The Schufa

I had to deal with the Schufa in the past few days. This is a private organization that collects data on how well people in Germany pay their bills. Companies tell them when you don't pay your bill (or they *think* you didn't pay), when they give you credit, and they can ask how credit-worthy you are.

We are renting a room for WiseKid, and of course we have to pay, so we have to be assessed on our credit worthiness. And we have to pay for the piece of paper that says "yes, we would expect this person to pay her bills 97,24% of the time".

Now, I *hate* bogus numbers like this. I had a discussion with the lady this morning as to why WiseMan and I have different credit ratings - we have paid all our bills, and had joint accounts forever. "Oh," she said, "that's because our scoring takes all sorts of things such as age into account. No two people have the same score."

I called her on that - baloney! There are exactly 10,000 numbers between 0.00 and 99.99. There are a few more people living in Germany (although many are emigrating, I hear). So there *must* be people who have the same scoring. "Um, well, but it is highly unlikely." Okay, droid. Math is not one of your finer points.

Then we went on the the question of umlauts. WiseMan has an umlaut in his real name and in his place of birth. Both were mangled on the information sheet that he had - he signed up for the fancy-schmanzy online thing that has been an enormous amount of work and not really helped yet. He had to go to the post office to prove that he was himself, before they sent him a cute card with a matrix on it, each box has 2 letters or digits in it. They ask you for box F1, and you input that. Really cool, must be Cryptography and Really Really Secure.

But for all the high-tech security theater, they can't do umlauts. Not in 2009. "The computer can't". Again - the computers can, the programmers are too lazy to do anything about it and management doesn't have the spine to make them.

I let it ride, paid my 7.80 € and got a piece of paper that said that I am a good person and pay my bills on time. Wow.

I don't really like the idea of your credit history hanging on a magic number a private company won't tell you how they calculated by a program written by a bunch of clowns who can't get German umlauts to print properly. But what can I do? No Schufa, no room. Sigh.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

>But what can I do? No Schufa, no room. Sigh.

what can you do? Think of yourself, someone wanting to rent out a place without using Schufa-services, how would you go about it? Then find "someone like you with a place to rent out"... ;-)

p.s. I hate the data gathering industry, was surprised to find it that bad in the Krautish regions...