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Ticketmaster's Great Fun rebate angers customers

Ticketmaster's Great Fun rebate angers customers

By Alysha Heers

Everybody loves a good rebate, but don't fall victim to aggressive marketing tactics in the pursuit. After purchasing tickets through Ticketmaster, many consumers were presented an opportunity to click on the offer for a rebate not realizing the hidden charges that awaited.

Ticketmaster customers who clicked on the provided link were then redirected to another website that prompted them to call a number to speak with an associate. What was waiting for callers on the other end was a lengthy sales pitch to start trial subscriptions. While some are able to get the intial $15.00 rebate offer, others are tempted by a larger rebate and unknowingly agree to a subscription program that automatically bills their debit or credit card $16.99 every month.

The subscription program is called Great Fun, a savings club program, which offers discounts on shopping, dining, entertainment, and travel. Here's the deal that was presented to Ticketmaster consumers: Sign up for a 30 day trial period with Great Fun for only $1, cash the rebate check, cancel before the end of the 30 day period, and make money.

Those agreeing to the sales pitch were then asked to supply their credit card information to pay the $1 fee. While many people cancel their subscription before the 30 day trial period ends, others don't even realized they signed-up for the membership until they see the charges on their credit card statement. There have been numerous complaints about this program on PissedConsumner.com and RipoffReport.com, among others.

This marketing scheme is called post-transaction marketing. Major online retailers partner with direct marketing companies, who offer their customers' deals on discount shopping clubs and then the retailers earn some of the fees.

Affinion Group of Stamford is partners with many big online companies, such as Ticketmaster, Buy.com, GMAC.com, and FTD.com. Affinion owns the Great Fun program and over two dozen other subscription membership programs, which they use to provide revenue for their company and their partners, such as Ticketmaster. Many people are not even aware of this billion dollar industry, but those who are, think post-transaction marketing is deception marketing, according to About.com.

Affinion is a marketing company that seeks to build the brand of their partners, create more revenue streams, help attract new customers, and build greater customer loyalty. According to Affiniongroup.com, they engage their partners' customers with products suited to their lifestyles at an excellent value for their money. It makes sense why online retailers would want to partner with such marketing companies, however, many consumers are still questioning the ethics of these online retailers, such as Ticketmaster.

Over the years, state attorneys general offices have sued Affinion for using deception to enroll consumers in clubs, according to The Hartford Courant. In 2010, the Restore Online Shoppers Confidence Act was created to protect consumers from aggressive online marketing.

"It's not as though they click on a link and suddenly they're signed up. They have to re-enter their [credit-card] information. And they can ask Great Fun to stop the service." said Jacqueline Peterson, a Ticketmaster spokeswoman on Courant.com.

Consumers were not always required to re-enter their credit card information, all they had to do was type in their email address, but since the ROSCA in January 2010, consumers have to enter their credit card a second time, according to The New York Times. Despite the new regulations, many consumers are still falling for these aggressive sales tactics.

In order to avoid any monthly charges, consumers should remember to be hesitant when approached with a deal for "free money," and to always read the fine print which may list the fees and cancellation policies.

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Anonymous's picture
 

TrueVoice's picture
TrueVoice

Quick updates!
The mail did come to the box. BUT,,, I could not believe what I have seen in the envelope.

The MAIL WITH DISCOUNT THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TICKETS CASHBACK REDEEM!!

Shopping, restaraunts...? Redeem after your purchase at SEARS, KMART, AMC, MACYS...?

WOW!!,, WOW!!
This is GREAT FUN is complete SCAM. I regret I even paid a $1 Trial..

I do not understand why TICKETNETWORK(I Bought my tickets at Ticketnetwork not Ticketmatser) is still keeping on persuading this service after PURCHASE..

DO TICKETNETWORK WANT TO HURT THEIR BRAND???

P.S The email for the detail service is not coming! Probably, will not come.

TrueVoice's picture
TrueVoice

This article really helps! I cancelled it yesterday. Should of read this before registering.
Let me share my experience...

I registered this deal 2 WEEKS AGO over the phone, when they said they

'THE MATERIALS FOR REDEEMING $50 WILL BE SENT TO YOUR MAIL BOX WITHIN 5 BUSINESS DAYS'.

which is NOT COMING!!...

I felt suspicious about the service, so I called the Greatfun(18774889480). For cancellation, I had to wait for 30 minutes to get them on phone and repeat my names and address 4 to 5 times. Even after I clearly noted that 'I would like to cancel', they continuously tried to force me to continue.

For example:
'We have gave you the details about the service through email, it might be in the junkbox since you registered online..'
>No I registered over phone,, dude.

'Then we will get an email to you within 24 hours'
>Yeah,, sure. I doubt it. They had my email address over the phone weeks ago!! >BTW, it is not coming,yet..

'We will get your material within 2 business days'
>Yeah,, sure... >No, not coming yet!!

They will try to sale pitch the service with very fast pace like reading a piece of paper, you should interrupt them and clearly tell 'I DO NOT LIKE YOUR SERVICE, I WOULD LIKE TO QUIT'.

After I finally got my cancellation ID, they say you still can redeem the $50, but I doubt it.

This is my guess, however,

I THINK THIER TACTICS IS NOT TO GIVE YOUR MATERIALS TO REDEEM THE SERVICE UNTIL THE TRIAL PERIOD ENDS

, or not give you a materials at all, until you notice. My guess...

I felt evil about this product since they TALK EXTREMLY FAST ON PHONE, and TRY TO HANG UP ON YOU AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. (Needless to say, they will not show any respect for you..)

Lucky about me is that I asked a procedure and number to call for cancellation before hanging up on me.
They told me

'EVERY DETAIL IS IN THE MATERIAL'

repeatedly (which might never be sent to you,, my guess) which seemed like trying not to disclose the information as possible.

FYI FOR CANCELLING..
Great Fun 18774889480 > I phoned this one for cancellation.
About Shopper material (That is how they call redeeming material) 18005264848 > I did not phone this one.

onewaywire's picture
onewaywire

Yea, I was just on the phone with a representative while I read this article. Everything stated here is true. They want you to spend $1.00 in order to receive $50-rebate, but you must try the Great Fun trial for 30-days. After the 30-days, if you haven't called to cancel, the subscription will automatically renew for $16.99/mo. Glad I know better, and glad for this article. #thanks

CKawauchi35's picture
CKawauchi35

Omg! I was about to give one of their accommodating and kind reps my credit card number, but I told her I was leary of it and let me research about them first. Her response ("Oh, this is only good for this particular purchase, Ma'am") was a dead give-away to me. I am so glad I refused. Thanks for this article. I feel that I have saved myself a lot of trouble!

ajrunnerman's picture
ajrunnerman

So I just bought tickets to a concert today, saw this rebate, decided it was probably a scam but $30 was at least worth investigating, and clicked on the link. Red flags everywhere. It's not a link to a rebate, it's a link to a phone number. Guy answers the phone and speaks very quickly in annoying intonation. Same deal as others have mentioned - $1 for 30 day trial, 16.95 if I don't cancel in the first 30 days, rebates are valid even if I cancel my membership, which I plan to do ASAP. I like to think of myself as a smart, educated individual, but even I didn't catch that he actually signed me up for two services, supposedly each for a dollar. He did give me both numbers, which I would like to thank "Mi" down below for posting, because I in this case it pays to be exact.

In sum, seems like a totally predatory business. It's not real economic activity, it's just a predatory scam that must make more money than it pays out, otherwise it wouldn't exist. Seems like it is possible to get the rebate, but they are skirting the law to try as hard as they can to not give you the rebate (send you emails in 5-6 days, mail in 3 weeks??? I didn't hear exactly). Hopefully he took my information correctly and they actually go through with sending me the rebate. Seems like even if I do get the money it will be a bit stressful to actually make the process happen, but if it takes 3 hours of attention and I get the $60(he tacked on a 2nd rebate, I suppose for the 2nd service) that's 20 bucks an hour, so probably still worth it...

I'll let you all know how this situation is resolved!

browns227's picture
browns227

I experienced similar problems, but I actually received the rebate + $30 to use on a future purchase. I just got my $30 check in the mail and cashed it yesterday. Like I said though, there were some issues. I never received the email after I created my account with GreatFun. I also didn't realize that I was simultaneously signing myself up for ShoppersAdvantage, which cost me an extra $1. Not that big of a deal since it was only $2 and I ended up getting $60 back. It's just very sneaky how they do it and I didn't appreciate it because I honestly didn't know. I never got the email, so I called them requesting that they resend me the email. Conveniently, they told me that I should have already received the email and that they can't resend it for whatever reason... Right... They did say that they would be able to mail it, though. Probably biding them more time to get out of giving me my money. So I waited a day or two and still never got the darn email. So, I sent them an email demanding that they resend the email or I will cancel my account. Strangely enough, when I checked my email the next day I had the rebate form I needed :) I filled it out and sent it back in that day. I was approaching the end of my 30 day trial and still hadn't received the check, so I figured I had been scammed. I got nervous about getting charged 16.99 so I cancelled my account before the end of the trial period. This didn't affect anything because technically, you can get full benefits during that one month trial even if you cancel your account. I received my $30 check right at the end of the 30 day trial, cashed it, and am now satisfied with the situation. It was very frustrating, though, that they were sketchy and didn't warn me or inform me about the ShoppersAdvantage. The rebate really does work, but beware of the ShoppersAdvantage rebate offer that apparently shows up right after. I honestly don't remember this happening, but GreatFun claimed that is was happened. Whatever, though, I got my $30 + $30 to use on a future purchase with Ticketmaster :) If you stay on them and make sure to cancel the account before the end of the 30 day trial, you WILL get your $60! You just have to work a little to get it :)

Mi's picture
Mi

I'm glad I made a note on my calendar to cancel because I never received the material they promised then when I finally got through them (15 min. on hold) they tell me it takes 10-15 days to receive the material by mail. Bullshit!!! I also notice you MUST call both to cancel, NOT JUST ONE. Great Fun 877-893-8760 and Shoppers Advantage 877-893-8773.

tini's picture
tini

what is the number in order to cancel?

just pay attention.'s picture
just pay attention.

Okay. So I'm an agent that works at a company that works for Affinion. First off don't get me wrong, I don't like them very much as a business. They're snakes and weasels, and they make our job a living hell by coming down on us to stay devilishly scripted and to read things a very specific way.

BUT

the opening sales pitch is usually around 1:30 long. It's like two and a half standard sized paragraphs. We lay everything very up front, $1, $16.99/mo if you stay with the service. You keep the rebates even if you cancel on day 1 of the trial period. If you didn't get the rebates? It's probably cause the agent you spoke to didn't care to confirm your mail/email address. We're not really required to confirm the spelling, so long as we say the whole thing back.

There's also a possibility our quality assurance canceled the whole sale, if I say one wrong word, or forget to read something important, the sale is canceled. The customer is also not notified of this in any way shape or form.

Here's where we get people the most. We offer 2 services in the call. The first one being great fun, the second one being either shoppers advantage or buyers advantage (depends on where you live in the u.s.) The scripting is the same, we're aggressively coached to seamlessly transition into it and blast through it. It's another 2 paragraphs, you get seperate rebates, but it's an extra $1, and $16.99/mo. Most people mentally clock out at that point, don't realize they're enrolling in a second service, will CANCEL the first, BUT NOT THE SECOND. Then they still get charged 16.99 because they didn't cancel the second service as well.

This is not a scam, as an agent I literally am offering you free money, but you have to cover your bases and make damn sure you call to cancel.

Bad Rebate Offer's picture
Bad Rebate Offer

I canceled because I never received any promised rebates and/or information. I called 3 times and was promised ea time that my rebates and information were in the mail. They never arrived!!! ONE BIG SCAM!! I highly recommend that you do not get involved like I did. A word to the wise should be sufficient.

Veauamil's picture
Veauamil

I'm so glad I searched about that rebate and found this forum before I fell into the aggravation. Got my tickets and got out unscathed. $25 rebate would have been nice, but since I did not count on it or expect it when I walked in the front door, no harm, no foul as I walk out the back door.
Thanks.

CinnamonSpice's picture
CinnamonSpice

I was too nervous to wait until 30 days, I immediately cancelled after I signed up, sent in the rebate, then stupidly I did my research, only to find out that this company was a scam. I did not want to wait a minute longer, so I cancelled the membership 3 weeks before my 30 days were up. I don't care about their rebate offer. I don't trust the company, too many people are complaining of being scammed and BBB and Rip Off Report was enough for me not to wait a minute longer to cancel my membership. And,I am very smart - but these people seem to be smarter. Don't trust waiting until 30 days, cancel the membership right away!!!!

Amcamille's picture
Amcamille

I just signed up for Great Fun after I bought some tickets on Ticketmaster. I really don't see what the big deal is, maybe I've just been hit with WAY too many of these kind of calls and 'scams' before, but I'm not as worried. ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS CALL AND CANCEL. And you have a whole MONTH to do it! The deal I got was $100 rebate, $50 cash back for my current purchase and another $50 for my next purchase, which I definitely plan on going to more concerts this year so $50 savings will be helpful. And it only costs me $1. Now, I don't know anything about sneaky tactics or people being COMPLETELY unware about signing up but I kind of annoyed the woman over the phone with questions. I asked immediately for the phone number needed to cancel, before I even gave my credit card info, I asked when the rebate certificates expire, how long does it take to receive the money in the mail, do I have to remain a member to use the 2nd $50 rebate and etc, etc. Just be smart people!! These companies RELY on people to be dumb, not ask too many questions and to overall just not pay attention to what they're saying. If you're smart about it, AND REMEMBER TO CALL AND CANCEL, you WON'T be scammed!

Inana999's picture
Inana999

PLEASE HELP

Inana999's picture
Inana999

Wow, I'm totally hating myself right now!! I'm not one to fall for scams because I'm always so paranoid...but I guess I did now! So I gave them my information and all that jazz and I know to cancel before the 30 days but I'm freaking out!! Will they steal my information now that I gave it to them?? Will other 3rd party scamming companies will have my information to steal money (that I don't have). Wow I hate myself because my mum was scammed by Great Fun and she barely told me that it WAS Great Fun stealing from her account. They stole over $400 dollars from her and more in a different time. This is HORRIBLE!!! They need to be disconnected from Ticketmaster/Live Nation..They ought to be sued or something! Ugh what have I done.

affinionscam's picture
affinionscam

I work, or should say, worked for this company, I was fired because I refused to scam people anymore. Great Fun is a branch under Affinion/Trilegiant. I think they have so many names to try to keep consumers from knowing who they really are. There are several other companies under Affinion that I sold besides Great Fun. Every Day Privileges Gold, Travelers Advantage, Dollar Travelers Advantage, Shoppers Advantage, and Buyers Advantage, just to name a few.

We were told to be as close to 100% scripted because the scripts were approved by lawyers and we risked lawsuits if we said things any differently. When people asked questions our scripted answers were as vague as possible. We were told to "rush" or "brush over" the parts that involved billing, especially when enrolling the customer in the second service. Our goal was to sign each customer up for the first service then sign them up for a second service hoping they wouldn't notice or protest. The script for the second service was nearly identical to the first so most people didn't notice. Even the phone numbers were eerily similar to help slip the second service in. For example, Great Fun 877-893-8760 and Shoppers Advantage 877-893-8773.

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