Vertrue, the World’s Most Saintly Company

By  |  Tuesday, November 24, 2009 at 3:32 pm

As I mentioned earlier today, I recently discovered that I was a newly-inducted member of something called SavingsAce, a discount club that had begun charging me $25 a month. I called it, canceled, and got my twenty-five bucks back. I also asked how I came to be a member, and the rep told me that I’d agreed to join in return for a $10 discount on a purchase I’d made from information provider Intelius. I had indeed made a purchase at Intelius, but remembered neither agreeing to join SavingsAce nor being offered $10 back. So I called Intelius.

That company told me that it had never offered me $10 back, that any dispute I had was with SavingsAce, and that it had never turned my credit-card information over to SavingsAce. The last assertion is, as far as I can tell, an outright lie: The whole point of these offers is that they involve an online merchant turning over the credit card details to a third party during the purchase process.

All of which leaves me feeling like a patsy. At least I have lots of company, as revealed in the U.S. Senate’s investigation of post-transaction offers by SavingsAce and its competitors.

Anyhow, I continued on to research SavingsAce. The program is offered by a company called Adaptive Marketing, which is part of Vertrue–one of the “leaders” in these offers. I checked out Vertrue’s Web site, and found it…amusing.

For one thing, there’s the company’s corporate profile:

“…unrivaled opportunities to improve their lives?” Move over, medical breakthroughs and affordable housing!

Oh yeah, here’s the end of the¬†blurb on Adaptive Marketing, the Vertrue subsidiary responsible for SavingsAce.

No comment.

I also like Vertrue’s press-release library. Oddly, it hasn’t been updated in 2009. (Or not so oddly: It’s no fun to issue press releases on news like this.) But the company did publish a bunch of releases in 2008. And here they are.

Aid! Comfort! Stuffed animals! Feeding children! Healthy offices! Interns! Etiquette! Keeping America beautiful! Going green! Diversity! Fighting rising healthcare costs! And even an in-office art gallery!

But…nothing involving Internet marketing services.

Is it just me, or is it creepy when a company’s definition of itself as seen through what it deems to be newsworthy has nothing to do with its business activities and everything to do with stuff that’ll make it look like an asset to society?


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5 Comments For This Post

  1. Steve Wildstrom Says:

    I remember almost breaking out laughing when Intelius showed that check-out-your-date product at DEMOfall because the company’s dubious reputation left it in no position to pass on anyone else’s virtues (or Vertrues).

  2. cheapskatecharlie Says:

    Go get ’em Harry… It’s too bad it has taken this long before someone has pointed a bright spotlight on these creeps. This crap has been going on for years..

  3. GR Says:

    I was going to say “Go get’em Harry”. But someone beat me to it. In any case, Go Get ‘Em! The only thing “companies” like this respond to is outrage and pressure. Shine some light on these cockroaches.

  4. John Baxter Says:

    This whole bizarre business model (aka “Plan of Theft”) is an excellent argument for using the single-use (or single-vendor) credit card numbers some issuers offer.

  5. Beth Says:

    I just sent this letter to BBB – it involves Vertrue as well: I ordered concert tickets from a web-site (Ticketnetwork) some time ago (March 2011); I paid for express mail for delivery of the Tickets. Five days later I had to go to FEDEX to pickup the tickets because the company required a signature and I was never home at Noon when FEDEX delivers — I work too. So not only did I not get express service, which I paid for, I also lost money in that I had to drive to pickup that which I paid for by express service. Then, I get to the concert and I'm not in a padded reclining seat, which I paid ($300.00) for, but instead, I'm sitting in a fold-up chair that has a small amount of padding on it. To top that off, I just learned that since that purchase, I was enrolled in "Passporttofun", as this was offered as a "free" cuddo for purchasing the tickets. However, somewhere in the fine print apparently this "free" thing only lasted 30 days and then "sha-zam" they start charging your credit card a monthly fee for a service not ever rendered, as a matter of fact for almost a year I've been charged some hidden monthly fee. Why would a company share my credit card info with anyone else????? To get to the bottom of this I contacted PassporttoFun to request my money back…they informed me of the above "free 30 days" and how I was supposed to check my "spam email" to get an ID/Login for their web-site where I would have found some sort of discount shopping!!!!!! Also, I was informed that I could contact the Parent Company (Vertrue, 20 Glover St., Norwolk, CT 06850)for further information. I never authorized Ticketnetwork to share my credit card info first of all(I am filing a complaint on them as well) and Passporttofun should not be sending me a one time notification via email that they are charging me — by the way, the Agent I spoke to informed me that I never saw the email because it probably went to my spam inbox!!.

    So My complaint is that I've been charged thru hidden messaging from Ticketnetwork by PassporttoFun….and nobody wants to return the twice monthly fees of $20.00 that I've been charged since March 2011.

2 Trackbacks For This Post

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