HARTFORD (CBS Connecticut) – A Stamford-based company has agreed to pay $30-million to settle claims that it mislead credit card customers into signing up for unwanted services and discount clubs.

Affinion is paying the money to head off action by attorneys general in 46 states, including Connecticut.

Its discount clubs offered roadside assistance, travel discounts and other services.

The catch was that they were “negative option” plans.

In other words, customers had to make an effort to opt out of the plan or their credit cards would be charged.

Often times the charges would be small, and could go unnoticed for several months.

Even when they called to cancel, consumers might only get a partial refund.

Usually, customers were enrolled when they made an online purchase.

They would be asked if they wanted a discount.

If they clicked yes, the customers would be sent to a website operated by Affinion or one if its subsidiaries Trilgiant and Webloyalty.

The company also would send out checks in small amounts that, if a customer signed and deposited it, would then sign someone up for an unwanted service.

$19 million of the settlement will go towards customer refunds.

Consumers who believe they were improperly charged by Affinion, Trilgiant or Webloyalty can file complaints with the Office of the Attorney General at attorney.general@ct.gov or by calling 860-808-5400.


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