A Texas-based company has agreed to pay more than $160,000 to Vermont consumers who signed up for races and other recreation events on its website as part of a settlement reached by Attorney General William H. Sorrell on Monday.
Active Network LLC, which runs the website Active.com, allegedly used deceptive methods to entice consumers to sign up for its ActiveAdvantage membership program. The program offered discount registration for events listed on Active.com Consumers were charged $59 to $65 annually, though less than 10 percent allegedly authorized the company to sign them up for the service.
A number of consumers said they didn't willfully sign up or didn't sign up on purpose, or said they had no choice to sign up.
“Businesses may not deceptively enroll consumers in programs with recurring charges when their credit card information has been collected for a different purchase,” Sorrell said.
In addition, he added that people who register for online events should “carefully read the terms of anything that they purchase online and vigilantly examine credit card statements for unexpected charges.”
As part of the settlement, Active Network will pay $25,000 to the state of Vermont, give refunds for the full amount for each Vermont resident who paid for ActiveAdvantage and will explicitly say on its website what the user is buying.