SEATTLE (CN) – Intelius bills customers $19.95 a month “in perpetuity” for Internet services they don’t know they are ordering, a class action claims in Federal Court. And Intelius profits twice, by getting a “bounty” from a marketer that “foists unwanted services” on customers, the class claims.
Intelius offers Internet services such as reverse telephone directories, people-search directories and background checks.
“When class members sign up for such services, they provide their credit/debit card information,” according to the complaint. “Through Intelius’ misleading ‘in-cart marketing’ and ‘post-transaction marketing’ efforts on its Web site, when the consumer purchases an Intelius product, the consumer also unknowingly enrolls in a subscription-based service with Intelius or Adaptive Marketing, LLC. The details and/or benefits of those subscription services generally are never made known to the consumer, yet the consumer is then later billed a significant monthly fee – often $19.95/month – in perpetuity.”
The class claims this “is a result of a July 10, 2007 marketing agreement … between Intelius Sales, LLC and Adaptive Marketing that provides for Intelius to transmit to Adaptive all the credit card and customer information it receives from selling Intelius products. For its part, Adaptive pays Intelius a ‘bounty’ – an undisclosed fee for each customer. In this way, Adaptive is able to foist unwanted services (and the related monthly charges) on unsuspecting consumers without full or adequate disclosure. Upon information and belief, this alliance between Intelius and Adaptive has caused consumers to unknowingly pay Adaptive (and thus, indirectly, Intelius) millions of dollars in nonexistent and/or unwanted services.” [Parentheses in complaint.]
Adaptive is not named as a defendant. The defendants are Intelius and Intelius Sales.
The class seeks restitution and treble damages for deceptive trade and consumer law violations. It is represented by Karin Swope with Keller Rohrback.