Shoppers Advantage is one of apparently many online marketing services of Trilegiant Corporation (which used to be Cendant Corporation, apparently). I notice that several Ripoff Reports have been filed here against these companies. The scam appears similar in all cases to what happened with me. You buy something from them on a credit card which, UNBEKNOWNST TO YOU, makes you their subscriber. They then send you snail mail with a membership card and catalog. Membership is "free" for a period of a few weeks, after which they charge you a subscription fee which begins to appear on your credit card statement. You can cancel any time by calling them, but by that time they may have already picked up subscription fees until that time. The conditions of your subscription are probably spelled out in the material that they send with the subscription card. But we often discard mail appearing like junk mail and can easily miss it. And, if you're like me, you may also miss the charge appearing on your credit card statement until many months have passed. The unethical -- if not illegal -- act, though, is to make you a fee-paying subscriber when all you wanted to do was to buy one item from some advertisement (as, in my case, a TV ad).
I happened to have noticed the card-and-conditions among my junk mail while still in the "free" period and called them. As you may expect, the guy kept asking me, Why don't I want to make use of their wonderful offers while in the free period? Once he learned of my resolve to terminate the subscription, he forwarded me to the automated message which said my subscription would expire in about 20 days. In the olden days, it used to be possible in such cases to call your credit card company and ask them not to pay them until the case was investigated by the credit card company. These days, at least my credit card company asks you to "take it up with the vendor" directly. So we don't have that recourse to stop such a scam by taking matters in our own hands. Shoppers Advantages practice of coercing subscriptions should be illegal. Is it? I don't know. Regardless, for now my retalliation against them is to file this Report and vowing never to buy from them again.
San Jose, California