New York’s Attorney General has subpoenaed 22 retailers as part of an investigation into the allegedly deceptive practices of internet “discount clubs” Webloyalty, Affinion and Vertrue. “We want it stopped. We believe it is a classic consumer fraud,” said Cuomo.
One of the retailers, Fandango, has already agreed to stop sharing customers’ credit card info with the three companies. Other retailers on the list include Barnes & Noble, Pizza Hut and Priceline.
Familiar to anyone who’s ever bought movie tickets or flowers online, Webloyalty, Affinion and Vertrue strike deals with websites to let the clubs’ pitch become part of their check-out process. Customers may think they’re registering for $10 off their next purchase, only to find out when they check their credit card bills that they’ve enrolled in a monthly “savings” club with access to coupons and deals that anyone could find on their own for free with a few seconds of Googling.