I need a new favorite song.

I had fallen in love with the jingle for freecreditreport.com. In fact, I even visited the site earlier this year. But $30 later, I have learned another lesson and, yes, I need a new favorite song.

No one knows more than me that you always read the fine print.
In fact, if you listen to the commercial jingle, it even says in a very soft, fast voice at the end "offer applies with enrollment in Triple Advantage."

What's Triple Advantage? That's a good lesson to learn. I'll share my newly gained wisdom.

It is a credit watchdog service that costs $14.95 a month. They send you an email if anything happens with your credit. I discovered the charge a little late in the game.

Apparently, I had a 30-day free trial period. Then for a couple of months, they charged me for this valuable service.

Upon discovery of the cost of my ignorance, I called the phone number to cancel the service and plead my case.

The fine operator found little sympathy in her heart for me - probably because they have hundreds of angry calls a day from people as unwise as myself.

I wasn't mad at her - even though from her accent she was either in another country or spending her first few days in ours. I was mad at myself for checking the "I accept" button without reading the "Terms and Conditions."

I knew that was a failure on my part, but the operator was also kind enough to point that out to me.

When I told her that I checked the box because I went to a web site called "free" credit report dot com and didn't expect to incur any charges at the "free" site, she informed me that just because a web site has the word "free" in its name doesn't mean there won't be any charges.

At this point I became a little angrier with her. I said, "You ought to add that as a second verse to your catchy little jingle then shouldn't you."

It made me feel a little better to be mad at her. I did something stupid but at least I found someone to take it out on.
Caveat emptor - let the buyer beware. The only thing free on freecreditreport.com and other similar web sites is a free 30-day trial period for a credit monitoring service.

Now you know everything that I know.

So if you don't want to end up "Dressed up like a pirate" in some restaurant, pay them 15 bucks a month and wait for them to send you an email.

If you want a free look at your credit, be ready to find it somewhere else or cancel the service within 30 days.

I guess "I shoulda seen this comin' at me like an atom bomb."

Oh well, $30 isn't that much to learn a lesson.

I just hope I can find a new song to top my personal chart.