Attorneys General Announce A $30 Million Judgment Against Affinion
The Wyoming Attorney General, along with the Attorneys General of 46 other states and the District of Columbia announced today that Connecticut-based Affinion, and its subsidiaries Trilegiant and Webloyalty, will pay over $30 million to settle allegations that they misled consumers into signing up and paying for discount clubs and membership.
Affinion and its subsidiaries run multiple discount clubs and membership programs offering a variety of services such as credit monitoring, roadside assistance, and discounted travel. Affinion markets these programs through a series of agreements with “marketing partners” – well-known banks and retailers that present these programs to consumers often immediately after the consumer has engaged in a transaction with that partner. Affinion charges a monthly fee to consumers for these services, which continues until the consumers affirmatively cancel.
The States’ investigation uncovered several of Affinion’s marketing practices that misled consumers, including a lack of clear and conspicuous disclosure about Affinion’s identity, and the cost and ongoing nature of the charges. Most troubling were two marketing practices of Affinion – live checks and online data pass.
Affinion is establishing a fund of approximately $19 million to provide refunds to some consumers who received unauthorized charges for Affinion’s programs. Consumers who believe they were improperly charged by Affinion, Trilegiant, or Webloyalty can file consumer complaints with the Consumer Protection Unit of the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office at 123 Capitol Building, Cheyenne, WY 82002.
Consumers checking their credit card and bank account statements should also be looking for the names of Affinion’s membership programs, as often that is how the company’s charges appear on their bills. Consumers may call the Consumer Protection Unit at (800) 438-5799 for more information.