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1 CA, United States 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 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 | activeadvantage@active.Com

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  • Ah
      8th of Dec, 2009
    +1 Votes

    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.

  • Si
      27th of Dec, 2009
    +2 Votes

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

  • Tr
      3rd of Feb, 2010
    +2 Votes

    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!

  • Di
      15th of Feb, 2010
    +3 Votes


    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 1-877-228-4881. 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)

  • Am
      18th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    I had the same issue. I emailed Active Network's COO, Jon Belmonte, whose email address is 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.

  • Bi
      18th of Feb, 2010
    -2 Votes

    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.

  • Jc
      20th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    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.

  • A3
      23rd of Feb, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Now if you call the number shown on the website and on your credit card bill (877-228-4881), 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.

  • Bb
      15th of Mar, 2010
    +1 Votes

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

    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

  • Ra
      27th of Mar, 2010
    +2 Votes

    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.

  • Ma
      11th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    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.


  • Ih
      19th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

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

  • Ih
      19th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    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!!!

  • Ru
      20th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    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.

  • Da
      10th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    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.

  • La
      14th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    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.

  • Ju
      18th of Jun, 2010
    0 Votes

    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.

  • Ma
      29th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    7.29.10 I just balanced my developmentally disabled daughter's checkbook and saw the charge for 59.95 on her statement from "Active 877-228-4881". 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 877-228-4881 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.

  • Ne
      23rd of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    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.

  • Sa
      24th of Aug, 2010
    +1 Votes

    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.

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