LOS ANGELES (CN) – Commerce Planet bilked customers through a hidden “negative option continuity plan” when they ordered “free online auction kits” that promised they could make money on eBay by charging customers’ credit cards for “shipping,” the Federal Trade Commission says.
The company pushed its scam through pop-ups, emails, and sponsored links, the FTC says. It also sued Commerce Planet executives Michael Hill and Charles Gugliuzza.
When customers ordered the kit, they were asked for their credit card for “shipping” purposes, and were unknowingly enrolled in the company’s “negative option continuity plan. They were charged hundreds of dollars before they realized what was happening, the FTC says.
Commerce Planet made it difficult or impossible for victims to cancel, and refused to issue refunds, the FTC says. Some had to cancel their credit cards to stop the money drain.
The FTC seeks an injunction, refunds and damages, in Federal Court.