The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Active.comactive advantage trial membership scam

T Review updated:

Be careful when you register for races at! I apparently signed up for a trial membership to active advanatage which if you don't cancel in 30 days, charges your credit card $59. 95. I am always very careful to avoid signing up for unwanted email updates and trial offers, but somehow this one slipped under my radar.

The customer service was friendly and refunded the membership fee in full. However, when i mentioned to the customer serivice representative that this felt like a scam, he replied that the page was clear and that i had to have signed up for this. I asked him if this happens to customers often and he said that it did occasionally. Guessing by the fact that their automated phone system has a "if you are calling about a $59. 95 charge, please press _", and that their website has a faq sheet explaining how people signed up for the membership, i'd speculate that this happens more than occaisionally. The faq sheet asserts that emails are sent to memers notifying them that the membership has been activated and when the charge will be made, but these emails went into my junk mail folder and i only found them once i discovered the charge and went digging. Again, this is my fault for not being a more careful consumer, but it this company is clearly trying to make money in a somewhat deceptive manner.

Here is what their faq sheet says about active advantage:

When does the offer appear in the registration process? The activeadvantage trial membership offer is not
Displayed during the actual registration process. The offer exists on an interstitial page that appears after the activity registration is complete (Payment already submitted) , but before the confirmation page.

How does the registrant sign up for the trial membership?
To enroll as a trial member of the program, the registrant is simply required to enter and verify their email address and then click through the acceptance button on the page. After this step the registrant will continue on to their activity registration confirmation page.

How long does the trial membership last? 30 days
What if the registrant doesn’t want to become a trial member? The registrant simply has to click the decline button on the offer page. After this step they will continue on to their activity registration confirmation page.

What happens after the trial membership expires? At the end of the trial the user may cancel at no charge. If they do not cancel, they are automatically billed $59. 95 for a 12 - month membership. Customers may cancel their membership at any time and receive a prorated refund. All of this information is presented to the registrant on the trial offer page.

How do you communicate with members?
There are numerous communications sent to new members, starting with a confirmation email directly after they enroll in the trial membership. Trial members also receive a “reminder” email halfway through the trial period, a notification email prior to membership billing, and a billing confirmation email. Additionally, members receive a monthly “member update” email that highlights special offers and new merchant partners.

What do activeadvantage members receive? Activeadvantage exists to provide members with discounts on everything they need to prepare for, participate in and commemorate the activities that they love. As such, members receive discounts on registrations across the active network as well as valuable savings provided by leading retailers across a wide variety of categories.

How do you know registrants like activeadvantage? Activeadvantage has grown significantly since it first
Launched in 2003. We stay in constant contact with our members to gauge their satisfaction with the program. In a recent member survey, more than 70% of members said they would strongly recommend the program to a friend.

What if a customer forgets to cancel their membership before the trial expires?
If a customer forgets to cancel their trial membership, their credit card on file will be charged the yearly fee of $59. 95. However, they may contact customer support at [protected] to receive a prorated refund.

What if trial members contact my organization with questions about the program?
Activeadvantage provides customer support contact information in all member communications, including phone and email, and is able to handle all inquiries quickly in - house. Should an isolated incident occur in
Which a member contacts your organization, simply forward the inquiry directly to your account manager.
The program has a track record of responding quickly to all inquiries and our goal is to create zero administrative impact for your organization.

Does this offer violate the registrant’s privacy? No. Active takes the privacy of all registrants very seriously. When registrants choose to participate in the program they voluntarily agree to active’s terms and privacy policy. Members may also choose to optout of receiving member update emails at any time. Additionally, no user data is submitted to 3rd parties.

Questions? If you have further questions please contact us.
We will be happy to help you.
Activeadvantage contact information
877. 228. 4881 | [protected]@active.Com


  • Ah
    AHC Dec 08, 2009

    I went through exactly the same experience. It is a scam, they signed me up without letting me know and took the credit card info that I used for race fees to process the Active membership.

    14 Votes
  • Si
    singingintherain Dec 27, 2009

    ok, so I am just realizing this was done to my account too! thanks so much for posting this information!!!

    6 Votes
  • Tr
    triguy Feb 03, 2010

    I agree. I just got my notice as well. This is complete B.S. Active.Com used to be focused on the racer but they've lost sight of their original mission and are exploiting their customers!

    4 Votes
  • Di
    displayNAMEjs Feb 15, 2010


    Here too -- My husband and my son-in-law each (separately) experience the same deceitful problem when they registered for the Polar Plunge in Excesior MN held on January 1st 2010.
    Both were refunded the $59.95 upon calling ACTIVE at [protected]. However, had they not noticed the cc charge on their bill they would have been out the money. I'd be willing to bet there were a few hundred folks who registered for the same event and didn't notice!

    I just completed a report to the Better Business Bureau in SanDiego CA; even though the Active customer service rep said they were a company based in Indinana (more deceipt?)
    I spoke to the ALARC event coordinator and asked if he would consider giving a heads up to the folks who pre-registered for the event and let them know they should check their cc bills. Maybe he will? (Hopefully)

    3 Votes
  • Am
    ams1985 Feb 18, 2010

    I had the same issue. I emailed Active Network's COO, Jon Belmonte, whose email address is [email protected] to let him know that I think it's totally sneaky to force people to opt out of this membership. Users should be required to opt in if they're interested in paying $59.95 for Active's annual membership. The way they do it now is just plain sneaky. I've happily signed up for several races through Active and always thought I was super-careful -- apparently not this time! This reeks of shoddy, desperate business practices. Companies like should have the integrity not to make money off people's failure to untick a checkbox on some form. Ridiculous.

    1 Votes
  • Bi
    Billy freezman Feb 18, 2010

    The Active Advantage is offered to every customer registering for an event through, although the way that the offer is misleading the customer has EVERY opportunity to decline the trial membership. I f people would take time to read the small print this would not even be an issue. I dealt with the situation about 2 months ago after signing up for a Turkey Trot, and when i called the Active office in San Diego I spoke to a customer rep named Eric I believe and he had no problem cancelling the membership and refunding the money. Completely painless. After i registered for the chicago marathon i took my time and read the offer i hit no thanks and i didnt get signed up.Point is people take ur time and read the small print.

    -6 Votes
  • Jc
    jcsjmb Feb 20, 2010

    I have spent almost half an hour looking for the membership fee in their web site and I haven't been able to find it till now. Yes I went through the same thing last year and I waited till the end of the 12 month period in case I needed it. It was a complete waste of money and it has no value to me at all except signing up for event with the $2 discount but then about $3.95 processing fee.

    0 Votes
  • A3
    a3boymom Feb 23, 2010

    Now if you call the number shown on the website and on your credit card bill [protected]), you get a recording that tells you to call another number for a charge of $3.95, another ripoff. I became a member when I registered my disabled son to a camp...not likely he would get any benefit from, since he is not active. There is NO WAY I authorized these charges. They illegally obtained my credit card information from my camp registration.

    1 Votes
  • Bb
    BBren Mar 15, 2010

    This is the letter I wrote to the COO and would encourage others who have experienced this scam to do the same.

    [email protected]

    Dear Jon,

    I have apparently been tricked into signing up for something you call "Active Advantage" while signing up for a recent half marathon. To make matters worse, you make it difficult to get through to customer service. I have been on hold twice now for over 30 minutes and have still not yet reached a live person to cancel this membership that I never signed up for. Also, the credit card information I gave was for the race, and no permission was given for you to use my credit card for this purpose.

    I found that there are hundreds of people experiencing this and are also extremely disappointed that you use these sneaky tactics.

    I will be reporting your business to the Better Business Bureau and will be encouraging others to do the same. I am a marketing professional and am shocked that a company like would stoop to this level.

    I am still on hold for the third time.

    If you can please respond with your explanation or my refund, I would appreciate it.

    Disappointed Runner,

    Brenda Buechler

    3 Votes
  • Ra
    RaffiM1 Mar 27, 2010

    This company may have a valid service offering but the way they go about getting you to subscribe is less than desirable and down right unethical.

    No email notification of some sort indicating that you have subscribed to their service and to have you opt-in by default is a sneaky way of getting $59.95 without you knowing about it.

    This is the 2nd time I had to call them to ask them to cancel my subscription and refund me the $59.95. I still have an email previously stating that my subscription was canceled and yet I received a recent email thanking me for last years subscription and that my subscription was going to be extended for 2010 for another $59.95.

    When I contacted them asking them how and why I was charged I was told that I had registered for it. I told them that this was ridiculous and asked them to produce proof that I had subscribed. Of course non-was.

    I will definitely be reporting this to the Better Business Bureau and hope that others will be doing so also.

    3 Votes
  • Ma
    mattie2 Apr 11, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    This has just happened to me and I consider this both a scam and fraud. web site designers and their clients are no fools and know exactly how to trap consumers. I agree that I must accept some responsibility for this entrapment but the burden of clear communication is on the sellers of services and this site has been designed to defraud the users.


    1 Votes
  • Ih
    i hate active advantage Apr 19, 2010

    they did the same to me!!! what a scam!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ih
    i hate active advantage Apr 19, 2010

    i took jon's advice and emailed the ceo, but i know darn well he will never bother to read it.

    to jon belmonte, ceo:
    how in the world can you trick me into a membership? i resent you stealing my money!! i work very hard to earn 59.95 and i would never ever steal even once from anyone like you did to me. you robbed me! caused me aggravation! i hope you wait over thirty minutes to talk to a "representative" and have your call answered in the order it was received!!! from the looks of it, you steal a lot of money. the least you can do is pay people to answer the darn phone!!!
    and no confirmation email about the membership? real slick! people like you will rot in the bowels of hell!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ru
    Runner2010 Apr 20, 2010

    Same thing is going on for the Bay To Breakers Registration. When I reached customer service and politely expressed my concern that is fraudulently using credit card numbers the rep started yelling at me and said "Come on...this is just internet marketing". Since when does marketing involve stealing credit card numbers and charging $59.95. I called the Bay to Breakers and let them know. I told everyone I know to watch their credit card statements. Next stop...the Better Business Bureau.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    DakotaPuma Jun 10, 2010

    I find I was just victimized by this scam as well. For those commenters who claim that we ought to have read the small print, that is NO excuse. A $59.95 charge should not be printed in small print. When the service I am buying (registration for a race) costs $25, any additional charges up to a small fraction of what I think I am buying can be snuck in with small print, sure, okay. I am confident, however, that it is unethical for Active Advantage to sneak in a cost that is going to TRIPLE my entire bill! Telling me that it's okay to use small print to notify me that the cost of what I think I am buying is actually going to cost $60 more, well, that's nuts.

    0 Votes
  • La
    Lacey Mae Jun 14, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Oh how awful and what a scam! I got an email from them telling me they were going to extend my membership for $59.95 and take it out of my credit card they obtained from a past event I signed up for. I have signed up for in the past year, the Turkey Trot, Collin Classic bike tour, and Tour Dallas so I am not sure which one had the connection to Active Advantage. However, I just called them and canceled and it was super easy. I am so glad I opened the email, and that it didn't go to my spam folder. I will keep a close eye on my bank statement.

    0 Votes
  • Ju
    justradar Jun 18, 2010

    we too were tricked.

    this is just spineless.

    when are companies going to learn that this will hurt them in the long run

    i urge everyone to make a complaint ... here, on facebook, send the CEO an email.

    call and complain. make some noise.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Mama Mia! Jul 29, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    7.29.10 I just balanced my developmentally disabled daughter's checkbook and saw the charge for 59.95 on her statement from "Active [protected]". I googled this and came to this web page. My dtr was recently in a fundraiser at her work, and signed up online not realizing this hidden charge was part of what she signed up for.
    I just called the [protected] number, chose option ...(can't remember which option), and spoke to a customer service rep explaining that my 23 yr. old dtr with dev. disabilities signed up for a race, but surely didn't want to sign up for a membership of $59.95. He told me that she would be refunded within 4 or 5 working days. The customer service rep was nice (and I controlled myself and didn't go into attack mode...).
    I'll post a follow up only if the refund does not come through. Will also discuss this with HR at her workplace, so they are aware of this sleeziness.

    0 Votes
  • Ne
    Nemtynakht Aug 23, 2010

    Unlike most of the other complainants (who have valid complaints about deceptively phrased small print), I knew that I was signing up for a trial membership and would be charged at the end of the period. HOWEVER, the emails I received never told me how to cancel. They never told me when I would be billed. In fact, the emails never even clarified how much I would be billed - instead, they said, "For full details of your offer, click here, " and the link took me to a site with absolutely no relevant information on it (the site had alleged "discounts" available to me as a "member, " *not* full information about my offer).

    My "account page" on lists that I am a member, but has absolutely no option available to cancel - it doesn't even tell you that you have to call or email to cancel. They bury that information in the web forum hidden on the website.

    I even went so far as to call and email active well in advance to ask how to cancel. Everyone I heard from assured me that I would be notified in advance of my automatic membership renewal. Well, I woke up this morning to an email that my renewal had been processed. An email/phone call reversed this, but I was vigilant about canceling and they make it difficult to do so.

    0 Votes
  • Sa
    samkin77 Aug 24, 2010

    Exact same thing happened to me to and I am amazed to see how many other people have had this happen to them and still nothing is done to fix it. I am extremely careful about not signing up for unwanted memberships and was taken back to find out that I had been signed up for this one against my will. I really hope that soon will be held accountable for what they are doing and will be put out of business. I will be boycotting and actively (no pun intended) making sure my friends are not victimized by this criminal corporation either.

    2 Votes
  • Ma
    Mark St. Sep 10, 2010
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just discovered that had been charging my credit card for the third year in a row without me giving them my credit card information to do so. I knew immediately that they had done this without my consent as I never sign up for this kind of thing and I'm very careful not to do so though I should have done a better job of checking my credit card charges. My first google search " scam" confirmed that many others have experienced the same thing and I am angered that this kind of thing is allowed to continue.

    The third charge was dropped through a phone call to them but I've lost $120 to a decietful organization who illegally took my credit card information and took $59.95 without my consent. Of course they would never make something like this clear because very few people would spend $59 on some 10% off discount offers only to have the charge be added every year unless you are somehow able to cancel it. If they really believed people would, then they would make it clear that you are spending this much money for this free trial membership. How they got my credit card information, I still don't know.

    0 Votes
  • Te
    texas83 Sep 28, 2010

    Just happened to me as well. Same story as all before, it was easy to cancel and refund, but still a pain to have to do. And the fact that the first option on the voice recording is regarding this charge and any questions you may have regarding it completely confirms that it's the MOST COMMON issue for which they receive calls! For all of us that notice the charge, I wonder how many people don't pay enough attention to their accounts to catch it? Sneaky, sneaky and bad business.

    0 Votes
  • Th
    therunway Oct 12, 2010

    I absolutely hate these guys. I am from Canada and even though they did give me a refund both times they charged me (yes, both times!) I lost money on the exchange fees which they didn't reimburse me for. They held on to my credit card information for a whole year and then charged me renewal fee for my cancelled membership from last year. I think anyone who has experienced this company's abuse should boycott all events that have anything to do with them!

    0 Votes
  • Ch
    Chuck2010DC Oct 20, 2010

    I work at a class action law firm and we are investigating’s use of consumers’ credit cards without their permission or prior notice. I am interested in talking to people and hearing about their experiences with the company. Please contact me at [email protected] if you’ve been charged for any unwanted services, products or memberships by or its parent company, The Active Network, Inc. Thanks, Chuck.

    1 Votes
  • Gm
    GMizpiggy Nov 17, 2010

    I have just experienced the same thing!! You would think since so many people have complained about this, that they would change it. I would like to keep using Active, but not if I don't trust the them. They were really nice about refunding my money, so I do appreciate that. I am glad I looked this up and am not the only person this happened to. I hope they change things so others don't need to deal with this.

    0 Votes
  • Ce
    Celsa Dec 01, 2010

    This happened to me too and I do NOT do races of any sort. I haven't ever heard of this site ever in my life. I was checking my credit card statment and this merchant caught my attention. I disputed the charge and they will follow up an investigation. I emailed customer service for warning them about a police report I would file if they do not produce proof of how I signed up for anything with them.
    If you filed an Identity Theft charge against the police will get the IP that produce the so call "sign up".
    Fraud charges may be another alternative.
    Thank you for these postings, now they are evidence for my investigation.
    Celsa Canedo

    0 Votes
  • Bi
    Bill_Cleckner Dec 08, 2010

    I had a very pleasant experience getting a refund. I noticed the charge on my credit card statement on 11/30/10. I found the toll-free number to call. I forget what day I called but there was no hassle/problem and my credit card bill got fixed on 12/6. Very easy. Hopefully others will have the same experience. Thanks.

    0 Votes
  • Td
    tdogdd Dec 24, 2010

    This membership is not sneaky, deceitful, or thieving in anyone shape or form. You have to opt into this by selecting yes and enter in an email address. The reason people are getting this is that they DON"T READ.. and zoom through a registration.. I learned this the hard way when my husband signed up for some events.. then we got the charge I called and they canceled it... My husbans said he never read anything and wanted to get it done uuggg.. However we did outright buy the membership this year since we now save up to 10 bucks a registration and get our movie tickets for 7 bucks .

    0 Votes
  • Da
    dallasr Feb 01, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I have to respectfully disagree with the perception that is deceitful in their annual trial membership offer. I've been signing up for events through Active on occasion since 2004. I remember seeing the trial membership offer more recently last year and after READING the page, declined.

    When I realized that I would be signing up for more events this year, I opted to try the trial membership in order to save on processing fees. I received a confirmation email on 9/13/2010. On 10/13/2010, I received the following email from Active:

    "Dear ActiveAdvantage member,

    Congratulations on joining thousands of Active members already saving with ActiveAdvantage. This is a quick reminder to let you know that your trial membership has expired, and we have extended your membership for a full 12 months as stated in the original offer. The annual membership charge of $59.95 will appear on your next credit card statement. If you have any questions about your ActiveAdvantage membership, please don't hesitate to email us at [email protected] or visit the Contact Us page on the member website. "

    Pressing on the "Contact Us" link in the email leads you to the following page:

    "ActiveAdvantage is the premium membership of ActiveAdvantage provides members with discounted event registrations, discounts at hundreds of retailers, hotel and rental discounts, and some of the best gear discounts available. The list of benefits is always growing!
    Please contact us if you are having difficulty redeeming an offer, would like more information about ActiveAdvantage, or would like to provide feedback on how to make the membership work better for you.
    [email protected]"

    Since joining, I've saved about $33 on processing fees. I've been able to sign my boyfriend and sister up for events under my account and save on their processing fees as well. The membership has its advantages if you participate in a lot of events.

    In any case, I just wanted to make a point that I've enjoyed their service. I never felt that they were attempting to scam people. I've contacted them once to update my address and they were courteous and professional.

    I'd also like to state that I am not associated with the company, nor do I work for them.

    Bottom line is, with any thing you buy online, read before you click through!

    0 Votes
  • He
    HeidiK Mar 08, 2011 (aka Active Advatange) is a SCAM! Yes, Active Advantage is a SCAM! They trick you in to signing up by sneaking their "offer" in. After getting the email that I will be charged and my membership will continue, I went to their site to check my profile settings. Wouldn't you know I did NOT have a profile and the email they sent the charge to isn't even registered with their site. How is it possible to charge me for being a member when I don't even have an account?? Scam. I am so pissed!! What a terrible, corrupt company. I am also complaining to the company I signed up for the race with so they are aware.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    KarenfromVA Mar 09, 2011

    I have had the same problem only I never signed up for any races or anything else. I have no idea how these people got myt credit card number or any other information.
    I guess buyer beware really comes into play when dealing with this company or anyone affiliated with them.

    0 Votes
  • C3
    C3communityeventsfan Mar 18, 2011

    The same thing happened to me! Thank you to all who have written and called Active. Also, thank you for the article and blog post to help people like me figure out what the heck is going on. When I called Active the representative simply said "Hi, are you calling about the $59.95 charge to your credit card?" This let me know I was not the first to call and complain and made the process quick and painless. I work at a financial institution and could easily get the charge covered under provisional credit until Active refunded me the registration fee. I received an email confirmation today that my account will be refunded.
    Thanks again!!!

    0 Votes
  • Ur
    URADOUCHE Mar 26, 2011

    You are all idiots! If you READ the web page it clearly states that you are opting in to their offer. Quit being victims and be accountable for YOUR actions!

    -1 Votes
  • Jk
    jKIM7777 Apr 05, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer


    0 Votes
  • Jk
    JKIM77777 Apr 08, 2011


    I received your email about cancelling your ActiveAdvantage membership and I have taken care of that for you. Our offer of a 30-day trial of the ActiveAdvantage program was presented to you after your activity registration through the Active Network and required two steps of acceptance to start the trial. As mentioned in the 30-day trial offer details presented after registration, and also linked to from the trial-membership confirmation email (ActiveAdvantage offer details), customers are always protected by our money back guarantee—if someone is ever dissatisfied with the program during the trial period or after, they simply have to contact us about a refund. We apologize for any misunderstanding about the details of the offer and we have canceled and refunded your membership. IN QUOTES:
    " Below is a screenshot to show confirmation that I have canceled your membership as well as refunded the $59.95 membership fee back to your credit card. It looks like you were canceled and refunded last year on 11/17/10. Were you charged again? Could it be under a different email address? I know sometimes customer’s sign up under a different email address and end up with two accounts. If you do not show another email address it could be under and you were charged recently I will need proof with a bank statement showing the charges. You may cross out everything except the ActiveAdvantage charge and I will have to do a check request for that amount if that is the case. "

    0 Votes
  • Nw
    nww0921 Apr 12, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I agree with the prev comments. I am carefull to read everything before hitting accept. I dont' recall ever saying sign up for a free trial. Any time I see a free trial I say no. However when calling their number it took all of 5 minutes to have someone tell me that they would refund the money. Even though it was an easy process, i wonder how many people dont look at their statemtns and lose that money

    0 Votes
  • To
    Tom323 Jun 04, 2011

    I agree, I was shocked to receive an email that they were going to post a $59 charge on my credit card. This should be illegal.

    0 Votes
  • Ka
    Kayscee75 Jun 27, 2011

    Thank you for posting this complaint. It was very helpful to me when I too needed to contact Active Advantage to cancel my "subscription" with them. Luckily because I checked my credit card statement the same day the charge came through "Nathan" with customer service said that I will receive a full refund within 3-5 business days. Thanks again for looking out for all of us!

    0 Votes
  • Se
    SES211 Jun 28, 2011

    I completely accept responsibility for not reading the fine print. I knew I was signing up for a free trial. But, I did not understand that I had to pay in 30 days nor did I realize I had the option to opt out of it. The thing that sucks is when I tried to login to the website and view the race I registered for, there wasn't any races listed under my events. Then I tried to view something else and it told me I was not AUTHORIZED to view this webpage. So, I never thought another thing about it.

    My husband just noticed the charge today, it was charged last week. I called and the woman said she would refund it. But, the thing is: she had NO record of my email account. When I logged in, it stated I was not an Active Advantage member. So, why was I charged $59.95 for a membership that has no record of my email address and my profile states I am NOT a member?!

    I'm just glad they said they would refund my money. I can't imagine how paying $59.95 annual would be worth it. Especially if you don't sign up for enough races to get any kind of discount.

    0 Votes
  • Da
    dangertoy19 Jun 29, 2011

    Same thing here. They signed me up with no real warning and used credit card info that was meant only for my registration fees. They make it sound like they are just going to send you an email with info about activeadvantage but it is really a membership agreement.
    I like using, this is the third time I have registered through their site, but will be extremely careful in the future. I will register at local running shops when possible.

    0 Votes

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