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Affinion Group faces class action after paying out claims to AGs

By Kyla Asbury | Feb 12, 2014

BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Affinion Group is facing another class action for unfair and deceptive trade practices toward consumers in a case filed by the Diviacchi Law Office.

Affinion has already paid millions of dollars in civil claims and state attorney general claims in 47 states for unfair and deceptive trade practice toward consumers previously.

The class action complaint alleges that Affinion was aided by its banking clients, such as Century Bank of Massachusetts, and deals with on-paper fraudulent practices by Affinion which could have been a rehearsal for its eventual deceptive internet practices that have caused much of its litigation problems, according to a Diviacchi Law Office press release.

Marcella Diviacchi, the plaintiff in the case, claims Affinion and Century Bank allege that Century Bank gave its customers what appeared to be a standard signature cards for signing as part of their opening a bank account that in fact simply by signing allowed Century Bank and Affinion's tradename FSA to unilaterally without further notice or assent to bind the customer to a "PLAN 1" "membership program" in perpetuity and at undisclosed monthly electronic debit from the account.

The subsequent debit of at least $4 monthly was hidden as an apparent service charge and went unnoticed for years, according to the suit.

The plaintiff claims the membership program is a farce that provides no benefits to the consumer - especially given that consumers do not even know that they were members of the program.

Diviacchi is seeking class certification and compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Valeriano Diviacchi of Diviacchi Law Office.

The complaint was filed Feb. 7 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Century Bank and Trust Company, which is doing business as Century Bank, was also named as a defendant in the suit.

Affinion Group is doing business as Affinion Benefits Group LLC, Affinion Group and Affinion Group Holdings Inc.

The case was assigned to District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton.

U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts case number: 1:14-cv-10283

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