ABC Goes After Online Businesses for 'Hidden Fees'
Online shoppers arenâ€™t smart enough to avoid giving away their credit card information to pop-up ads, at least according to ABCâ€™s â€śGood Morning America.â€ť
â€śSome pop-ups on your computer can lead to unwanted credit card charges that go on month after month,â€ť correspondent Elisabeth Leamy reported July 11, criticizing what she called â€śdeceptive marketing practices.â€ť
Leamy interviewed a â€śvery carefulâ€ť woman who claimed she was victimized by the ads when trying to buy shoes online. Marya Mayer said she clicked a pop-up ad â€śjust once to make it go awayâ€ť 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.
â€śThey thought that they were just going to get a discount on the purchase they were originally making,â€ť Paulette Hotton, CEO of the Connecticut Better Business Bureau, told â€śGood Morning America.â€ť
But the Affinion Group disagreed. â€śThe 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€ť the group said.
Hotton ventured to defend consumers who â€śunknowinglyâ€ť gave their credit card information to random ads online. â€śThey did not know that they were in fact buying a product of this nature,â€ť she claimed.
Leamyâ€™s last bit of advice to make sure this doesnâ€™t happen to you wasnâ€™t exactly revolutionary.
â€śYouâ€™re going to need to check your credit card bill each and every month and look for charges that you donâ€™t want to be on there,â€ť she said.