Unfortunately, we decided to do a home repair in August 2014 and used a credit card to pay for the needed parts at Home Depot. That meant our credit card information was stored in a database that was hacked by criminals. Home Depot offered free credit protection and monitoring services to Canadians from Equifax for a year because of this breach. We applied for the Equifax Premier Service as directed by Home Depot and received the security code for free access a few days later; then we just had to set it up.
What Do You Need to Open Your Equifax Complete Premier Protection Service Plan
Before you start clicking and filling in fields, you will need to know
- Your address and your previous address if fewer than 2 years
- Obviously: Your full name, date of birth and phone number
- The username you want to create.
It should be 5-100 characters long
- The password you want to use to sign in.
It must have 8 or more characters with both UPPER and lower case letters and contain at least 1 number. It can have no more than 2 repeating characters, like 77.
You’ll also need to pick a security question from their list and provide an answer. Make a note of these facts offline somewhere secure if you think you’ll forget them.
You do NOT have to provide your Social Insurance Number although it will ask for it.
How to Register for the Equifax Complete Premier Plan Protection Service
Hey, I didn’t name it!
Home Depot breach customers who apply for this protection will receive an email with a “redemption code.” This code is used instead of a credit card to pay for one year of access to this service.
You are told that Equifax does NOT want you to enter your personal credit card info which is good because I wouldn’t. I suspect if you do, you will end up getting a monthly bill for the service. So follow the instructions!
There are some instructions provided in the email from Equifax, but I’ll add anything I notice as I try to follow them.
- Go the Equifax website address provided in the email.
- Read the welcome page.
Note that if you do NOT put in your credit card information, you will NOT have to worry about charges due to an automatic renewal at the end of your free year. If you only use the Home Depot code, when your one year finishes, your account will close automatically.
- It also tells you to expect information about pricing and asks you to ignore it.
(By the way, this product is pricey: It’s advertised at $19.95 a month before tax!)
- Click on the Get Started button.
The Register Page
- In the First Name and the Last Name box, type the name used on your credit cards and for your bank accounts.
- Click to select the radio button beside Male or Female.
- Type your address into the boxes for
- Current Street Address (including apartment or suite number)
- Postal Code
- To answer Have you lived at your current address for more than 2 years? click to select the radio button beside Yes or No.
If you select No, it will prompt you for your previous address.
- For the Social Insurance Number field, you can leave the fields blank if you wish.
- For the Date of Birth entry,
- from the drop-down lists, select the day and month
- then type in the Year.
- In the Phone field, type your phone number including the area code.
- Click on the Continue button.
The Verify ID Page
To create your account
- In the Email Address field, type your email address.
- In the Confirm Email Address field, type it again.
- In the Username field, type a username for signing in to the service.
- In the Password field, type a password.
- From the Secret Question drop down list, select a question.
- In the Answer to Secret Question field, type the answer.
- In the Confirm Answer field, type the answer again.
- The Select Payment Type section
In the Promotion Code field, type the code provided to you in the email from Home Depot.
Do NOT enter your credit card information! If you do, they will probably auto-renew your service and start billing you every month. Avoid the hassle! Don’t enter your card information!
Read through the extremely long list of Terms and Conditions of Use.
I’m not keen on
“16.2 Equifax may email you from time to time to provide information and offers about Personal Solutions services. If you wish to stop receiving these emails from Equifax, please follow the instructions included in the emails we send.”
I think, though, that that may be old as there is an Opt In check box on the screen which I have not selected.
- If you can accept them, click on the button Accept Terms & Continue.
The Verify Id Page
Next, they will attempt to connect your request with your existing credit information by asking you 6 questions.
In our case, many of the questions are “none of the above” type answers. Your mileage may vary.
Click on the Submit Order button.
Wait the 60-90 seconds while the system checks your answers against its files.
The Order Summary Page
You have ordered the Equifax Complete Premier Plan which is free for the first 12 months, then $15.95 per month.
They ask again for credit card info. Leave the fields blank! Do not enter your card info!
Click on the Submit Order button.
Wait for a lonnnnnng time.
The Order Confirmation Page
You should eventually get a page confirming your plan has been opened. Strangely enough, on one side the description says “360 days free trial” and on the other side of the screen, it says “free for the first 12 months.” I’m not sure why there is a 5 day difference.
Write down your Transaction Code in case of future disputes.
If you want to see what this plan is giving you, click on the View My Product button.
If not, close your browser session.
If you choose to View Your Product, be sure to click on the Sign Out link at the top right side of the screen when you are finished. Empty your cache and close your browser session for extra security.
I’ll start poking around in it and provide some info over the next few weeks.
Home Depot Scores Some Points for Customer Service
Overall, I’m fairly pleased with the way Home Depot is handling this breach. Obviously, I’d prefer it if their systems were impenetrable to criminals. But given that’s not an easy thing to guarantee I’m satisfied that they are trying to fix what they can.
- How to Set the Credit Score Monitoring Alert Settings for Your Equifax Account
- What to Do To Protect Yourself from Fraud or Identity Theft Caused by the Home Depot Credit Card Security Breach
- What Happens When Your Credit Card Is Used Illegally and Fraudulently?
- Credit Card Security: Get and Use a Low-Limit Credit Card for Internet Shopping
Did you have to sign up for the Equifax service because of the Home Depot 2014 breach? Did the process seem simple enough to you? Please share your experiences with a comment.