WASHINGTON (7/6/15)--Alleged unfair charges for add-on credit card products led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to act against two companies last week. Affinion Group Holdings Inc., its affiliated companies and Intersections Inc. are the subject of proposed consent orders that would require nearly $10 million in penalties and consumer relief.
Affinion enrolled consumers in add-on products that claimed to provide consumers with benefits including credit monitoring, credit report retrieval, or both. Consumers generally paid between $6.95 and $15.99 per month for these products.
The bureau alleges that Affinion or its partner banks billed full product fees to at least 73,000 accounts while failing to provide the full credit monitoring or credit report retrieval services promised. It also failed to refund fees to those consumers.
Intersections is alleged to have sold credit access and notification products to roughly 300,000 consumers for which it did not provide the paid-for benefits. According to the bureau, the vast majority of those consumers have received refunds.
Under the proposed consent orders, Affinion would pay $6.8 million in monetary relief to affected consumers and $1.9 million in civil money penalties. Intersections would pay roughly $55,000 in monetary relief and $1.2 million in civil money penalties.