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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
 

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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