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General Conway Announces $30 Million Multi-State Settlement with Affinion

Thursday, 10 10, 2013

Daniel Kemp
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office)

Attorney General Jack Conway, 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 more than $30 million to settle allegations that they misled consumers into signing up and paying for discount clubs and memberships. Kentucky’s share of the settlement is $160,000.

 

Affinion and its subsidiaries operate multiple discount clubs and membership programs offering a variety of services such as credit monitoring, roadside assistance and discounted travel. Many Kentucky consumers have alleged that Affinion charged them for services without their knowledge, and once consumers learned they were being charged, some had trouble cancelling or getting a refund. Other consumers were confused about who Affinion even was because the offers looked like they came from the company’s marketing partners, which were typically banks or retailers that consumers did business with.

 

Today’s judgment now prohibits two of Affinion’s marketing practices– live check solicitations and online data pass offers.

 

In a live check solicitation, consumers were sent an offer via direct mail that appeared to be a check, but when they endorsed and deposited the checks, they unknowingly authorized Affinion to enroll them in membership programs and bill them monthly. 

 

In an online data pass offer, consumers were presented an Affinion offer immediately after an online purchase from a retailer. Affinion would then enroll and bill consumers without obtaining any of their account information because the business would send the information to Affinion. 

 

Additionally, the judgment requires Affinion to clearly provide information to its consumers regarding their membership after enrolling. The company must also issue routine reminders of their enrollment and changes to cancellation practices.

 

Affinion will provide $19 million for refunds to some consumers who received unauthorized charges for programs.

 

“I am pleased that we were able to stop these deceptive marketing practices,” General Conway said. “Consumers who believe they were improperly charged by Affinion or its subsidiaries can file a complaint with my office online or by calling 502-696-5300.”

 

When filing a complaint, consumers should explicitly mention that it pertains to the “Affinion Settlement.” All complaints must be received by the Attorney General’s Office by Feb. 14, 2014.

 

Consumers checking their credit card and bank account statements should also look for the names of Affinion’s membership programs, since that is how the company’s charges often appear on their bills.

 

A complete list of Affinion’s membership programs are listed here: http://goo.gl/pyOWdv

 

The complete settlement terms and refund eligibility can be found here: http://goo.gl/9XnSqD.