CONSUMER CATCH-UP: CA attorney general reminds credit reporting agencies to follow Fair Credit Reporting Act, Best Buy announces plans to resume in-home visits, reopen stores

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California Attorney General reminds credit reporting agencies to follow CARES, Fair Credit Reporting Acts

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, along with 22 other attorneys general, sent a letter today to the major credit reporting agencies (CRAs) reminding them of their obligation to comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA).

On April 1, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a policy statement on the bureau's response to the passing of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) on March 27. In their statement, the CFPB outlined their "flexible supervisory and enforcement approach" in regard to the FCRA, including expanding timelines for credit reporting agencies to resolve consumer disputes and giving them more leeway to refuse an investigation into a dispute. On April 13, Attorney General Becerra joined other attorneys general to voice their opposition to the CFPB's move to "loosen its oversight of lenders and credit reporting agencies."

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Now, Attorney General Becerra is directly addressing the consumer reporting agencies -- Experian, Equifax and Transunion -- reminding them to adhere to the regulations set forth in the CARES and Fair Credit Reporting Acts. "The state Attorneys General expect compliance with this vital provision of the CARES Act, and we will actively monitor for and enforce such compliance," the letter reads. "We will monitor furnishers to ensure that they do not improperly report negative credit information, and we will monitor the CRAs to ensure that the CRAs timely and meaningfully investigate disputes arising from improper reporting by furnishers."

"This is the worst time for the federal government to take the cop off the consumer protection beat. State AGs will continue to perform enforcement and oversight of the credit reporting bureaus. We urge the federal government to do the same," said Attorney General Becerra.

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Best Buy announces plans to resume in-home visits, open stores for appointment shopping

Best Buy has announced plans to resume in-home tech support visits and re-open some of its stores by appointment only.

On the Best Buy blog, CEO Corie Barry noted that in most areas of the country, Best Buy is designated an "essential" business because of the home appliances and work-from-home technologies it sells. "However," writes Barry, "the conversation is now starting to move from what it means to be an 'essential' retailer, to what it means to be a 'safe' retailer."

Best Buy will return to in-home tech services now that the company says it has been able to "build what we believe are the right processes, acquire the right equipment, and create the right employee training." Technicians will call customers 24 hours before their appointment to give them a rundown of their new procedures and confirm that no one in the home is ill; the day of the visit, technicians will do a health self-check, check in with their managers, bring with them personal protective equipment, disinfect all devices, and maintain a 6-foot physical distance at all times.

Best Buy also plans to reopen 200 stores to appointment-only visits in May. The retailer already offers curbside pickup; now, customers will be able to make an appointment by phone, online, or through the Best Buy app. When customers arrive at their designated time, they will be escorted by a store employee who will maintain social distance throughout the shopping excursion, and disinfect any products the customer wants to try out. Shoppers will be taken to the register to check out, where the counter and point-of-sale devices will be wiped down before and after the sale. The shopper will then be escorted from the store.


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