PrivacyGuard

PrivacyGuard
7.76

Security

8/10

    Identity Protection

    7/10

      Recovery Assistance

      9/10

        Features

        7/10

          Help & Support

          9/10

            Pros

            • Three-Bureau Daily Credit Monitoring
            • $1 Million Fraud Resolution Insurance
            • Document and Credit Card Registration
            • Norton Anti-virus Software
            • Reasonable Pricing

            Cons

            • Many complaints with the BBB
            • Limited Identity Monitoring Service
            • Many Complaints with service

            PrivacyGuard is a company that is owned and operated by an umbrella corporation called Trilegiant corporation. Trilegiant Corporation is a member of the Affinion Group which operates a wide variety of different websites of which are focused on discount buying Clubs. PrivacyGuard being one of their identity theft protection services, they are able to offer promotions like $1 for the 1st 2 weeks and a reasonably priced plan for PrivacyGuard of $19.99 a month afterward.

            The Positives

            One of the main Pros for PrivacyGuard is that they are reasonably priced. They offer the 1st 2 weeks of service as a test for only $1 and a monthly subscription of $19.99 a month there after. PrivacyGuard has also been known to run regular specials, these specials for example will all new customers to receive discounted monthly subscription prices, as low as $14.99.

            Additionally, PrivacyGuard also provides the following features for it’s monthly service plan:

              • Triple-Bureau Credit Report
              • Triple-Bureau Credit Scores
              • Daily Credit Monitoring
              • Monthly Credit Score Tracking
              • Live Support Toll-Free Hotline Staffed By Real People
              • Identity Fraud Support Service

            PrivacyGuard’s Better Business Bureau rating based on Affinion Group’s rating. Despite the many complaints that Affinion Group has, they have 201 resolved complaints and a solid A- Better Business Bureau rating.

            The Negatives

            PrivacyGuard is lacking in features which can be considered to be critical. As we discussed with other companies, there are certain features that need to be within an identity theft protection plan to make it a  comprehensive identity protection package. PrivacyGuard primarily focuses on credit monitoring and alerts. They aim to detect instances of identity theft through a consumers credit reports, which may not be as effective compared to other companies.

            PrivacyGuard is operated by Affinion Group and as such can be limited to the strengths and weaknesses of their parent company. As seen in their Better Business Bureau complaints, Affinion Group has a large array of complaints with their products and billing issues.

            Most consumers complain about the company’s billing practices. With regards to this, PrivacyGuard’s billing may also have deceptive practices if the disclaimers are not properly read.

            In 2013, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Affinion Group by the State of Connecticut due to deceptive billing practices. The Affinion Group settled out of court by agreeing to establish a fund of $19 million to reimburse members in the class.

            Pricing

            PrivacyGuard only offers one identity theft protection package for $19.99/month, which can be acquired at a discounted price at times. At the moment, PrivacyGaurd advertises a $1 trial period of 14 days with the monthly fee of $19.99 a month starting right after the 2 week trial.

            Included in PrivacyGuard’s service are the following features:

              • Norton Anti-virus Software:  Members receive the Norton Internet Security Online. This will provide consumers with protection against phishing, spam, viruses and spyware.
              • Monthly Credit Score Tracking (3 Credit Bureaus):  PrivacyGuard tracks their subscribers’ credit scores Each month to help consumers keep track of their identity credit reports will be able to be tracked for patterns and trends of their financial habits.
              • Three-Bureau Daily Credit Monitoring: Consumers receive notifications of any new inquiries, accounts, negative information, public records or change of address on their credit file with any of the three major credit bureaus.
              • Identity Fraud Support Service: Members can call PrivacyGuard for assistance in helping with an identity theft event and guidance in the complicated restoration process.
              • Document and Credit Card Registration: PrivacyGuard allows members to register up to ten cards. This is done in order to easily replace them in the event that they are lost or stolen.
              • $1 Million Fraud Resolution Insurance PrivacyGuard offers a no deductible, $1 million identity theft insurance. In order to cover certain costs and fees in trying to restore members’ identity to its pre-theft status the insurance will be very helpful for the consumer with identity theft or grid on their credit.
              • Triple-Bureau Credit Report and Scores: Provided by CreditXpert Inc.

            Contract Information

            PrivacyGuard Identity Theft Insurance

            Aggregate Limit of insurance: $1 million per policy period. Lost wages: $1,500 per week, up to 5 weeks per policy period

            Costs covered included in the identity theft insurance policy:

            • Re-filing applications
            • Notarizing affidavits or similar documents
            • Long distance telephone calls
            • Postage
            • Credit reports
            • Time off work
            • Legal fees

            Exclusions to Insurance in PrivacyGuard’s policy are:

            • Dishonest Acts
            • Confiscation
            • Intentional Loss
            • Late Reporting
            • Business or Professional Services Family Member
            • Property Damage
            • Bodily Injury
            • Personal Injury

            Company Data

            PrivacyGuard from Affinion Group is a private company based in Stamford, Connecticut. They provide consumer engagement and loyalty programs among identity theft protection services. It is held by the private equity group Apollo Global Management and growth equity firm General Atlantic. 

            In 2014, Affinion reported a worldwide workforce of 3,700, with a 7 percent loss of sales from the previous year. As of March, 2015, the company had not reported a profit since 2004. 

            Affinion Group also markets accidental death and dismemberment policies to banks, to be provided to consumers as ‘customer appreciation.’

            The Verdict

            PrivacyGuard does not offer many features which are needed in order to provide a comprehensive identity theft protection package. Monitoring just credit reports can be a very limiting factor in protecting the consumers’ identity from identity theft or identity fraud.

            Because PrivacyGuard has a low monthly price point, they are worth a try at the very least to keep up to date on your three-bureau credit reports.

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