Thursday, October 3, 2013
SoftBank To Address Credit Reporting Errors Individually
TOKYO (Nikkei)--SoftBank Mobile Corp. intends to address on a case-by-case basis adverse impacts that smartphone customers may suffer from the company's failure to report their payment information to credit agencies, the mobile carrier said Wednesday.
Following a customer inquiry, the SoftBank Corp. (9984) unit discovered in March that its computer system for managing information on persons who bought handsets in installments had provided inaccurate reports. Even though customers had been recorded by the system as having made a payment, the firm incorrectly reported to credit agencies that some had not done so yet. A system-setting error dating back to an upgrade in 2009 was the culprit, according to SoftBank Mobile.
A total of 63,133 erroneous reports were filed. With financial institutions and credit card companies inquiring on 16,827, the incorrect information may have disadvantaged some individuals seeking to obtain credit cards or mortgages.
SoftBank Mobile said it had corrected the credit information by this summer, while apologizing to customers affected by institutions referencing the data.
Typically, consumers end up on a credit blacklist for nonpayment three months after a due date. But a single missed payment may not necessarily hurt an individual's credit history, according to industry officials.
"In many cases, people just carelessly forget to make a payment," says an official at a major consumer financing company. So credit card firms and banks usually screen a person's creditworthiness by using their own information as well.
Even so, as more consumers purchase smartphones and other devices on installment plans, telecommunications firms will be on the hook to prevent incorrect reporting of customer payments.
(The Nikkei, Oct. 3 morning edition)