My main complaint is with Budget Car Rentals, but I will get to them in a moment. First, I wish to speak about Trilegiant.
I got a check for $10 in the mail today. Knowing about all these scams, I knew to check it carefully, and plainly, it states that by cashing this check, you are enrolling in Great Fun free 30 day trial. If you don't cancel within the allotted time, your credit card will be billed starting the following month. No problem, I'll just shred that. But, I found a toll free number on the back where you can call and opt out of future mailings, so I decided to call.
The phone call simply states if you cash the check, you are enrolling in Great Fun, and if you don't want to enroll, don't cash the check. Then it gives you a menu option for if you have not cashed the check or if you have. I selected that I have not. Then it tells you again, don't cash the check and you won't be enrolled. You don't need to speak to a representative, but if you would like to do so, press "1." I pressed "1," and a recording came on the line stating the number was set up, but not yet in service. Then it politely hung up on me.
Ok, so I search for Trilegiant (the company name affiliated with Great Fun) and find all these scams where people are being charged, even though they did not cash the check or enroll in services. So, I begin to wonder how they already have my credit card information to charge me if I do cash the check. Here is where Budget comes in.
Last May, my car was in the shop for repairs, and I rented a car from Budget to get to work. Well, evidently, Budget is the one who provided my credit card information to Trilegiant.
In case others are in a similar situation and are trying to contact a person from Trilegiant, I went to their home page ( www.trilegiant.com ) and there are a list of their services and 800 numbers for members. I called, but because I don't have a member number, I remained silent when the recording asked for my member number. Then they tried my name, but I stayed silent again. After that, it gave me an option to speak to a representative where I actually spoke to a real person and was able to have my name and information removed (I assume that they actually remove it, but I am skeptical of that as well).
Anyway, here is my problem. When people are scammed by a company like Trilegiant, they get mad at the scammer. But the scammer doesn't care. They rip millions of people off, and let's say they make $5 million dollars. Finally, the people get a class action law suit against the company. Without admitting to wrong-doing, the company settles out of court for around $2 million dollars. Everyone is happy, but they still made $3 million in profits for nothing. Now, they change their name and continue scamming you.
To fight back, you have to hit the companies that are feeding these scammers. In my case, it was Budget. On other consumer complaint websites, I have seen Days Inn and Priceline.com as the guilty parties. These are the companies that are selling your confidential credit card information just like yesterday's mailing lists. And don't think they are doing this out of the "goodness of their hearts" to help you out. They are making a pretty penny off of it.
We have two options here. 1)Stop using credit cards and pay in cash. Go to the ATM and withdraw what money you need and be a cash only merchant. Or, 2)Hold the businesses liable that are selling your information. You want to know where identity theft is coming from? It is not anyone digging in your garbage can. You are providing a legitimate company with legitimate payment for a legitimate service, and they want to "HELP" you out.
I wrote Budget a nasty gram just before reporting this to you. I told them I will no longer be doing business with their company because I cannot trust them to hold my credit information in confidence. If everyone boycotts these businesses and puts them out of business, they will no longer be able to profit from anyone's information and the scammers will not have your credit card information.
Thank you for reading this long post, and I hope it helps someone out there.