John Oliver took a break from bashing GOP front-runner Donald Trump Sunday to look at the credit report industry, and the comedian's report was far from flattering.
Oliver spent nearly 20 minutes of Sunday's episode of his HBO show "Last Week Tonight" examining various problems with the companies that issue credit reports for job applications, loans or housing. He found that rampant errors on the reports often force people to deal with enormous obstacles in their daily lives.
Oliver recounted story after story of people whose credit reports mixed them up with similarly named people, featured other people's debt, included inaccurate criminal records — one poor man's credit report mistakenly labeled him a terrorist — or, worse, declared the person dead! According to Oliver's research, the credit companies claim their reports are accurate 95 percent of the time, a stat the companies proudly tout but which the comedian pointed out is actually quite alarming.
"When you are holding records for more than 200 million individuals, that five percent error rate affects 10 million people," Oliver explained. "They’re basically saying, 'Great news, everyone, we only f----- up a group equivalent to the entire population of Sweden! We’re the greatest!'"
Watch John Oliver blast credit firms in the clip from "Last Week Tonight" below:
At the end of the segment, Oliver decided to give the three major credit firms — Experian, Equifax and TransUnion — a taste of their own medicine. The comedian revealed that he had created three parody websites with strikingly similar names to the trio of companies — Experianne.com, Equifacks.com, and TramsOnion.com — to highlight the hassle of being confused with someone else. The websites advertised companies offering less-than-reputable goods and services, such as steaks made from Sea World dolphin meat and shelter animals recovered for the purpose of licking peanut butter off of customers' genitals.
"It would be a disaster for the credit companies if they were mistaken for any of these companies, but don't worry," joked Oliver. "I'm sure that will not happen 95 percent of the time and apparently that is good enough!"