• Report: #455820

Complaint Review: Shoppers Advantage - Trilegiant Corporation (Was Cendant) - Affilion Publishing, LLC

  • Submitted: Wed, May 27, 2009
  • Updated: Wed, May 27, 2009

  • Reported By:San Jose California
Shoppers Advantage - Trilegiant Corporation (Was Cendant) - Affilion Publishing, LLC
100 Connecticut Avenue Norwalk, Connecticut U.S.A.

Shoppers Advantage - Trilegiant Corporation ,Was Cendant - Affilion Publishing, LLC Kafka reigns! Company registers you on a flimsy excuse and starts billing you for subscribing you. Norwalk Connecticut

*Author of original report: Comment on Laurie's Comment

*Consumer Comment: Somewhat correct

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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

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/27/2009 12:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Shoppers-Advantage-Trilegiant-Corporation-Was-Cendant-Affilion-Publishing-LLC/Norwalk-Connecticut-06850/Shoppers-Advantage-Trilegiant-Corporation-Was-Cendant-Affilion-Publishing-LLC-Kafka-455820. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 Author of original report

Comment on Laurie's Comment

AUTHOR: Reignforrest - (U.S.A.)

Laurie comments "Caviat Emtor" -- May the Buyer beware and read what he signs up for. However, in my case, I don't know at what stage I may have inadvertently agreed to the conditions which trapped me into being a paying subscriber. There's the rub. I saw an ad on TV. I'm 100% sure the ad for the item did not mention ANYTHING about subscription. I called the 800 number. It is possible that, as part of my exchange with the telephone marketer, the subscription clause may have been insinuated into the conversation. Then I received my item. Surely, I couldn't be responsible for reading the material accompanying the item AFTER I received it. So it must be that phone call which bound me legally to the conditions. If this is a legal way of taking advantage of consumers, it should not be.

And, similarly, in other cases, too, when the consumer is initially attracted to an item without mentioning additional conditions, then the marketing company should be required to do due diligence -- by highlighting the additional conditions -- before adding them to the contract.
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#2 Consumer Comment

Somewhat correct

AUTHOR: Laurie - (U.S.A.)

TRILEGIANT TAKES ADVANTAGE OF ONE THING! Consumers refusal to read the terms and conditions that they are agreeing to.

The Today show did a piece on this back in August. It was based on similar complaints as yours -

What the TODAY Show did find is that in every single complaint - the consumer chose to take part in a survey - or $$ off their current order. But in each case the consumer DID NOT READ THE INFORMATION that stated they were signing up for a membership program with monthly fees. It was only months later they even noticed the charges and then disputed them. IN OTHER WORDS - IT WAS FULLY DISCLOSED - JUST IGNORED...

I get these same offers in the forms of checks from HSBC - on the checks it clearly states that by cashing the check you agree to the trial membership.

I have also seen the surveys and $$ off your current orders when internet shopping and they also have FULL DISCLOSURE that by taking part in the survey or the $$ off offers you are agreeing to the membership programs.

PAY ATTENTION AND READ WHAT YOU ARE AGREEING TO BEFORE CHECKING ON I AGREE and you won't get burned by worthless membership programs.

Yes they are worthless programs that no one will voluntarily sign up for- that is why they use these ploys - because THEY KNOW -YOU MADE A CHOICE NOT TO READ the information provided.
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