West Virginia Joins 46 Other States, D.C. In Settlement Of More Than $32 Million With Business Marketing Discount Club Memberships
CHARLESTON — Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced today that more than 2,100 West Virginia residents will be eligible for a refund of money spent on discount club memberships as part of a multi-state settlement with Connecticut-based Affinion Group.
Residents who are eligible for the refund will receive claims forms in the mail. Those forms must be completed and returned in order for consumers to be compensated.
“Our Office will aggressively pursue companies that knowingly mislead consumers by signing them up for programs without their complete understanding,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Hopefully these refunds will help West Virginia consumers who unknowingly spent money on these programs recoup their costs.”
The refunds stem from a settlement of more than $32 million on a complaint filed by West Virginia and 46 other states and the District of Columbia against Affinion and its subsidiaries, Trilegiant and Webloyalty. The complaint alleged the companies misled consumers into signing up and paying for discount clubs and membership programs offering a variety of services, such as credit monitoring, roadside assistance and discounted travel.
In addition to the individual consumer refunds, West Virginia is expected to receive approximately $25,000 from Affinion and its subsidiaries.
“Today’s agreement requires Affinion to provide clear and conspicuous information to consumers,” Morrisey said. “It is our hope that these new requirements will help to better protect consumers in West Virginia and elsewhere.”
As part of the settlement, Affinion will create an approximately $19 million fund to provide refunds to some consumers who received unauthorized charges for Affinion’s programs. The company will be prohibited in the future from engaging in the questionable practices that were in the subject of the complaint and settlement. West Virginia consumers who believe they were improperly charged by Affinion, Trilegiant, or Webloyalty may contact the Office of Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division if they have questions by calling 800-388-8808.
West Virginia joined in the settlement with Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, 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, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.