Stamford Marketing Company To Pay $30 Million
"This is a win for the consumers who were deceived by the misleading marketing practices of these companies, including a lack of clear and conspicuous disclosure about what the charges were, the reason for the charges and the recurring nature of charges," Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein said in a statement. "Unfair practices such as these are unacceptable."
The agreement will require the Stamford companies to provide clear and visible information to consumers about their membership, periodic reminders of their enrollment and information about their cancellation practices.
Affinion released the following statement to the Law Tribune regarding the settlement: "We are pleased to resolve outstanding concerns regarding our subsidiaries, Trilegiant and Webloyalty, with respect to certain legacy marketing practices for membership services. Both companies voluntarily ceased these practices several years ago, and they represented an insignificant contribution to revenues," said the statement.
"The agreement does not include any fine or penalty payments," the statement continues. "We have a long-standing history of employing the best marketing practices in the industry, and remain the industry leader in marketing standards and quality. Our programs provide tremendous value for millions of consumers worldwide, and we strive to ensure that our marketing always incorporates clear, prominent and unambiguous terms."
In Connecticut, Assistant Attorneys General Michele Lucan, Sandra Arenas Charles, Jose Rene Martinez and Phillip Rosario, head of the Consumer Protection department, assisted Attorney General George Jepsen with this case.
Affinion was represented by Clayton S. Friedman, of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Costa Mesa, Cal. and Ronald R. Urbach of Davis & Gilbert in New York City. Peter F. Olberg, of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips' New York City office, who is admitted to practice law in Connecticut, served as local counsel.•