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  1. #1
    http and a telephoto
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    NYS Attorney General Going after retailers using Affinion, Vertrue and Webloyalty
    Wall Street Journal
    http://online.wsj.com/article/BT-CO-...atestheadlines
    Online sites of retailers including Staples Inc. (SPLS), Barnes & Noble Inc. (BKS), Avon Products Inc. (AVP), GameStop Corp. (GME), 1-800-Flowers.com Inc. (FLWS) and Orbitz Worldwide Inc. (OWW) "deceptively link" customers to fee-based membership programs, Cuomo said in a call with reporters.
    and
    NEW YORK — New York's attorney general warned Internet retailers Wednesday that they should stop funneling unsuspecting customers into "deceptive" Web discount clubs that have been accused of slamming people with hidden fees.

    Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said his office has sent investigative subpoenas to 22 prominent merchants, including Barnes & Noble, Priceline and Pizza Hut, that allowed the marketing companies Affinion, Vertrue and Webloyalty to piggyback on their Web sites. Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/nation/ny-...#ixzz0dse9vkrj
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  2. #2
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    Get em'

  3. #3
    http and a telephoto
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    I agree, these people are even worse parasites. They get merchants sucked into giving their customers away... I never understood why companies would do that. Plus piss off their shoppers when they remembered where they picked up the scum...

  4. #4
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Sweet!

    Since we can't seem to police ourselves, good to have someone who understands ethics and value taking an interest.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

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  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador beachcom's Avatar
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    I bet if they dug deeper they could find a few more advertisers that do it too. Good start...put the hammer down on these creeps.

  6. #6
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Internetretailer.com has a good writeup about it, I just twittered the link. If someone could put the link here I would appreciate it. I am on my mobile and couldn't copy and paste. WCBS news in NY had a big segment on last nights broadcast.
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  7. #7
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Here's the link to the article that Vinny asked someone to post here.

    The New York AG investigates top web retailers’ ties to membership programs

    http://www.internetretailer.com/dailyNews.asp?id=33296

  8. #8
    Prince of Content Vinny O'Hare's Avatar
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    Thank you Rhea
    Vinny O'Hare - OPM - Contact Info email: vinny at teamloxly.com ~ 702-582-6742 Twitter

  9. #9
    Analytics Dude Kevin's Avatar
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    Holy crap. I didn't know Cuomo had a phone or computer. Haven't heard a peep from that office in ages.

    Go get em, Andrew.
    Kevin Webster
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  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Webloyalty.com and a number of the retailers have settled and agreed to stop some practices.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Intern...611566185.html

    An Internet marketing firm has agreed to pay $5.2 million to settle complaints that it duped consumers into signing up for discount clubs with tough-to-notice monthly fees.

    Webloyalty.com, based in Norwalk, Conn., also has agreed to give some of its customers refunds and permanently abandon some of its past sales tactics, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

    ...

    A number of online retailers that had allowed Webloyalty to piggyback on their websites also have agreed to pay a collective $3.3 million in penalties, Cuomo's office said.

    The largest amount, $1.2 million, was paid by the travel reservation service Orbitz.

    ...

    Shutterfly Inc., which operates an online service for storing, sharing and printing photos, agreed to pay $952,200.
    Michael Coley
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  11. #11
    http and a telephoto
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    Hopefully it's enough of a hit to make an impression.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  12. #12
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I'd sure like to see a list of the other retailers who settled. I'll bet I used to work with one - they kept pushing me to "allow" web loyalty to show but I kept refusing. I also warned them several times as the "news" came out.
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
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  13. #13
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    More details here:

    http://www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/20...sep21a_10.html

    The retailer settlements and amounts are as follows:

    Orbitz: $1,200,000
    Shutterfly, Inc.: $952,200
    MovieTickets.com, Inc.: $681,283
    Ticketmaster, L.L.C: $455,000
    Pizza Hut, Inc: $78,750
    Michael Coley
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  14. #14
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    Interesting to see some "familiar" names in that list. I'd still like to see if there are any more...
    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  15. #15
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    "With today’s settlements, Cuomo’s wide-ranging investigation into the discount club industry has garnered over $18 million in consumer refunds, penalties, and fees."

    Here's an older story:

    http://www.ag.ny.gov/media_center/20...aug18a_10.html

    The marketing firm Affinion Group, Inc. and its subsidiary Trilegiant (together “Affinion/Trilegiant”) will establish a $5 million fund to provide restitution to defrauded consumers and will pay an additional $3 million in penalties and fees.

    ...

    The retailer settlements and amounts are as follows:

    •Classmates Online, Inc.: $960,000
    •FTD, Inc.: $640,000.
    •Budget: $207,000
    •GameStop: $195,000
    •Avon: $68,000
    Michael Coley
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  16. #16
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    So Cumo is going after bad web marketers just like whats his name Spitzer did months before he was elected gov.

    I wonder if Cumo will have a death Lt. Gov and we will find out he enjoys the company of prostitutes as well.

    But Cumo get them!
    Last edited by HardwareGeek; September 22nd, 2010 at 01:23 PM.

  17. #17
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    Cool, nothing like suing somebody to get their attention.

  18. #18
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    There have been many other similar things. Here's an article about ProFlowers and Easy Saver Rewards from last year:

    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/around-to...roFlowers.html
    Michael Coley
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    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  19. #19
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    It's about time this practice was reigned in

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