Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced today that he and 46 of his colleagues have reached a settlement with a Connecticut-based company and its subsidiaries that tricked customers into signing up and paying for discount clubs and memberships.
Affinion and its subsidiaries (Trilegiant and Webloyalty) will pay $250,000 into Delaware's Consumer Protection Fund under an order Biden's Consumer Protection Unit filed today in Superior Court. The settlement for all 46 states and the District of Columbia totals $30 million. Affinion and its subsidiaries run multiple discount clubs and membership programs offering a variety of services such as credit monitoring, roadside assistance, and discounted travel. Affinion markets these programs through a series of agreements with “marketing partners” – well-known banks and retailers that present these programs to consumers often immediately after the consumer has engaged in a transaction with that partner.
Consumers complaining to the states have alleged that Affinion charged them for services without consumers’ authorization or knowledge, and, once consumers learned they were being charged, some further had trouble canceling or getting a refund.
The states included in the settlement include: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. The states that led the investigation were California, Texas, Tennessee, Iowa, Vermont, Washington, Oregon, Maine, and Illinois.