ABC Goes After Online Businesses for 'Hidden Fees'
Online shoppers arenât smart enough to avoid giving away their credit card information to pop-up ads, at least according to ABCâs âGood Morning America.â
âSome pop-ups on your computer can lead to unwanted credit card charges that go on month after month,â correspondent Elisabeth Leamy reported July 11, criticizing what she called âdeceptive marketing practices.â
Leamy interviewed a âvery carefulâ woman who claimed she was victimized by the ads when trying to buy shoes online. Marya Mayer said she clicked a pop-up ad âjust once to make it go awayâ and was rewarded with 14 months of unwanted credit card charges.
Leamy portrayed Mayer as a victim even though the maker of the ad, the Affinion Group, said she had to have filled in her personal information to sign up for the advertised discount club.
âThey thought that they were just going to get a discount on the purchase they were originally making,â Paulette Hotton, CEO of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau, told âGood Morning America.â
But the Affinion Group disagreed. âThe enrollment process for all of our services involves multiple steps to ensure that consumers understand they are signing up for a service that will charge them,â the group said.
Hotton ventured to defend consumers who âunknowinglyâ gave their credit card information to random ads online. âThey did not know that they were in fact buying a product of this nature,â she claimed.
Leamyâs last bit of advice to make sure this doesnât happen to you wasnât exactly revolutionary.
âYouâre going to need to check your credit card bill each and every month and look for charges that you donât want to be on there,â she said.