Watch For Baloney "Reservation Rewards" Charges On Your Credit Card

You know when you buy tickets at Movietickets.com or Fandango and at that end that annoying popup window makes a noise and asks you if you want to save $10 on your next purchase? Yeah, don’t enter your email address. In the fine print it tells you that doing so…

gives them the right to sign you up for a $10/month bullshit “Webloyalty” monthly membership service, which, as far as we can tell, consists of access to a website with a bunch of deals you could easily find on Google. Then you’ll start seeing charges like these show up on your credit card:

RESERVATIONREWARDS NORWALK
SHOPPERDISCOUNT.COM NORWALK
WLI*RESERVATIONREWARDS.CO.

If you call to cancel, they will cancel you and refund all your money, because they know their “service” is bullshit and if people really start complaining to their banks and credit cards companies, then they’ll really get in trouble. Shame on these guys, but even more so on Fandango and Movietickets for letting these lampreys attach to their site.

(Photo: Getty)

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  1. dragonfire81 says:

    It’s amazing what scummy lengths companies will go to in an attempt to sucker money out of you.

    Remember folks, always read before you click! You may save yourself a lot of trouble.

    Or you could just do it the old fashioned way and buy your movie tickets at, you know, the theater.

  2. bwcbwc says:

    GMAC mortgage has a similar thingy at the end of their payment process. The “Continue” button leads you to an offer for a “rewards” program. Apart from being misleading, I have to wonder about the security of redirecting directly from a secure payment screen to an external marketing site of dubious value. The referrer link that gets passed to the marketing site could possibly be used to view the details of someone’s account on GMAC. Just look at the Best Buy and Sears sites where you can change the URL and see other people’s purchasing activity.

  3. zentex says:

    it boggles my mind how this type of blatant scam is legal.

  4. winnabago says:

    I’m always amazed that in some parts of the country, movies actually sell out and some will actually wait in line to ensure a seat at some theaters in NJ that I’ve seen.

    Is this where online sales are popular? I couldn’t imagine ever doing such a thing. Don’t these websites add fees to the already-absurd prices?

  5. Anonymous says:

    @winnabago: Movietickets.com tacks on a $1 fee per ticket, which I don’t find too terrible. I’m in NYC and showing up early to a new release is a must if you don’t want to wind up straining your neck in the front row. This goes double for big big releases. For example, Indy 4 comes out May 22nd. I’ve already bought my tickets and will be lining up at least 2 hours prior to my showtime. Then again, I’m seeing the film at the Ziegfeld, one of NYC’s most famous theaters, and one of the largest theaters around.

  6. TechnoDestructo says:

    @Coven:

    This is why movie theaters in Korea do reserved seating.

  7. thirdbase says:

    @technodestructo: hey that was a worthwhile post in case I want to reserve my seat in Korea for the new Anerican release of Speed Racer.

    I wonder if boxing movies in Korea do as well as Karate movies in the U.S.

  8. theblackdog says:

    If there’s one thing that needs to be taught to folks, it’s to RTFPD (Read The Fine Print Dumbass!)

  9. RAREBREED says:

    Firefox with pop-ups blocked and adblock. I don’t even see those things.

  10. iuubob says:

    I’m one of the unfortunate jackasses that got clipped by these jokers, note that the cancellation process isn’t the simplest I’ve ever experienced

  11. Buran says:

    @Coven: If you know someone with a moviewatcher card, ask for their card number. No account fees and all you need is the number. I used my ex-bf’s number for a while (and still do) – no service charge to reserve tickets.

  12. ShadowFalls says:

    Not just five minutes before I clicked this article, I saw one of these “offers”.

    The problems is that legitimate sites are linking themselves to these people after you make a purchase. Others I have seen so far are FTD.com and Deepdiscount.com.

  13. humphrmi says:

    I was wondering when this would end up on Consumerist. I fell for this once, ONCE, a long time ago (pre-Consumerist days, They’ve been doing this forever.) After canceling their BS service, I noticed some cookies following me around. Now I just close my browser when I get to that page. Yay! Firefox.

  14. humphrmi says:

    @humphrmi: Oh and the other BS about this is, if you want to have tickets before you get to the theatre and the movie is in a Fandango theatre, you HAVE to use their site, Moviephone won’t book them (even though they show the showtimes). Fandango and every theatre that associates themselves with them should be ashamed of themselves.

  15. rmz says:

    @ShadowFalls: Proflowers, also. I ran into that just a few days ago when ordering flowers for Mother’s Day.

  16. rmz says:

    @rmz: I should also note that Proflowers e-mailed me no less than twice in the days following my order, using the phrase “$15 Free Shipping Rebate on your order”, with the fine print “free trial enrollment at FreeShipping.com is required.”

  17. trujunglist says:

    Why can’t people just wait two weeks and then go to the movies? It’s much more comfortable not having to fight for a seat, deal with the huge crowds and the kids and whatever, and it’s just generally less stressful.
    Shit, I have every Iron Man printed, and I still haven’t seen it.

  18. Lemme guess…. if a law is passed where these advertisers aren’t allowed to do this “pop up window” shit anymore, there’s gonna be a candlelight vigil and they’ll make asinine claims of how THEY are the backbone of our economy.

  19. jcoltrane says:

    These guys are exactly the same as the “crammers” who sneak on fraudulent charges onto compromised card numbers. the only difference is these guys hide behind the veneer of pop up window small print.

    They should be prosecuted.

  20. world-inferno says:

    Just wanted to add my voice to the chorus of suckers that got fucked in the ass by Proflowers.

    It’s crazy when fairly professional sites like Proflowers and Fandango get involved with shady shit like this. Well congratulations 800-Flowers and Netflix — You’ve got my business!

    • preternat says:

      @world-inferno:

      I think a lot of those suckers would be old farts who will feel offended by the language your post. Sure it’s “normal” for a lot of internet users, but I’d be wanting to attract some of the more likely victims to consumerist.com.

      I’m no prude. I can even talk to my daughters like that. Meanwhile, I’k still thinking about how to be nicer to some potential audiences.

  21. world-inferno says:

    @world-inferno: 800-Flowers: [consumerist.com] nevermind.

  22. lestat730 says:

    I’m embarrassed to say I was ‘tricked’ into signing up for this since I believed movietickets.com was offering this as a promotion. I should have known better as I’m usually more diligent when making online purchases. I have a friend who ended up in the same situation. Fortunately they did refund my money, quickly and without argument. Ever since then I decided I’ll just get my tickets from the ticket machine outside the theater.

    That happened to me what must have been a year or more ago, I can’t believe movietickets.com is still supporting this! They lost me as a customer and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

  23. BlackWolf2000 says:

    I noticed this on my Visa yesterday. My wife ordered tickets for our daughter’s birthday to see Jonas Bros.
    She unknowingly clicked for a coupon on LiveNation. Res. Rewards didn’t give me a hard time–they immediately refunded and canceled my account. Yeah, I know, it was the least they could do. Tons of info online about their problems.[www.bestweekever.tv]

  24. humphrmi says:

    @trujunglist: You’re confused. The post isn’t about seeing movies in the first two weeks. It’s about buying tickets to movie theaters online. Re-read.

  25. celticgina says:

    Yeah, This is why *I* buy the movie tix online. My darling never notices the fine print.

    good thing he’s so cute, huh?

  26. lauy says:

    This would not happen to people if they actually read the Terms and Conditions of what they are agreeing to…also, to note, this company (WLI = Webloyalty Inc, [webloyalty.com]) sends you at least 2 emails before you are ever charged. No, I don’t work for them; I work for a bank that gets hundreds of calls a day about these charges in which people demand to dispute them, which is a complete waste of time, because you authorized the charges if you did not follow the Terms and Conditions and cancel accordingly, and your claim will be denied. Please, please, PLEASE read what you are agreeing to.

  27. Ragman says:

    I get those free shipping rebates too. Proflowers is just one. Several other sites that I don’t recall at the moment do similar crap. Always have to watch for the correct link to get out of it.

    At the AMC we go to, if you buy online, you still have to get them from the kiosk. You can buy with a credit card at the same kiosk, so why bother buying online? Can’t use a secure number, since you have to use the credit card to get the tickets printed.

  28. humphrmi says:

    I contacted Fandango via their “Contact Us” web form and told them what I thought about their partnership with webloyalty.com. Unfortunately it was a webform, I didn’t save my input and their response e-mail didn’t include it. But I did get a response back from them (Fandango, not WebLoyalty) – note that they refer to them as a “former advertiser” – maybe they’ve cut ties with them?

    Here’s their response:

    Dear Fandango Customer,

    Thank you for your email and interest in Fandango.

    We are sorry that you were disappointed by one of our former
    advertiser’s offers. The $10 cash back offer on your next Fandango purchase was
    an incentive for your enrollment in a 30-day free trial of the
    Reservation Rewards discount program operated by WebLoyalty.com, Inc., a
    leading online marketing services company that provides a similar rewards
    program for many leading online merchants, including Staples, FTD.com,
    Priceline, Petco, EB Games, Chadwick’s, JoAnn, Lane Bryant, and many
    others.

    There certainly was no intention or attempt to deceive you. The offer
    clearly states that Reservation Rewards is free for 30 days, then there
    is a monthly fee charged to your credit or debit card thereafter
    unless you cancel. You may visit the following URL to see a sample of the
    offer provided to you at the end of your Fandango purchase:

    [one-time-offer.com]

    When you enrolled, Reservation Rewards would have automatically sent
    you an enrollment email to the same email address you provided in the
    enrollment process. Another email would have been sent before they began
    charging your credit or debit card at the end of the free trial period.
    We have tested this process and we did receive the enrollment emails
    providing an opportunity to cancel if we were dissatisfied in any way
    with their program, no questions asked.

    Our experience has been that they are good about resolving any issues
    if a consumer did not understand the Reservation Rewards offer being
    presented or decides not to continue the Reservation Rewards membership
    and desires a refund of recent charges.

    Thank you for contacting us and we apologize for any inconvenience you
    may have suffered due to this misunderstanding. We hope you will
    continue to make Fandango your choice for online movie tickets.

    NOTE: Please do not click the reply button. E-mails sent to this
    address are not read.

    To send a response to customer support, please click the following
    link, or copy and paste it into the address line of your browser:
    [fandangocust.suth.com]

    Best Regards,

    Kathleen
    Fandango Customer Support
    http://www.fandango.com
    Wireless access: mobile.fandango.com

  29. Mistrez_Mish says:

    Ha! I just contacted Pro Flowers about exactly this today! After paying my credit card bill last night, I noticed that Easy Saver has been charging $14.95 a month for the past 2 months (I had bought flowers for a co-worker – a family member passed away). Easy Saver is another one of those pop-up coupon pieces of crap… the Pro Flowers version.

    The response email that I got from ProFlowers customer service was hilarious. Apparently they think that everyone who gets enrolled in one of these programs (without their consent) is “confused” by the pop-up coupon. (I ‘m technologically savvy enough not to open scam emails or get suckered into scams like this online – I wasn’t confused, I didn’t enter my information, not did I click an “Accept” button. Easy Saver, against my will, collected the information that I provided to ProFlowers to complete my transaction and signed me up) Anywho… here’s their response email:
    ————————————–
    Dear Michelle,

    Thank you for contacting us. We really appreciate your feedback in the EasySaver Rewards program and I am so sorry for your poor experience. Rest assured, we take your comments seriously, and we are on your side. Let me take a moment to just summarize the program enrollment.

    After you make a purchase on our site, we offer a $15 coupon. If you click on that coupon you will land on a registration page to join our EasySaver program. In order to enroll and receive the coupon, you must enter your email address and zip code which is the acceptance of the terms and conditions of the program. Within the terms stated to the left of the “accept” button, is the enrollment process and states the charge of the program. Our goal is not to have you in the program if you did not wish to enroll and we apologize if this was confusing. If you have not already done so and would like to cancel this membership, feel free to call EasySaver Rewards directly at 1-800-355-1837 and simple instructions will be provided to you to cancel.

    We totally understand your frustration and will attempt to clarify the enrollment process for future customers. To follow up, I am going to forward your valuable comments to our partner group that oversees the program. Our customer experience is of the utmost importance and we will do anything to improve your future shopping experiences.
    Once again, we apologize for your poor experience and we are here to help in any other way necessary. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are available for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    Best Regards,

    OS Claire Mangsat
    Customer Care
    ProFlowers
    Send love, not like. Send ProFlowers

  30. LUV2CattleCall says:

    @humphrmi:

    God help us if Fandango, Comcast, and Ticketmaster have a threesome!

  31. Televiper says:

    I think it’s really simple. A PURCHASE should be presented as a PURCHASE. Not a TERMS AND CONDITIONS that include a MONTHLY CHARGE. The real issue here is companies charging you money on an Oh, BTW basis.

  32. iluvhatemail says:

    It is really scammy, and even though I never fell for it before, whenever I reached that part of the checkout it would piss me right off. So I have had enough and sent them an email

    “I have bought tickets from your company in the past, however I’ve always been turned off by the scammy way you’ve tried to steal $10/mo from customers with the bogus reward you offer after checkout. As long as this is part of the procedure I will not purchase tickets from your site again. It is now in the open on consumerist.com so I assume I will be far from the last person to boycott your company until you start following proper business ethics online.”

  33. betatron says:

    My solution is simple: i don’t do business online.

    Online businesses have proven themselves to be unworthy of our trust by doing such stuff. If you want a laugh try to pass a law about this in congress and listen to the squealing of protest.

    Drive-by Terms of Service charges should be outlawed and criminalized. I’d even go so far as to bust them with a nice juicy RICO prosecution, under the doctrine that they “knew or should have known” that their model was intentionally misleading to the majority of participants.

    Or, i’d show that of all the people who signed up for their service, less that 5% (an overly generous estimate) ever took advantage of their service ergo: failure to provide service. Parade a few hundred victims in front of a jury pool and case closed.

  34. funny, I just ran right into this while booking a cheap flight from new york to myrtle beach ($54.50 after tax round trip is one hell of a deal though)

    [img293.imageshack.us]

  35. richcreamerybutter says:

    @Coven: It’s gotten to the point that I feel like an old person readying my bomb shelter, armed with a shotgun when it comes to certain things I absolutely refuse to do anymore. Ordering movie tickets online for a NYC movie theater is at the top of that list. It’s just not a pleasant experience, with the cost, crowds, obnoxiousness (though I’ll make the rare exception for a place like Film Forum…at least their patrons weren’t raised in barns). Fuck that, the world won’t end if I wait for the dvd release. I’d rather spend the money supporting struggling musicians.

  36. richcreamerybutter says:

    @humphrmi: 30-day free trial of the
    Reservation Rewards discount program operated by WebLoyalty.com, Inc., a
    leading online marketing services company that provides a similar rewards
    program for many leading online merchants, including Staples, FTD.com,
    Priceline, Petco, EB Games, Chadwick’s, JoAnn, Lane Bryant, and many
    others.

    This is why I quit my last job. The marketing aspect was a continual headache of cyclical handjob promotions, with neither an origin nor conclusion. I prefer tangible THINGS.

    Is anyone here familiar with that episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force in which the WWWizzzarrd (sp?) enables real-life popups and their home is completely taken over with rogue windows? All web promotions feel like this to me.

  37. r081984 says:

    I was scammed with the Reservation Rewards through an Ebay seller about 4 years ago.

    I notices 3 months of charges to my debit card for $10 bucks. I found the number to reservation rewards and had them credit me for the $30 and cancel their service since it was not authorized by me.

    The call was about 5 minutes total and now I never use my debit card online.

  38. lauy says:

    @betatron:

    Your theory about shopping in person is a good one, but still flawed.

    If you have been to a Best Buy (or Foot Locker, the two I can think of right now), you will have been given the same type of add-on offer at the cashier upon checkout – “free” issues of selected Time Warner (TWX) magazines. Again, if you don’t cancel during the trial, you will be billed for an annual subscription on the same card used to pay for your purchase at the merchant.

    The ONLY protection is reading (or listening and asking questions in person) and OPTING OUT of any add-on offers. Or, if you decide to try them, be sure you follow the Terms and Conditions regarding cancellation. It all comes back to being an informed and responsible consumer.

    Let me close by saying that I agree these companies are ridiculous. However, they have the right to legally practice free enterprise just like anyone else does. If people just read what the offers stated, (hopefully) most would not agree, they would stop generating income – and most likely go out of business. But as long as people accept the offers, they’re here to stay, regrettably.

    • preternat says:

      @lauy:

      What’s “legal” can be changed by legislation. Even if you just consider these transactions to be “bozo detectors”, I’m for making them more obvious *by law*.

      These semi-scams will suck in more and more people not as smart as us, or our elderly parents, etc. I actually feel compassion for some of the unlucky victims here. I’m not waving my flag and saying “this is just the American way”, free enterprise, etc on this one. We *are* still trying to be kinder and gentler, aren’t we?

  39. ViperBorg says:

    @lauy: However, I question the legality of their business practice.

  40. aikoto says:

    People still respond to pop-ups!? Amazing.

  41. Anonymous says:

    I have just identified on the American Express that Shopperdiscount.com Norwalk has charged $12 for the last 7 month because of a purchase I made throught Allposters.com. I called them and they say I will be refund the full amount in 2 to 3 days. We will see if they follow through. But I will never use Allposters.com again.

  42. Anonymous says:

    ” The Company Store ” is another mail-order company that colludes with Webloyalty Reservation Rewards. I am amazed that otherwise reputable businesses would corrupt their good reputation for a few fast bucks from the shady side of the street.

  43. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately, I was also suckered into the Reservation Rewards program and for months I thought these charges were for a legitimate service I had signed up for. Apparently Reservation Rewards got my information when I signed up for a membership at Classmates.com. I didn’t realize Classmates was allowing this detestable organization to piggy back on to their website. I will most likely cancel my membership with Classmates as well due to my bad experience. Readers should also be aware that Reservation Rewards is affiliated with several other companies, one of them called “Shopper Discounts”. According to everything I’ve read about all of these companies, there have been hundreds of thousands of complaints about their questionable business practices. Although I understand this is technically legal, I personally have little respect for a company that does not clearly state who they are and what services they offer. I don’t see what great deals I was supposed to be getting by having a membership with Reservation Rewards. I never saved a penny. I suppose the old adage of “buyer beware” holds true. From now on I will be very careful about what I buy on line and always pay close attention to credit card statements. The people I really worry about are the elderly who may be living on fixed incomes and may not always be used to modern technology. What made me the most suspicious about this company was that when I called to cancel my membership, the representative didn’t seem concerned or sorry to be loosing my business. If you have a legitimate business, you don’t want to loose even one customer, especially not in this day and age. But loosing a customer is not a particularly worrisome issue to companies like this, because as far as they are concerned, there’s another sucker born every minute.

  44. mariospants says:

    Lampreys? More like Remoras. Lampreys feed off of the fish they’re attached to, while remoras feed off the leftovers of the fish they’re attached to. Unless you mean to say they’re lampreys because they hook onto a customer and suck their blood. Even then, I’d still go with remoras.