After having problem after problem with my AT&T DSL, I wanted to check out the options through Comcast. Went to the site, selected the internet package we might want, and then I wanted to click through to see when someone might be able to come out for installation. I had to enter service/billing address and they wanted D.O.B and SSN to verify identity. I entered the info to get to the delivery/installation section on the next page. That's where I stopped. I never actually made a purchase or signed up for service.
Now a day later I get an alert saying there was a new credit inquiry and Comcast has done a hard pull. I am not a current customer, and I never actually made a purchase or requested internet service from them. Also the section that I entered my info on never mentioned they would check credit... only verify identiy. I noticed there were some other posts on here about Comcast, but all were from current customers or people who were actually starting/changing their service.
Is my best bet to call Comcast? Dispute with the credit agencies (do I have to write in)? Anyone know if Comcast pulls with all 3 bureaus, all I had monitored was Equifax.
Businesses have permissible purpose to pull your credit report provided (1) you initiate a business transaction with them, and (2) that business transaction has some reasonable basis for the business evaluate your credit standing.
Your situation is a bit murky, in that you did not specifically enter into a business transaction with them, but appear to have only been window shopping.
As for their business need to review your credit, they provide equipment, and if you dont pay once billed, they stand to lose $$, so it is pretty well established that they have a reasonable need to review your credit provided you have an actual business transaction with them.
You could certainly challenge their permissible purpose based on having no actual business transaction with them, but prepare for a battle, as disputes over credit inquiries are difficult and usually protracted, and by the time resolved,the one year period in which they count in your scoring has usually expired.
The same thing happened to me over the summer. I window-shopped one day, and wound up getting service later that week. They ding'd my credit twice - once when I was just browsing, and once when I went through with the purchase. I expected the second one, but I thought the first was unnecessary. Also, I didn't take a screen-shot but I could've sworn that when I was window-shopping, it distinctly said that I would not receive a hard pull. I can't remember the exact wording, but I remember only clicking 'submit' because I saw that they wouldn't do a hard pull. I never disputed it because an inquiry won't really impact me, but it did seem shady.
Comcast always places an inquiry when you sign up for service. Irks a lot of folks on here.
IMO, the inquiry is legit based on what I saw. I just went through the same steps you did just to see what the screen looks like. You can enter an address without adding your name or other info. I'm guessing they need the address to see what services are available for that area. I picked a random street and their drop down menu gave a wide variety of cities to match that address. I picked one at random. It showed the pricing for all of their services in that area.
Once I selected one, it went to the cart where I had the option to purchase it. Steps 1 through 4 are on the same page (vs. having to finish step 1, then 2 and so forth). Step 1 was the service address. Step 2 was the billing info. Step 3 is what you posted. And Step 4 shows the option to enter credit check info. Within Step 4, you have the option to waive the inquiry at a $150 deposit charge or accept the inquiry and possibly waive the deposit. If you go the inquiry route, it says that "I authorize Comcast to conduct a credit check with the information I have provided." and then I can click "Next" if I wanted to accept that. ETA....that was the default choice.
Maybe your screen is different and didn't offer Step 4? I dunno. I can also see confusion if they wouldn't add Steps 1-4 on the same page. I don't have their service and never will, but it did show the full pricing prior to adding anything to the cart. Based on what I saw though I agreed to the inquiry (had I clicked "Next").
I think they only pull one. I haven't seen any posts saying they pulled 2 or 3. If you want it off, I would discourage a dispute. That'll lead to a fraud alert on EQ. You can always mail them your screenshot saying you never agreed to service and never entered your SSN, along with a non-PP letter (search...there are examples in here).
For me, once I go to the cart it puts me on Step 2 (Customize). Then on Step 3 (Customer Info) is where I enter my address, billing address, and the screen shot above with SSN and D.O.B. Clicking to the next page takes me to Step 4 (Installation) where I can select either self installation or schedule someone to come install for me. This is where I stopped. All I did was click on the choice to have someone come out, which brought up a calendar of available dates and times. I browsed what was available, then closed my browser. Never made it to the final stage to submit the order.