SUBMIT A COMPLAINT / Hidden charges

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I clearly didn't read all the details, so this is my fault, but just in case you sign up for a race using, watch out for the hidden charge for their Free membership of $59.95 a year . I signed up for a race, paid the fee through, then 30 days later was billed for an extra $59.95. I called the number on my credit card. The recording states, "if you are calling a about a $59.95 membership charge, push...", so apparently plenty of people have called in on this. The customer service rep who helped me took the charge off of my card ( I hope he did, I'll have to check next month's bill), and explained that I must have "accidentally" clicked the wrong button when signing up for my race. He sent me a copy of the web page where I would have done this. To be honest with you, I do remember this page, but didn't read the last bit about the annual charge. I got sucked in by the words Discounts and FREE. Here's what the page said:

Just click YES at the bottom of this page to claim your FREE gift from for registering online for the 2009 Cranberry Trifest.
Two $5.00 Discounts on your next online registration with
One $10.00 Discount off next year's registration to 2009 Cranberry Trifest on
FREE 30 day trial of ActiveAdvantage

Claim your $20 in discounts and start saving with your FREE ActiveAdvantage trial membership.
Enter your email address here:
Verify your email here:

Yes! I want my FREE $20 discounts and my FREE ActiveAdvantage offer.By confirming my email address and clicking YES, I'm indicating that I've read and agree to the offer details and authorize to automatically transfer my name, address, and credit card information to the Active Network, Inc. for membership processing.
OFFER DETAILS: Start your FREE 30 day trial with our compliments. If you decide not to continue your ActiveAdvantage membership, simply call us at [protected], x2 to cancel during your trial. Otherwise, we'll automatically extend your ActiveAdvantage member benefits for a full year for just $4.99 a month, billed annually, and renew them each year upon expiration at the then-current fee, billed to your first available registered credit card. Your credit card will not be charged during your free trial period.
You are always protected by our Money Back Guarantee! If you are ever dissatisfied during your trial or thereafter, simply call us to cancel your membership and you'll receive a pro-rata refund of the annual fee, no questions asked.
Click here for full details on your FREE $20.00 gift.

Apparently I did receive another email from asking if I still wanted to keep the membership, before they charged my credit card. However, it looks like my SPAM blocker got rid of it (I can just see the title of the email and not what was in the email.) Anyway, the gentleman who helped me at was nice and kept reassuring me that "this was not a scam." Maybe not, but I hope my race organizers choose a different registration provider next year.

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  • Bo
      Sep 12, 2009

    I just noticed the same charge on my bill as well. I will never sign up for another marathon using and I will make sure to inform all of my running partners about this issue with I also contacted my bank and informed them that it was NOT an authorized charge and I wanted a case to be established regarding a "fraudulent charge." They are going to credit my account and file a claim against

    +1 Votes
  • Da
      Oct 05, 2009

    I had the same experience - only I definitely did NOT accept the ActiveAdvantage membership, I specifically remember declining it. They charged me anyway. I've now been on hold for 40 minutes trying to get someone to cancel the charge, I'm about to give up and just dispute it with my credit card company.

    So far as I'm concerned, this IS a scam and I will never enter another event where I have to register via

    If I could figure out where they were located I'd make a complaint with the Better Business Bureau too.

    0 Votes
  • Jo
      Oct 14, 2009

    I just discovered this charge yesterday when I went to look for my race registration form to print out. It states that on 7/12 and email was sent notifying me that my trial membership was coming to an end. I looked into this and they did in fact send an email, the subject line of which read: "ActiveAdvantage Tip of the Week". Obviously this is an email that no right-minded person would think to open (assuming it wasn't filtered out as SPAM in the 1st place). With this as my ONLY notification, they proceeded to take $59.95 out of my account. I can't think of who would pay this much for a collection of tips and discounts; it is obvious to me that this scam is how this particular company probably makes most of its money.

    It really bothers me that a supposed wholesome event like a marathon would associate themselves with this sort of company. I would expect this from a sports gambling website or online poker tournament. Not from a non-profit race event.

    I will be making calls tommorrow to, the Toledo and Columbus marathons, and the BBB if they refuse to credit my account. I as well will refuse to sign up through this company in the future.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      Jan 26, 2010

    I was just sent a renewal so apparently we have had this for a year and didn't know it.
    I called and cancelled right away but was told I could not get a refund for last year. the "supervisor" was at lunch and is supposed to call me back. we'll see...

    0 Votes
  • Gi
      Jan 29, 2010

    I got this $59.95 charge on my credit card in my January bill. I signed up for a cycling tour that was held in September. The customer service person cancelled the charge and sent me an email saying it would be refunded, but this is obviously just a scam.

    I remember being asked to register for after signing up for the event, but before the confirmation page came up, so it seemed like I had to fill out this second registration form. There didn't seem to be any way around it. It seemed confusing and duplicative, but I distinctly remember the word FREE. I didn't want to do it, mostly because it seemed like I would get spammed with useless exercise tips.

    I have emailed the organizers of the ride and asked them not to use for their events. I urge people not to use for payment, and to ask organizers to use another third-party processor.

    0 Votes
  • Ja
      Feb 27, 2010

    I think I managed to avoid the scam fee, but that doesn't change the fact that their website also does not work and customer service is completely unresponsive. I signed up for a relay race and now need to register my team. Every part of the site I click on says that I don't have permission to view my registration. No answer on the phone; emails go unresponded to. Race Directors, there HAS to be a better option than!

    0 Votes
  • Ac
      Feb 27, 2010 is a low class, unprofessional organization preying on athletes and kids. I participate in lots of events [triathlons, openwater swims, runs] and I have to register my kids for lots of sports. Problem is they have a near stranglehold on sports registration and I constantly have trouble with these jerks. My latest story goes like this: I register my older son for his age group, then hit a button titled "register another child" then I type in my younger sons' information and their website messes everything up. Long story short -- they mixed up the kids information put them in the wrong age groups, charged me the wrong amount (more of course) and refused to work with me to correct it. They got all the registration info wrong and charged me the wrong amount! When I asked them to correct it they told me I had to work with the Event Director that they couldn't do anything about it. And for this they charged me $36.00 ($18.00 per child) registration service fee!!! I contacted my credit card to dispute the service fee charge and they told me that we couldn't since there really is no definition of the 'service fee' with which to claim that they hadn't provided the service. I guess their service is to screw everything up and do nothing to fix it. Such a bargain for $26.oo, huh?

    I've put up with all their stinking spam, I've navigating around their misleading membership fees and been only mildly annoyed at their audacity at trying to sell me magazines every time I register for a 10K. But this ridiculous behavior has to stop somewhere.


    0 Votes
  • Jo
      Mar 10, 2010

    I was on the phone with these people after waiting more than 40 minutes and guess what? They hung up on me. They canceled the "free" -- 60$ -- membership which I never signed up for or authorized the use of my card for, but the service was downright abysmal. What kind of customer service is this?????

    0 Votes
  • Sh
      Apr 14, 2010

    OK--I note all the complaints and would prefer not to use as our race registration. IDEAS for alternative registration sites? Any help would be appreciated!

    0 Votes
  • Mr
      Jul 06, 2010

    I actually had a pleasant phone call with them when I just called. I wasn't even put on hold. My phone call totaled 2 mins. I told the lady that I did not accept the membership when signing up for my race and need the charge to be removed. She was very cordial and didn't ask any questions. She graciously cancelled the membership and refunded the charge along w sending me a confirmation email stating my membership had been cancelled.

    All in all this was a good experience!

    0 Votes
  • Aa
      Jul 16, 2010

    It's not a scam at all - each registration I've made I have been able to decline it - I don't understand how you can misunderstand it assuming you actually read it!

    0 Votes
  • Xx
      Jul 16, 2010

    Well are obviously in the minority so shut the [censor] up.

    0 Votes
  • Je
      Jul 30, 2010

    THis company SUCKS!! My story is just like everyone else's here. I had my son registered for the Keebler marathon for $13 then a mysterious charge came up on my account of $59.95. i was FURIOUS!!! I called them and demanded they refund the money plus interest for being sneaky [censor], and the lady calmly said "the only thing we can do, sir is refund the exact amount"

    -1 Votes
  • Rc
      Aug 10, 2010

    I had the same experience as the majority of folks on this site have mentioned (except aabro of course, who is obviously on the payroll.) Anyway, the methods uses are deceptive to say the least and illegal in some states (apparently California is a bit lax on its consumer protection laws.) To be fair though, their fine print does state (miles down the page after several promises of absolutely free gifts for using their serices to register for a race) that you are actually signing up for some sort of "membership" to something. To what, they never say.

    In addition, for those of us who may have been suckered by these criminals, at no time do they ever send any type of follow-up or confirmation e-mail stating that you have signed up for a "membership." Additionally, they do not provide you with any type of "membership" card or any materials that would indicate what your "membership" is to or what it is for.

    This is nothing more than a bad faith money making scheme. (Take the time and google the term "bad faith" if you are not familiar with it.) The risk to is minimal because technically, what they are doing, while [censor] and underhanded, is not illegal. They are able to sucker in enough of us that a good percentage will never notice the $59.95 charge on their credit card and will never dispute it. And since they are not actually selling anything there is no overhead for them and whatever money is not disputed is pure profit for It's actually a brilliant money making scheme - if you can abandon your conscience and you don't mind making money by tricking people. I prefer to make my money the old fashioned way. I say, if you can avoid, do so at all costs!!!

    0 Votes
  • Gf
      Aug 21, 2010

    I used to work at but do not any longer. However, I am familiar with this program and have signed up for it in the past.

    Active Advantage is similar to the Entertainment Book memberships that organizations use for fundraising.

    It does pay to join if you run in a lot of various events since runs registration services for over 90% of race events and the membership gives you a discount off of each registration.

    You also get discounts off of various organizations that market to folks who lead an "active" lifestyle.

    Take it or leave it, but it is not a scam.

    More info available at

    -1 Votes
  • Dj
      Sep 01, 2010

    Yes, methods are deceptive and they are hard to get in touch with. They e-mailed me verifying that they WOULD NOT charge my credit card when I notified that I was NOT renewing - only to find the charges on my credit card. I had no clue that my registration to a bike race that was supossedly supporting a charitable need - would create this mess. I am pretty darn saavy when it comes to these scam type of things... yet, this one got by me with a bike race I signed up for about a year ago. MAKES ME WANT TO NEVER SIGN UP FOR THAT RACE AGAIN - even though it benefited a great cause. I TOO have e-mail that race organizer. Yes, Race directors and organizers you need to stop supporting this unscrupulous organization!

    Amazing how the responder above said I USED to work at Well I certainly think that Entertainment Book Memberships are upfront as to what they actually are all about... NOT

    +1 Votes
  • Na
      Oct 30, 2010 sold my e-mail address and now I receive 5+ emails a day from a pharmacy company in Belize called Online Pharm Stock LTD. I've requested several times over to remove me from their list but they refuse to do so. I started receiving e-mails from this pharmacy company within 24 hours of registering on for a runner's race. I contacted via e-mail and the guy responded that my e-mail was not sold. Well.. then how in the crap did this pharmacy company get my information and how in the heck did the other "physical fitness" places get my e-mail as well. I was able to "unsubscribe" to the physical fitness e-mails but this company in Belize won't leave me alone! I will never again use and I will let everyone know that sells their registrant's e-mail addresses!

    -1 Votes
  • Pe
      Nov 12, 2010


    0 Votes
  • Ru
      Dec 02, 2010

    I registered for a marathon using and had a similar experience. I went back to re-read the page where I supposedly signed up. The wording is very vague and in small print at the bottom of the page. It also followed the words "FREE" printed in all caps multiple times. A month later, I recieved an email titled "ActiveAdvantage Membership" and almost deleted it, assuming it was spam. I am glad I actually opened it because I was very surprised to find that my credit card was charged $59 for a membership that I did not want and do not remember signing up for. Although the customer service representative quickly corrected the problem, I can't help but feel cheated. The process is meant to intentionally decieve people, which seems very low. I hope changes thier methods or event planners stop using them for event registration.

    0 Votes
  • Bl
      Jun 29, 2011

    Tell your friends, buddies and race directors, there is a new kid on the block. Bswarms registration. We have nothing even remotely like that, register for your race and enjoy the race. The End.

    0 Votes
  • Su
      Mar 27, 2015

    I myself was bamboozled, signed up for a race and they took my card without my authorization and charged me a year for 3 magazines people, light cooking and women magazine total $170.00. I have never authorized this charge.

    0 Votes
  • Dn
      Mar 20, 2016

    I see a charge on my bank account for $8.00 from an 877-228-4881 titled ACT next to it. When I called the number to find out what it was, they claimed they were closed. The concern is, I NEVER REGISTERED for a race, so how the hell did they get my bank account number????? This is a scam!

    0 Votes
  • Wi
      May 19, 2019
    Active Network - Unauthorized charge
    United States

    Like others here, I was charged $89 for a "membership" without by consent or authorization.

    0 Votes

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