Nearly 10,000 Iowans who registered online to participate in sports events could be entitled to a refund of some of the fees charged.
California-based Active.com handles registrations for running events, sports camps, leagues and tournaments in addition to selling sports-related products and gear online. Events in and around the Quad Cities are among those listed on the company’s website.
Iowa Attorney General Thomas Miller says many consumers who went through Active.com to register for activities were also unknowingly charged an additional $59.95 fee and enrolled in the company’s ‘Active Advantage’ membership program.
While completing the online registration, the consumers were congratulated and instructed to click a “Yes” button to claim a rebate on their fee or to claim a free gift for registering online. Little did they know that same click enrolled them in the membership program.
Miller said more than 9,500 Iowans hit with the charge have challenged it and gotten a refund. Those who didn’t challenge the charge continued to be billed, sometimes for several years.
“Some consumers complained that they did not know they had been enrolled, and unwittingly paid hundreds of dollars over the course of several years for a membership they didn’t want and didn’t use,” Miller said.
Now, the company that runs Active.com has agreed to refund those fees to Iowans who paid them. In exchange for being allowed to deny liability for any wrongdoing, the company must pay $237,167.42 in refunds to Iowans plus a $15,000 fee to the state’s consumer fraud enforcement efforts. The company was ordered to give a list of members to the state, which will manage issuing the refunds.
Miller says consumers should carefully check bank and credit card statements and challenge unauthorized charges.