Online “marketing” company Webloyalty has settled with the New York AG for $5.2 mil. You know how when you buy movie tickets and at the end it says, “You won a free $10 gift certificate!” And then if you read the small print it says that if you accept the gift certificate you get signed up for a discount club that charges a monthly fee? Yeah, that was their game.
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.
Before you can finish your purchase at Buy.com, you have to go through an entire page trying to upsell you to the much-maligned Webloyalty program and click the tiny “no thanks” button at the bottom. You can find it located under the large YES! button.
88 websites, a good number pretty big name sites, that earned millions, some in excess of $10 million, as partners in the infamous Webloyalty consumer ripoff. Pizza Hut? Say it ain’t so.
We’ve devoted a fair amount of time to trying to find ways to beat companies like Webloyalty, which market themselves via post-transaction popups on legit Web sites like Fandango and Orbitz, and suck you in with promises of savings, savings, savings, but really just deliver hard-to-cancel recurring monthly charges. The best solution we’ve found: Block pop-ups, boycott merchants that work with these losers, and immediately close any window that starts talking to us about all the great deals we’re about to get. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV has another idea, and it’s one that we like: Investigate the companies and make them hand over the goods on their business practices.
A retail insider tells us why Webloyalty/Reservation Rewards stays in business, and how you can stop them by cutting off their juice at the source:
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…
I noticed a WLI*SHOPPERDISCOUNT pending transaction on my card today and thought there was something odd about it. I was right. I called and supposedly they have a refund on the way, but the guy on the other line had obviously had this call a million times before. Someone needs to nail these guys to the wall. It’s a total scam. The worst part is that a legitimate site (in this case movietickets.com) was totally complicit. The guy told me that I had authorized the transaction. I vaguely remember something about a “$10 off next purchase!” box when i bought movie tickets a month ago, but there was never any indication that I was signing up for a service or making an additional purchase. He said they sent an email that said they were going to bill me, but I assume that ended up in my junk email box with the rest of the scams. Someone needs to do something about this one. Lots of people are getting nailed, based on some cursory googling.
There’s currently a class action lawsuit going on against Web Loyalty, Dave, so rest assured—someone is trying to stop them. On the bright side, consumers who find that they’ve been charged for this crap can contact Web Loyalty and receive a full refund, which they will happily give.
Coupon merchant “Reservation Rewards” has infected GameStop, according to reader Mike. For those of you who are not familiar with “Reservation Rewards,” here’s how it works:
I could picture my husband buying tickets online. I could imagine one of those annoying direct-marketing offers popping up. I could even picture him clicking on it. But I couldn’t see him entering a credit card to subscribe.