|October 10, 2013
Contact: Whitney Ray
Phone: (850) 245-0150
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. –Attorney General Pam Bondi announced today that three Connecticut marketing companies will pay more than $30 million to settle allegations that they enrolled consumers in buying clubs and charged them for memberships without the consumers' authorization. Affinion Inc., Trilegiant Corp. and Webloyalty.com will pay $19 million to consumers in restitution and $11 million to 47 states and the District of Columbia to cover the costs of their investigations. A lawsuit filed by Attorney General Bondi alleges that the companies did not properly disclose that purchases on the websites of well known online retailers would result in enrollment in membership clubs and monthly club charges. Consumers who discovered charges on their credit card bills were unable to get refunds, and other consumers continued to pay because they did not realize they were being charged. This alleged activity violates Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act.
“I encourage consumers who may have unknowingly been enrolled in a membership and charged unauthorized fees to contact my office,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
After consumers made purchases from online retailers, the three companies allegedly offered discounts on future purchases. Consumers nationwide accepted the offers without realizing they would be enrolled in the marketers' clubs.
The consent judgment requires the companies to do the following: clearly and conspicuously inform consumers that they can be enrolled in clubs if they accept offers; remind consumers periodically that they are enrolled; and make cancellation policies more generous.
If consumers believe that they were charged by one of these companies without authorization, they can contact the Attorney General's Office by calling 1-866-9-NO-SCAM or by visiting MyFloridaLegal.com.
Follow this link to view the list of Affinion's membership clubs: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-9CAJGE/$file/Membership+Programs.pdf
Follow this link to view a copy of the judgment: http://myfloridalegal.com/webfiles.nsf/WF/MMFD-9CCPYW/$file/AffinionConsentJudgment.pdf