We have all seen those web ads on some e-tailers which offer either a Web loyalty reward or a discount coupon of some type, During a recent Senate investigation it is being alleged that these companies are being passed on your credit card information. Some consumers are now complaining that they are being charged a monthly fee for these services. Last evening there was a CEO from one of the so called Web loyalty companies who stated his company was honest and that the terms of the service are clearly spelled out to consumers. One look at this guy and I felt my wallet getting lighter! LOL

According to a recent article about the Senate investigation it states the following:

The government says the investigation shows that Webloyalty, Affinion, and Vertrue “trick” consumers into entering their e-mail address just before they complete purchases at sites such as Orbitz, Priceline.com, Buy.com, 1-800 Flowers, Continental Airlines, Fandango, and Classmates.com. A Web ad, which many consumers say appears to be from the retailer, offers them cash back or coupon if they key in their e-mail address.

Many of those who complained say they don’t fear the ad because they aren’t being asked to turn over credit-card information, according to the Senate report. But buried in the ad’s fine print is notification that by entering their e-mail address, the shopper is agreeing to join a loyalty program and allowing the store to authorize marketers to charge their card each month, between $9 and $12.

“When people shop online, they have the right to expect that the stores they entrust with their credit card and other personal information will not share it,” said Sen. John Rockefeller, (D-W.V.), the committee’s chairman. “What’s happening is many online merchants have decided to betray their customers’ trust… fine print is the (biggest) scam of all time.”

I was looking at some of the web sites that are using this alleged scam and I personally use Orbitz. I fortunately have never signed up for any advertisements nor gimmicks. But what about you?

Comments welcome.