Consumer News

Discount Club to Provide Refunds in Misleading Marketing Case

Consumer complain Affinion deceptively charged them for services.

Consumer News

Discount Club to Provide Refunds in Misleading Marketing Case

A discount club that markets services through online banks and national retailers has agreed to provide refunds to eligible consumers who investigators said were misled into signing up and paying for services they didn’t want or know about as part of a $30-million settlement reached with 46 states Thursday.

Investigators said Conn.-based Affinion Group Inc., and its subsidiaries, Trilegiant Corp. and, Inc., deceived consumers through misleading marketing practices. Affinion and its other companies run a variety of discount services including credit monitoring, roadside assistance, and discount travel.

Consumers were enrolled in one of the services after they ordered a product from one of the partner banks or retailers. The marketing partners provided consumers’ account information to Affinion, who then charged consumers a continual monthly fee. Many consumers complained that when they discovered the fee they had difficulty getting the company to cancel it or get a refund.

The joint investigation by the attorneys general found that the companies also were sending checks in the mail that when cashed by consumers enrolled them in one of the Affinion programs.

Under the settlement, Affinion must provide clear and detailed information to consumers regarding their membership, including periodic reminders about enrollment; change its cancellation policies; no longer send checks in the mail that when cashed automatically enroll consumers in a program; and stop using data passed by retailers to bill consumers.

The attorneys generals are urging consumers to check their credit cards to see whether they were charged illegally by any of Affinion’s membership programs.

Additional information about the Affinion refunds, and information about filing a complaint if you feel you were illegally charged for services, can be found here.

For more information about negative option offers click here.

You Might Be Interested In