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Active Network review: active advantage trial membership scam

T
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11:21 am EDT
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Be careful when you register for races at active.com! 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 active.com 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]@active.com 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

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The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

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144 comments
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Y
Jun 22, 2022 9:24 pm EDT

I just realized I got charged by this member renew which I am never aware of, out of curious, so I register from their website and found they charged me for 6 years without me knowing anything about it. I will call my credit card company for their scam action. Also, how they get my credit number? I changed credit number but how they got it?

B
Feb 02, 2021 5:04 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

Also, happened to me. A church utilized this company for soccer registration. If there was an enrollment option, I certainly never saw it. Anyways, I took my time to report this organization to the FTC and Internet Crime Complaint Center. If you get wrapped into this scam, report it and maybe in 10 more years this will get stopped!
Here is the link to the government site to report scams/fraud --- https://www.ic3.gov/

R
Dec 11, 2020 12:04 pm EST

This is still happening in 2020! I am a victim of this too just this month of December 2020. This company should really be out of business by now. They literally steal from people to pay their bills. I'm outraged at the lack of accountability this company they have. No customer support number or anyone to actually speak with to get my refund of $89.95. JUST WOW!

M
Dec 23, 2020 9:32 pm EST

Outrageous!

Z
Jul 26, 2020 12:03 pm EDT

This is still happening in 2020! It happened to my on the end of May when I was being bored during the pandemic and going through my few bills. I had no idea what was that and immediately called them. However, their telephone service was not available, which is still not available till the end of July. So I called my bank to dispute that charges, but I haven't successfully got the refund yet. What the hell is going on with that ghost company!

R
Dec 11, 2020 12:02 pm EST
Replying to comment of ZoeyG

This is still happening in 2020! I am a victim of this too just this month of December 2020. This company should really be out of business by now. They literally steal from people to pay their bills.

R
Jan 06, 2020 10:31 am EST

10 years and this is still going on. How the hell are they still in business?

E
Oct 29, 2019 3:46 pm EDT

Ditto. This is a total scam. Not only did they sign me up without warning, but in the initial email from them it said that the first year of membership is free and that I wouldn't be charged until October 2020 ... but then they still charged me in October 2019. I think race companies should stop working with them. In my view it's a fraudulent use of my credit card. I am an attorney and I read things carefully and it was still incredibly misleading.

B
Jul 09, 2019 1:54 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

YUP... Its $89.95! And did you read the statement about "If you go to your bank and file this as fraud you should know we have a whole TEAM OF ATTORNEYS WORKING TO PROVE YOU ARE LYING""! But then on a different page it says your annual membership comes with a 100% money back Guarantee! SERIOUSLY?!

S
May 14, 2019 10:53 am EDT

Same happened to us. Apparently this scam is going on for years!

Q
May 13, 2019 1:44 pm EDT

Horrible! They have charged me for membership for three year! I was not aware of it at all! I am still online for someone to pick up the phone after 30-minute wait. Be aware of this shady business!

N
Apr 25, 2019 1:07 pm EDT

SHAMEFUL business practices. I was unknowingly charged 89.95. It took some digging to connect the dots. I had signed up my son for art classes at the prestigious Glassell School ( in connection with the Museum of Fine Arts Houston), and that's how they stole my information. Yes stole. I would never sign up for a "trial" membership that I know nothing about. Fortunately they're refunding my money within 5 days. They probably make money by scamming people that don't closely look at their emails or statements until it's too late. Grrrr!

L
Apr 08, 2019 3:48 pm EDT

I just got scammed, too. I reserved a campsite at reserveamerica.com. At no time did I agree to sign up for Active Advantage. But somehow they signed me up against my will and were going to charge me $89.95 per year. I had to wind my way through their website to figure out how to unsubscribe. What a scam!

S
Feb 03, 2019 11:01 pm EST
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I got scammed for $89.95. January 1st I signed up for a bike ride in May, and last night the charge went onto the same card. I am disputing the charge with my credit card company, and am working on getting all the other event promoters in the state to stop using these crooks.

L
Oct 21, 2018 4:36 pm EDT

Just googled "active.com" and "scam" and found this board because, you guessed it, I too am a victim of this unscrupulous business model. Two years in a row I signed up to do a charity bike ride in Hershey PA to raise money for cancer research. The ride was sponsored by Penn State and the Milton S. Hershey foundation. Last year I was charged 69.95. I must have seen the charge on my statement and assumed it was for the event. This year I did the event again and looked into the 79.95 charge because I recalled already seeing the event charge on my statement.

I called my credit card company (Discover) to dispute it. I thought it was a scam because after I called active.com there was something in the greeting about "if you're calling about a membership fee charge..." I didn't want to give this company I never heard of my information. I have a call tomorrow with a Discover Card customer service rep and the company. I'm mad at myself for not being more vigilant with my CC statement but even more mad that the business model of this company is to trick people into expensive memberships they'll never use by sponsoring charity events to raise money for things like cancer research. Shame on you active.com.

E
Oct 11, 2018 5:04 pm EDT

Total SCAM! $79.95 they tried to charge me on 10/1/18. I haven't ran a race or signed up for on in over a yr! I don't even recall ever creating an account. Such a scam. Im sure they've taken thousands of peoples' money without them knowing. No email or anything to warn or let you know it's being taken. HORRIBLE COMPANY

B
Jul 16, 2018 3:49 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

This JUST happened to me and I filed a complaint at better business bureau. So frustrating. I recommend to others that they cancel their cards and get new ones because it looks like they keep charging people every year.

P
Apr 05, 2018 7:48 pm EDT

The're still scamming people in 2018. They duped some sucker in leadership at reserve america to partner with them. Who care about reputation when you can make some money. They hit your credit card for 79.95 as ACT*ACTIVE-NETWORK. I expect this from sleazy low cost internet sales sites but was really shocked when reserve america hid the sign up for this crap on their site.

J
Apr 02, 2018 10:34 pm EDT

DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH ACTIVE.COM FOR ANY REASON!
For people who have lost $69.95 for a year's membership, don't fret, we just discovered Active.com has charged us $428.00 since 2012 for annual membership without notice and WITHOUT PROVIDING ANY EVENT REGISTRATIONS! They never send emails to advise they are charging your account. We double checked to be sure and confirmed this has been true since 2012. INEXCUSABLE! We called today because our bank notified us of a possible fraudulent charge last week. This occurred last year and we contacted them to be removed from the program. After lengthy discussion we were assured we had been removed from continuing membership. Yet again they billed us this year. Trying to withdraw from Advantage Membership on-line takes you in a circular pattern of web pages but never actually allows withdrawal. Telephone calls are not returned and the only option is to advise your credit card company to block them from billing.
THIS COMPANY IS DISHONEST AND DISREPUTABLE. THEY ARE SIMPLY INTERNET HIGHWAY THIEVES.

S
Mar 28, 2018 10:55 pm EDT

This happened to us too. These people are outright crooks. We have apparently been members for years and they are refusing to reimburse. We signed up for a baseball camp and they fraudulently used the credit card information to charge us membership fee for years.

L
Dec 04, 2017 9:41 pm EST

I too was scammed by Active...I got an email that I was charged 69.95 and talked to the customer rep to credit me the charge. You could tell he was ready for my call and kept interrupting to diffuse me. After hanging up I then discovered I had been charged in 2016 as well. I have a feeling that they are not going to refund that $$. Has anyone gotten any traction from the BBB? These people should be shut down for this unscrupulous behavior alone! These posts go back to 2009 and they are still getting away with it!

L
Nov 11, 2017 8:33 am EST

I just discovered the same scam by Active, no doubt occasioned by my registration for a Masters T&F meet. I believe the inadvertent membership subscriptions are triggered by a check box that is ALREADY CHECKED. To not subscribe you have to remember to look for the checked box and remove the check. What a slimey, "gotcha" practice.
OLM

S
Oct 09, 2017 12:46 pm EDT

Happened to me too. Unfortunately I didn't catch this until the 3rd time time they charged my credit card. The phone number on the website doesn't work but I used this page to find a number and I called and cancelled. I was told I would be refunded for the recent charge of $69.95 but not for the previous two times they charged a similar amount. I guess I signed up for this to reserve a campsite through Reserve America and didn't realize I had to opt out of the yearly membership. This company makes their money on a deceptive practice and I will never again sign up for anything associated with this sham of a company. Shame on Active Advantage.

Z
Jul 13, 2017 11:59 am EDT

Today is the third time that I have had a problem with this website. I signed up for a camping trip through the website THREE YEARS AGO and in the last two months they have charged me 69.95 THREE times. I don't know if they have charged me before and I just didn't notice but I can't understand why they would charge me after three years of never even visiting the site let alone using it. The first charge I at least received an email and was able to catch it but it took me a week to figure out the other two. All three times I had to call to delete the accounts and (they did give me my money back) but it still was frustrating because I knew that I didn't sign up for it and they had collected my information through the campground registration.

T
Jun 30, 2017 12:49 pm EDT

This just happened to me, and it's 2017! I signed up for a marathon and was charged for it in early June, 2017. As I was looking at my credit card billing for June, I found that Active had charged me $69.95 for an Active Advantage annual membership fee. I don't recall ever signing up for that! I called up Active and was able to get the customer service person to refund me. But this happened to me in 2017, which is 8 years AFTER this post was originally posted. Why has this continued happening?

M
Jun 06, 2017 6:28 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

This thread is really old but I wanted to post and report that I just received a class action settlement check in the mail about this. I received claim information in the mail, submitted my claim form online in January 2017, and just received $219.08. www.ActiveSettlement.com

V
May 16, 2017 2:36 pm EDT

The same thing happened to me! I signed up for a race and created what I thought was a free account through active.com, and then 30 days later I got a charge for $69 on my bank account. I have emailed them 3 times and have not received a single response, despite being told in an auto-generated email sent to me after that I would be contacted within 24 hours! I am currently sitting on hold with them, going on 13 minutes, and I have yet to talk to a single person! I'm getting ready to go to my bank and dispute the charge!

S
Apr 16, 2017 11:43 am EDT

THEY ARE AWFUL. Have been charging my credit card for 3 years and THEY WERE RUDE.

J
Apr 02, 2017 8:04 am EDT

Strongly agree that the way the are doing the membershio is a scam, they must be a way that the law put a breask to this cloudy way to do business and cheat to the members

L
Mar 06, 2017 11:17 am EST

I recently had the same experience and the representative was not friendly and hung up the phone and saying " I have taken care of all the charges for you and you will receive a refund email within 24hrs" Then hung up the phone. I will never participate in the again and will continue to blog about this SCAM!b Very upset

J
Feb 17, 2017 4:36 pm EST

This is criminal. The state of Florida parks department cabin reservations required me to check the box taking that trial membership. I spent an hour trying to find a work around and then relented. When I attempted to cancel my trial membership they would not confirm the cancellation. Instead they sent a new email urging me to try their useless deals. This appears to be coming out of California which really explains a lot. It seems this is more sophisticated than the scams coming out of verious counties of Africa.

A
Jan 26, 2017 2:20 pm EST

Completely agree. This has SCAM written all over it. I reserved a campsite through ReserveAmerica and was automatically signed up for this "membership". I had to call and cancel but, only after I searched for a telephone number on the internet because one was not available on the notification that they sent me which is also highly questionable.

S
Jan 04, 2017 8:00 am EST

I will be recommending to the board here in Houston to bar this company's usage. They will no longer be receiving funds from the volunteer, charity organizations I work with here in Houston. These people are stealing by being deceptive. I hope they get caught and shut down. This is terrible what they are doing to people. You would think that California with all it's over regulation would have something like this covered but apparently they don't

D
Sep 08, 2012 11:04 pm EDT

My story (This is the complaint letter I emailed to Active):

Dear Active Advantage, this is a very deceptive method of enrolling racers into your $59.95 yearly program! I am a long time runner. I love racing! I want to be able to sign up for what I want, when I want, without having to always worry about un-checking the stupid little "trial membership" box. Unfortunately, when registering for races on line, it is almost always through Active these days. I am usually extremely careful about un-checking that box, but this time you got me! It has become more of just a bit of an "annoyance" now!

I received an email Friday night about my trial ending soon and I would be getting charged the $59.95 if I didn't cancel. I immediately called your customer service. Well, guess what? Your customer service was closed when I called Friday evening. Apparently it is closed Saturday morning too...oh yes, and Sunday...ALL weekend! I had NO chance to cancel after your email! I was absolutely shocked to find out you have absolutely no customer service on weekends! You have no idea what kind of financial situation this now puts me in! My checking account went into the negative because of your charge and I now have hefty fees associated with that! I am so disappointed in your company.

I have 2 more races this fall that I need to sign up for. But if I am not refunded my full $59.95, I will NEVER even consider going through Active.com again. I will request each race director to mail me a paper registration form, just like in the honest olden days. I will also make sure to spread word of this scam throughout my own running community and the gym which I instruct many group fitness and running classes at.

Please do the honest thing, keep a long time, loyal user and contact me about returning my stolen money.

Sincerely,

Jessica Mills

W
Mar 24, 2012 10:23 am EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I just posted on the Facebook wall at Active.com asking if they were aware that there is a growing misunderstanding from families struggling with grief from cancer. Many of our walks are devoted to a family member who is struggling and we are raising funds for a cure. These walks for the cure are now coordinated through active, farmed out to event organizing companies. It is easy to miss the fine print or cleverly paced email notice, due to being preoccupied with grief or fighting the disease. Just signing up for a loved one's walk may accidentally get you accidentally dinged once a month from Active with a big monthly fee. When all you are trying to do is join family for a member's memory walk to raise money for a cure. ( It appears to be a growing parasitic practice with online registrations for events, targeting vulnerable participants who may be distracted, due to struggling with grief or illness.)...

T
Jul 26, 2016 8:02 am EDT

I am not very happy with Active Advantage! I contacted them a month ago for information. I communicated via email. Today I noticed I was being charged $69.95 a month for their services. What services? I am not using their company. I do not even know how they received my billing information. I called to have the charge reversed, and got the complete run around. The first person I spoke to was rude and a smart mouth. The second person I spoke to kept insisting he explain their services. I have already heard about their services. I do not want their services. Terrible way to do business.

V
May 16, 2017 2:38 pm EDT

I can't even get through to anyone! After 3 emails and so far 16 minutes sitting on the phone waiting to talk to someone! Oh my blood is boiling!

D
Jun 02, 2016 6:49 am EDT

Just got me too. I signed up for a race recently and got hit with the charge at 11:55 PM on 5/31. My credit card alert text let me know. I was watching TV at the time and knew I wasn't ordering anything online. I got the confirming email only after the charge had been processed. Emailed Active first thing the next morning from my office email (I'm an attorney, and I find my office email is more effective in dealing with these types of things). As of this writing 24 hours later, the charge has not been reversed and no one has responded to my complaint. I've signed up for countless races with Active and other similar sites. I'm always careful to avoid membership fees like this one. I guess they're getting better at hiding the opt out or disguising the opt in boxes.

M
May 27, 2016 11:52 am EDT

I am so over this type of predatory business practice. The success of their business hinges on someone's inattention to their finances. That's just gross.

A
Sep 29, 2015 3:05 pm EDT
Verified customer This comment was posted by a verified customer. Learn more

I apparently accidentally signed up for this service when I signed up for a camping trip and a month later I was charged some $64 charge. I called and asked that it be cancelled and requested a refund. The cancellation was carried out but I hadn't received the refund within 7-10 business days so I called back. The customer service was the worst. The representative was rude and combative. I asked to speak with a supervisor and the rep told me she was a supervisor and refused to let me speak with anyone else. I called back thinking that the rep was just bad and was again refused a supervisor. Apparently the supervisors are to busy to address customer concerns. I ended up getting the refund, but not before becoming very upset by the awful customer support.

N
Sep 28, 2015 12:02 am EDT

Exact same thing happened to me when I looked on my credit card statement and found a strange charge that I did not authorize. Charge happened on a Sunday and the customer service number is not open on weekends. So I will be calling on Monday morning to get a refund otherwise will claim a fraudulent charge with my credit card company. Very disappointed!

H
Jul 22, 2015 1:46 pm EDT

it's 2015 and they're still at it. Called them today for a refund, which I hopefully will receive, but the sales rep was defensive, entirely not apologetic, and had the audacity to try to sell more more things, cutting me off over and over and over again. That's not how you sell things! How can Americans get away by putting warning signs on HOT coffee so you don't burn yourself but won't protect innocent athletes who just want to run in a race without getting charged by sneaky scammers!

A
Jul 11, 2015 2:36 pm EDT

Active Network will take your money without your consent. Scam

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