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Class Action Accuses Internet Retailer Of Defrauding Customers

BOSTON (CN) - Webloyalty.com and its "partners," including Kraft Foods, cheat online consumers by charging monthly fees for a deceptive "Reservation Rewards membership program," a class-action complaint claims in Federal Court.

Webloyalty asks online shoppers if they want a discount on their next purchase, and if they click Yes, and enter their email address twice, "their confidential credit card or bank debit card information, submitted to carry out the original, legitimate retail transaction, is secretly obtained and/or intercepted by Webloyalty," the complaint states. Webloyalty then charges $7 to $10 a month for bogus "benefits" such as "roadside assistance, hotel overbooking and baggage insurance" which are fraudulent because the "unwitting 'subscribers'" don't know they have them and don't use them, or because the benefits do not really exist, the complaint states. Webloyalty calls its partners in the deception "e-tailers" and pays them "$2 for each consumer who is duped," the suit states. Defendants include Kraft subsidiary Victor Th. Engwall & Co. and its Internet commerce division, Gevalia.com. Plaintiffs demand punitive damages for theft, unjust enrichment, and privacy and commercial violations. They are represented by Phillips & Garcia of North Dartmouth, Mass. See complaint.

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