Ecommerce merchants & their questionable marketing tactics
Posted by: Curtis Stevens on November 24th, 2009

There has been a recent report released that says the US government has been investigating a few ecommerce merchants and their affiliate with a few marketing companies.  Companies such as Priceline, FT & Orbitz have been mentioned in the report.  These companies and many others have partnered with some marketing firms that are misleading the customers according to the report.   There are supposedly thousands of complaints over the years about consumers finding mysterious charges appearing on their credit card.  What is happening is this.  After a consumer makes a purchase and enters their credit card processing information, they are taken to a page thanking them for the order. On this page, there is a button that says save $10 on this very purchase. When the customer clicks that button and fills out the appropriate forms, they are unknowingly signing up for a membership service from the marketing company. There is some information, but it is generally in fine print at the bottom.

I have personally made purchases from some online merchants that have used this very tactic. I quickly found out what it was all about by looking at the entire offer and seeing what the fine print says and that you are signing up for someone else’s services. But I can see how a lot of consumers do not read it, sign up thinking they will simply save $10 and that’s it. But then find out there are other charges on their credit card until they cancel the service. My advice: read before you sign!

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