Financial Literacy for Everyone

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Visa, FTC and BBB Partner to Educate Consumers about Online Scams

Visa Inc. joined the Federal Trade Commission and the Better Business Bureau in a press conference on Dec. 17, 2009 to alert consumers to online deceptive marketing practices associated with free trials with a negative option feature. According to a Visa survey, 29 percent of American consumers have fallen victim to deceptive marketing when unscrupulous e-commerce merchants require them to cancel or opt-out of a recurring charge for future products or services. With free trials with a negative option feature, a company takes a consumers failure to cancel as permission to begin charging. While many merchants use this billing process appropriately, others pre-check consent boxes, bury the details of the offers in the terms and conditions and make cancellations or returns difficult, catching consumers in a cycle of recurring change.