lifelock complaints

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With the advent of any new product or service which appear to be too good to be true, there are bound to be complaints. In the case of Lifelock, the identity theft protection service, these complaints seem to originate more often from those who are not customers than those who are. This is an interesting dichotomy, and perhaps indicative of the fact that the service is a legitimate way to help people protect their identity. In few other places is this kind of strange separation seen. It is uncommon to see a service bashed mercilessly by people who have never even tried it, and yet never once complained about by those who have. Don’t believe it? Take a good long look around the internet and see what we mean. Search for Lifelock in every place you can think of and see what people are saying. You will be hard pressed to find a single instance of customers-actual people who have signed up for the service and used it-complaining about the service they received. On the other hand, you’ll find several instances of people complaining about Lifelock without ever having tried it. What gives?

One of the most common Lifelock complaints is this: “Lifelock only does for you what you can do for yourself for free”. You’ll read this over and over again from self-professed consumer advocates all over the Web. There are a variety of problems with this complaint, with the chief problem being that it simply isn’t true. But, for the sake of argument, let’s say that it is true. We’ll address why it isn’t a little later on, but let’s accept the premise for a moment just to engage in a debate.

Lifelock includes (but is certainly not limited to) three separate services that you could, in fact, do on your own if you were so inclined. One of these is keeping a handy list of credit card numbers and contact information for you in case one of them is stolen and you need to call quickly to cancel the card. Obviously, yes, this is something you could do for yourself, and Lifelock has never made the claim that you couldn’t. They also take your name of the pre-screened credit card list, so you don’t have to worry about getting a bunch of unwanted offers from credit card companies. Again, this is something you could do on your own, and Lifelock has never claimed anything to the contrary. Finally, they send you a copy of your credit report once a year from each of the three major credit bureaus, and yes, once again, this is something you could do for yourself. Once again, Lifelock doesn’t pretend otherwise.

Have you ever belonged to a gym? Is there anything you can do at a gym (on a regular basis) that you couldn’t do at home? Use the treadmill? Yeah, but anyone can go walk outside for free. Life weights? Nearly every body part worked by those machines can be done for free using your own body’s resistance. So why does anyone pay to go to the gym? Do you own a car? Is there not a mass transit system in your town you could ride for much cheaper than it costs to pay for and maintain your automobile? So why own it? What about your computer? Did you buy it from a store? Why? You could have built one yourself for a fraction of the cost.

We do these things through services for convenience. And that’s all that Lifelock is claiming to offer with these services that you could conceivably do yourself. Convenience. It’s very easy to forget to order your credit report, you have to jump through hoops to go find your free credit report on your own, and it can be irritating to try and remove yourself from the pre-screened credit offers. Lifelock simply does these things for you as an added bonus.

But this is where the comparisons end and this “You can do all this for yourself” argument really falls apart. Can you provide yourself with insurance against credit card theft? No. Can you guarantee that you will spend up to one million dollars to make it right if your identity is stolen? Of course not. Can you place your own fraud alerts? Again, not so much. So Lifelock is much more than a service of convenience, no matter what the naysayers say. And until the complaints start rolling in from people who have actually used the service, it doesn’t seem valid to listen to those who haven’t.

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