Today’s Fight: Trilegiant

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

You’ve probably seen them before. The offers come with your credit card statement each month, or in banner ads on your favorite website. They always offer a free or low cost trial of some service you’ve never heard of that you can cancel at any time, and oh yeah – they’ll give you a free gift card just for trying it out! What a deal! Right?

The company behind most of these offers is called Trilegiant, but you’ll see their services under the names CompleteHome, Great Fun, and AutoVantage, amongst others. Kind of like the credit card companies they often advertise through, they put out the almost to good to be true offer in hopes that the consumer will screw up and they’ll make a lot of money off of you. If you read the terms closely, if you don’t cancel within the trial period, your credit card will be billed for the full amount of a year’s membership, usually around $120 per year.

Luckily I am too smart to get caught in their trap, so I signed up for several of their programs, submitted the forms for the promotional bonuses, and cancelled. Unfortunately most of the bonuses never came, and today in the mail I figured out why. They sent me a letter (see attached, 20070904_tlg_0001.jpg) stating that I and/or other members of my household were abusing their services by signing up for the services for the promotional bonuses and they had cancelled my memberships (actually I cancelled them, but minor point). My brother-in-law, who lives with us and has been doing this game longer than I have, got the same letter.

However, if you read their terms, what we did is totally legit and they should still be obligated to give us our bonuses. As such, I sent the following letter to them today:

To whom it may concern:

I am quite disappointed that Trilegiant has felt the need to send me a letter informing me that they have chosen to cancel my memberships in its membership programs. Although the letter and cancellations ultimately have no effect since I had already cancelled memberships in Trilegiant programs, I am quite offended at the accusation of “abusing our services”.

I will freely admit that I signed up for several Trilegiant programs because of the promotion items that were offered as a bonus for joining. However, there is nothing in the terms of the offers which prohibits signing up for more than one Trilegiant service, cancelling said services before the trial period expires, or even signing up for services more than once in a given period. None of these points are addressed in your terms, and the signup pages for these offers simply indicate that by trying the service and completing the provided form, your promotion bonus will be sent.

As I violated none of your terms, my actions do not constitute abuse of your services. Furthermore, as I did not violate any of your terms of service and I fulfilled the terms of these offers, namely by joining the services, paying the trial membership fee, and completing the provided forms, I am fully due the promotional bonuses that your company has so far failed to send. Per my records, I am still due the following promotional bonuses in connection with Trilegiant offers:

  • AutoVantage Gold (Member #5508XXXX) – $50.00 ExxonMobil Gift Card
  • Clever Clubhouse (Member #5508XXXX) – $20.00 Blockbuster Video Gift Card
  • CompleteHome (Member #5508XXXX) – $50.00 Lowe’s Gift Card
  • HealthSaver (Member #5508XXXX) – $20.00 Bed Bath and Beyond Gift Card
  • PC Safety Plus (Member #5508XXXX) – $20.00 Cash Back
  • Travelers’ Advantage (Member #5508XXXX) – $20.00 ExxonMobil Gift Card
  • Everyday Values (Member #5508XXXX) – $20.00 Cash Back
  • Great Fun (Member #5508XXXX) – $20.00 ExxonMobil Gift Card

Although Trilegiant does reserve in its terms the right to modify offers and cancel membership, it failed to do so prior to my acceptance of the promotional bonus offers, thus it is still fully liable for honoring these offers.

Please send all of the promotional items due to the address listed above. Note that if any of the promotional items promised are not received by September 25, 2007, I will be filling formal complaints against Trilegiant with the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, and the Office of Attorney General for the states of Texas and Connecticut, citing your false advertising and other unfair trade practices. I also retain the right to pursue collection of these claims through any other legal means necessary.

Regards, BOE

Now to see if I actually get a response. I’m not holding my breath on that one, though.

If you are interested in raping and pillaging Trilegiant for promotional bonuses, I’ll post some tips on that tomorrow. =)


September 11, 2007 - Posted by | Customer Service


  1. Psst, it’s tomorrow; I need “raping and pillaging” tips. 🙂

    (btw, I’m the “blog reading king of the Southwest” that Carie mentioned…)


    Comment by wes m | September 12, 2007

  2. Sorry – today was a bit too eventful to post. Provided there are no surprises, we should have the raping and pillaging tips tomorrow. =)

    Comment by billyoceanseleven | September 12, 2007

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