Consumers should be very cautious about receiving checks in the mail from solicitors of programs and other services, according to the Texas Office of Attorney General Greg Abbott.
In the case of membership program providers like Trilegiant and Webloyalty, when customers cashed their checks from direct mail solicitation, “they had been automatically enrolled” without their knowledge in the solicited services.
“Online data pass offers occurred when customers received defendants’ offers immediately after making an online purchase from a retailer,” Abbott explained. “Trilegiant and Webloyalty could then enroll and start billing these customers using personal account information which the retailer had conveyed during the purchase.”
Today, Texas, with 47 other states “announced the resolution of a multistate investigation into membership program providers Trilegiant and Webloyalty, and the defendants’ parent company Affinion.”
“The defendants operated multiple membership-only services to customers, including programs that promised reduced-cost travel, roadside assistance and credit monitoring,” an announcement from Abbott’s office indicated.
The program providers used illegal tactics of deception to sway and recruit customers, investigators specified.
“Under today’s agreement, the defendants must pay restitution and provide full and clear disclosure about the terms of the memberships to those customers who do voluntarily enroll in the defendants’ programs,” Abbott stated.
A $30 million judgment was reached with $19 million of it going towards a restitution fund for eligible customers who were swindled.
According to the Office of Attorney General, Texans seeking refunds from the parent company Affinion “and its subsidiaries regarding unauthorized charges may file complaints” by calling (800) 252-8011 or complete a complaint form online at www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.