Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Thursday, July 03, 2008

That Stupid "freecreditreport.com" Commercial

 
On television they keep playing this stupid "freecreditreport.com" commercial repeatedly, and there is something about this ad that really irks me. I almost didn't post about it, because as I searched on the internet for the lyrics to the commercial's song, I found that many people had already posted about their dislike of this commercial, including this great post on the blog Shakespeare's Sister about the sexism in the ad.

What bothered me about this ad was not a perceived sexism in the commercial, but the message of the lyrics:

"Well, I married my dream girl
I married my dream girl
But she didn't tell me
Her credit was bad
So now instead of living in a pleasant suburb
We're living in the basement at her mom and dad's
No, we can't get a loan
For a respectable home
Just because my girl defaulted on some old credit card
If we'd gone to Free Credit Report dot com
I'd be a happy bachelor with a dog and a yard."

The song is a cautionary tale that describes a man who has found his "dream girl", but unbeknownst to him before their marriage was the fact that she has poor credit. The song states clearly that he would have been better off not marrying her, and instead should have remained a bachelor.

Now, if she was indeed his "dream girl", shouldn't he have accepted her faults along with her other attributes? The conventional wisdom about romantic relationships in this culture is that "true love conquers all", not "true love conquers everything, except bad credit."

Now, I am not saying that marriages don't exist where one of the two partners turns out to be a flim-flam artist or deadbeat that end in regret and despair - but this is not the situation that the song suggests. The song clearly states that he should not have married his "dream girl" because she has "defaulted on some old credit card".

My argument is that if you are fortunate enough to find your "dream girl", you should count yourself lucky, despite any faults that you might find in her. I wish that I was lucky to find a woman that I could call my "dream girl" that was stupid enough to marry me. I would forgive her past indiscretions, especially if her only problem was bad credit. Good credit, in itself, is not a guarantee of happiness, nor should it be a defining aspect of a romantic relationship.

And what is our hapless young newlywed doing about his financial situation? He is living in the house of his wife's parents! I don't see anything about the ad that suggests that he is trying to find a decent job, or is even remotely thankful that he has a roof over his head.

If you watch the ad, the accompanying images are of him and a band made up of his scruffy friends playing the song. (**Ahem** Not that I have anything against scruffy, mind you.) While he is singing his song of lament about his 'ruined' life, his wife walks through the scene. She is doing laundry. She is probably doing his laundry!

If you ask me, this bozo should count his lucky stars, be thankful that he has a wife that he can call a "dream girl" and in-laws that are understanding enough to let them live at their house. I think he should go find a job, rather that sit around pissing and moaning about his life with his no account, layabout friends.

And another thing, I think the whole credit report business is a scam. I filled one of those out for an older person that was not internet savvy, and the conclusion reached on the webpage's SSL form was that the person had no record, "please call this 800 number." Upon calling, she was told that they still could find no record, but if you just pay them $15 dollars a month they were 'sure they could dig something up'.

After she paid interest on loans to these credit card companies, why was she being expected to pay money for a report about those debts that was advertised as being free? And why would they only guarantee finding information that they couldn't find at first if a sum of money was involved? I think it's a scam.


UPDATE: Bubs said, "I haven't seen that ad yet, but I've seen the other ones. What pisses me off is that the site they're pushing is a for-profit commercial site. What most people don't know is that you CAN get a free credit report, it's the law, and there's a real site set up by the three credit reporting bureaus to do so. I always refer victims of identity theft and credit card fraud to this website. If you do it right, you can actually check your credit for free three times a year--once through each bureau. The site is Annual Credit Report."

Thanks for the info, Bubs!
 

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22 Comments:

At Thu Jul 03, 12:25:00 PM, Blogger Odile said...

Well, you said it all, WTF is thinking the unhappy husband, in the commercial his "dream girl" looks more like a maid to me...
And WTH is happening in your country, that anyone can know ´bout your credit historial (historial crediticio¿?) just doing a phoncall?... in Mexico we call it "secreto bancario" (don´t know how to translate it), that means that no person have acces to that information.
The idea that anyone can know my PRIVATE finances sounds like an intrusion in my private life.

 
At Thu Jul 03, 01:14:00 PM, Blogger Some Guy said...

Well done, Dr. Z!

 
At Thu Jul 03, 01:15:00 PM, Blogger Sleestak said...

And yet his wife is smoking hot.

 
At Thu Jul 03, 01:26:00 PM, Blogger Randal Graves said...

I know I certainly didn't notice the camera lingering on her posterior as she walked through the door.

Hey, get Beardo the Drummer back off the tube!

If shit credit was the bedrock of a groovy relationship, my wife and I would've split many a moon ago. Thank Beelzebub I invested in Halliburton. Now I can afford a 'free' credit report!

 
At Thu Jul 03, 02:19:00 PM, Blogger Liberality said...

good and valid points all Dr. Z.

 
At Thu Jul 03, 02:35:00 PM, Blogger Spirula said...

Before I hated those commercials because I could. Now I hate them because I should.

 
At Thu Jul 03, 03:58:00 PM, Blogger Bradda said...

Now Dr Z., we all know that good credit is a benchmark to what type of citizen you are. That stupid girl ruined his life by not telling him that she was an outlander. He should take her out back and beat her with a hose till her credit score gets better. Then they can have that dream house and dream car they always wanted. That's all that life is about after all...heh.

 
At Thu Jul 03, 06:10:00 PM, Blogger FranIAm said...

Dr Z- let me say that if I were not already married, I might just set out to find you and then marry you.

Anyone who would post this gets a piece of my heart and is my hero.

The not funny punchline is that I do indeed have questionable credit. And a slightly shadowy past. Plus- well a few regrets.

But no communicable diseases.

Will you still love me?

Oh wait, this is not happening.

In all seriousness - this is a GREAT post.

 
At Thu Jul 03, 06:43:00 PM, Blogger DCup said...

I hate that commercial too. He's bitching about her credit and wishing he was a bachelor with a house and nice backyard and she's doing his laundry?

He needs a kick in the nuts.

Now, can you hate on the Sealy mattress commercials with me? Have you seen them? One mocks a pampered princess Paris Hilton type and the other mocks a gold-digger. Or how about the commercial that has the female real estate agent get run over by a bus.

I'm sorry. I've been watching too much t.v.

Great post, Dr. Z!

 
At Fri Jul 04, 07:29:00 AM, Blogger Bubs said...

I haven't seen that ad yet, but I've seen the other ones. What pisses me off is that the site they're pushing is a for-profit commercial site. What most people don't know is that you CAN get a free credit report, it's the law, and there's a real site set up by the three credit reporting bureaus to do so. I always refer victims of identity theft and credit card fraud to this website. If you do it right, you can actually check your credit for free three times a year--once through each bureau.

The site is Annual Credit Report

 
At Fri Jul 04, 08:29:00 AM, Blogger mwb said...

Don't you know marriage is when two credits reports are made as one in the eyes of God?

It's in the Bible. ;-)

"Blessed are the credit worthy, for they shall buy many baubles they can't really afford and stimulate the economy."

 
At Fri Jul 04, 09:21:00 AM, Blogger pidomon said...

MWB WINS!

 
At Fri Jul 04, 10:03:00 AM, Blogger SamuraiFrog said...

I just saw that commercial for the first time yesterday and then saw this post, which brought up everything I felt and more! And what about HIS credit? I mean, if he can get a decent house with a dog and a yard with his credit, why can't he get one for him and his wife? Give me a break.

 
At Fri Jul 04, 12:43:00 PM, Blogger skippy said...

well i like the commercial, because when the girl goes into the other room she slams the door into the drummer's face.

also, what kind of layabout is the guy if he invites his band to live with him and his wife?

 
At Fri Jul 04, 01:13:00 PM, Blogger GETkristiLOVE said...

I like the one in the fast-food restaurant way better than this one for the reasons you mention.

Girlfriend needs to TAKE OUT the dirty laundry next time. Jerk.

 
At Fri Jul 04, 09:43:00 PM, Blogger Swinebread said...

I thought this loser worked selling chowder and Ice tea, sounds to me like he's the problem not her

 
At Fri Jul 04, 09:45:00 PM, Blogger Swinebread said...

oh and just type all your personal information in over the internet to god knows who just because they wanna help.

 
At Sat Jul 05, 04:15:00 PM, Blogger Freida Bee said...

Ppsst- That guy is an actor. -jk

I'll hate all over him too, not the writers of the sickening commercial, not the jerk-offs who hired him, and hey wait a minute what's that lady doing in a commercial as such.

Mr. Z, When Mr. Bee discovers I've ruined his credit, will you me? ;)

 
At Sat Jul 05, 04:16:00 PM, Blogger Freida Bee said...

have me, that is

I didn't mean to leave so much to the imagination there.

 
At Sat Jul 05, 04:18:00 PM, Blogger Freida Bee said...

My my *ahem* Dr. rather.

 
At Sun Jul 06, 10:54:00 AM, Blogger Distributorcap said...

if you watch as much MSNBC as i do (way too much)

those 3 different freecreditreport.com commercials (which btw, as bubs said ARENT free) never ever leave your head

the one in the car
the one in the restaurant
now the one in the house with his deadbeat wife

oh --- and the endless number of vonage commercials

 
At Mon Jul 07, 07:35:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

Odile: I think that it is pretty clear that the unhappy husband is just a self-centered jerk, I just don't understand why the people that wrote the advertisement thought that a viewer would find him a likeable character. As far as privacy in the United States, our politicians sold out the American public on this point years ago...

Some Guy: Thanks, Some Guy!

Sleestak: And she does his laundry! Awesome.

Randal Graves: Credit card companies would like you to believe that a groovy relationship is based on good credit, but I know the real secret - chocolate cake and ice cream! :o)

Liberality: Thanks, Liberality!

Spirula: HA! I love it it ! Great line, Spirula! (When are you going to get your own blog?)

Bradda: Just what romance needs in this country... benchmarks.

FranIAm: Oh, FranIAm, it is very nice of you to say that. I want to thank you for telling me that would seek me out if you weren't married, but this zero is also very happy to be called a hero! :o)

DCup: Thanks, DCup! You know, I haven't seen those Sealy mattress commercials yet, that I can remember. I will keep my eye out for them! Real estate agents getting run over by a bus actually sounds kind of promising, though!

Bubs: Great! I have updated the post. Thanks for the info, Bubs!

MWB: Ha! I knew God was in charge of credit card companies in some way!

Pidomon: Indeed he does! That was hilarious!

SamuraiFrog: It is sad that our society is so obsessed with money and possessions that this commercial is even seen as a viable argument for happiness. :o(

Skippy: Screw the drummer! I want to see a commercial of the wife leaving her lazy, complaining husband!

GETkristiLOVE: Hmm... I think that maybe he should wash his own dirty laundry, in more ways than one! :o)

Swinebread: I agree! I like pirates, but not this stupid TV moron!

Swinebread: They are culling your personal info, and charging you for it!

Freida Bee: I am honored that you and FranIAm would be so kind as to offer your warm words to this humble simian. I am touched that you would say such a thing to me! **swoon** Trust me, my imagination doesn't need much to get a workout around the two of you. *ahem* Thank you very much.

Distributorcap: Yes, I have seen all three of them too. I try to mute and change channels, but my corporate master still manage to sneak into my subconscious and conscience mind.

 

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