Kelli was balancing her checkbook Sunday and came across an $11.99 charge on her debit card from a company called TLG*GREATFN posted 1/02/08. Since the 2nd was a Wednesday and we run a lot of errands on Wednesdays, she was only curious at first which one of the couple of stops we made bill their charges as TLG*GREATFN. We conferred and couldn’t think of anything. She called the 800 number listed on the bill but only reached a recording saying that Great Fun was not open on Sundays.
By then we were a little concerned about credit card fraud so we looked up TLG*GREATFN on the internet. Bingo. It turns out many people have found charges ranging from $8.99 to $111.99 on their cards and have tracked it back to buying products online from Buy.com, Shoebuy.com, et al.
Kelli ordered a pair of shoes from Shoebuy.com in November. Several weeks later they emailed her saying that the shoes were out of stock and they order had been canceled.
Upon further review she remembered that after her order had been completed on Shoebuy.com there was a pop-up window offering a $10 rebate on her shoes. Had she opted out of this offer there would have been no problem but the fine print, which she admittedly didn’t read thoroughly, said that the $10 rebate was courtesy not of Shoebuy.com but of this company called Trilegiant. By leaving the opt-in box checked on that pop-up, Kelli agreed to try out a membership service which offers discounts on blah, blah, blah – certainly nothing in Alaska – and that while the first month was free there would be a monthly charge and they would use the SAME CREDIT CARD SHE USED ON SHOEBUY.COM.
One little checkbox authorized them to take the credit card info from one company and use it for theirs.
Is this fraud? Probably not. There was some fine print and we could have opted out.
But is it ethical? No Fucking Way. They obviously count on people not canceling their subscription and not noticing such a small monthly charge. Fuckers. If you Google TLG*GREATFN you’ll see how many loudmouthed people they’ve taken. I can only guess there have been many many more that haven’t posted online about their difficulties. The only positive comments I’ve read mention that they remembered to cancel in time so it was worth their effort for the $10 rebate.
How’s that for a ringing endorsement of a product? “I didn’t mind because I canceled their service immediately. “ That should be their company motto.
We immediately disputed the charge and are in the process of contacting Trilegiant to cancel the service which we never used and didn’t want.
Sooooo. Two lessons learned:
1) We’ll both be very careful that when buying products online we are only ordering the product in question and not some added “service” at a monthly fee. Those rat bastards at Trilegiant are not going to get any money from us.
2) Neither is Shoebuy.com, Buy.com, or any other e-merchants who have any relationship with Trilegiant. If we see a pop up offering us anything after the fact, we’ll cancel the original order and find another place to buy our products even if it costs us more money. And one lesson reinforced:
Check your bank statements and question yourself about those little charges.
Don’t let the bastards win!