Thursday, October 10, 2013

'Discount Clubs,' Accused of Deception, Ordered to Refund Idahoans

Posted By on Thu, Oct 10, 2013 at 11:38 AM

Idahoans, duped into charges for services they didn't want and memberships they didn't know they had joined, will be reimbursed approximately $500,000 in refunds as part of a multi-state settlement with Affinion and its subsidiaries, Trilegant and Webloyalty. The settlement comes in the wake of allegations that Affinion "used misleading business practices to trick consumers into signing up and paying for discount clubs and memberships.

Approximately 7,600 Idahoans were identified as "members" of the deceptive programs.

The Connecticut-based Affinion is expected to pay nearly $32 million in settlements to people in 46 states and the District of Columbia.

Affinion ran so-called "discount clubs" and "membership programs" under the names Buyer Assurance, Complete Savings, HealthSaver, Identity Theft Protection, PrivacyGuard and Reservation Rewards. The clubs offer services such as credit monitoring, roadside assistance and discounted travel.

“Consumers complained that Affinion charged them for services without their authorization or knowledge,” Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. “Some also complained that once they discovered the charges, they had trouble canceling or getting a refund. Others were confused about why they had to deal with Affinion, believing the offers had come from the bank or retailer with which the consumers did business.”

Affinion, Trilegiant and Webloyalty are required to notify consumers of restitution funds by Monday, Dec. 16.

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