated site for that is annualcreditreport.com. Sites like freescore.com go out of their way to be as not free as possible. In this case, freescore.com offers you a 7-day trial, and even that isn’t freeâ€”it costs $1, and if you want to end the trial and get your buck refunded, you have to call their toll-free number and beg for it. Beg for it like the dog you are.
If you fail to respond in time to stop the trial, you will be automatically charged $30 a month by freescore.com, a URL that becomes more ironic by the moment.
Compare all that to the real site, annualcreditreport.com, which will give you an electronic copy of your credit report without asking for any credit card number or payment.
So congrats, Ben Stein! You’ve hitched your wagon to yet another shady operation profitting from people who don’t know better.
And just for the record, that guy singing in the commercials is also shilling for a misleading company. Maybe he and Ben can start a variety show and take it on the road?