JEFFERSON CITY - Missourians have until Dec. 31 to file a claim for part of a lawsuit settlement announced Thursday by Attorney General Chris Koster's office.
The lawsuit was a result of Affinion, a marketing firm, and its subsidiaries engaging in what Koster called "deceptive practices."
Affinion and its marketing partners, which include banks and retailers, would deceive consumers by making them believe they were being offered a special deal. After the individual deposited a check, they would be hit with a membership that carried a monthly fee of up to $16 or an annual fee of up to $139.
The settlement encompasses consumers in 46 states. "The amout that is refunded to Missouri consumers will depend on how many consumers file claims and how much they had been charged," Koster's press secretary Nanci Gonder said in an email.
Gonder also wrote she couldn't predict what the numbers will be, but "we had hundreds of complaints from Missouri consumers just last year."
According to Koster's letter, "Affinion now must provide clear information to consumers about their memberships and what the consumer is purchasing, send reminders to consumers about their enrollment, and explain the cancellation process."
A spokesperson for Affinion wrote in an email that Trilegiant and Webloyalty, Affinion's subsidiaries, stopped these practices several years ago, and they were not significant contributors to revenues.
Affinion will also have to pay penalties to Missouri. Gonder said the exact amout was not known, but it would be "several hundred thousand dollars."
The total settlement was $30 million, of which $19 million will go to consumers in the form of refunds.