: ‘Online trickery’: CFPB sues event-registration company for allegedly tricking customers into paying $300 million in subscriptions

by | Oct 19, 2022 | Stock Market

People signing up for fundraising races and other events were allegedly duped into enrolling in a third-party event registration platform’s $89.95-a-year “discount membership club,” helping the company generate $300 million in membership fees, according to a lawsuit filed by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week.The accused company, Active Network, offers registration and payment services to event and activity organizers, including races that “raise funds for causes like cancer research, animal rescues, and programs for special needs children,” the CFPB’s lawsuit alleged.

But consumers attempting to enroll in those events also allegedly encountered a misleading offer — a webpage for a discount club called “Active Advantage” during the registration process.  That webpage included a highlighted “accept” button and gray “no thanks” button alongside an advertisement for the discount club and the consumer’s address and billing information. The unsuspecting consumers often clicked “accept” because they mistakenly believed the button was required to allow credit-card charges or fees relating to the event they wanted to join, the lawsuit alleged.  The consumers were then signed up for a free trial membership that automatically converted over to a paid subscription with an annual fee of $89.95 if they failed to cancel within 30 days, according to the CFPB.  “The CFPB is suing ACTIVE Network for illegally charging hundreds of millions of dollars in enrollment fees through its use of digital dark patterns and online trickery,” CFPB Director Rohit Chopra said in a statement Tuesday. “People who tho …

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