Postscript: Preacquired Account Marketing

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I tried to go about this series in a professional manner, contacting all parties to get their reaction.

Budget Rent A Car Gives Out Your Credit Card Number To Scammers
More On Negative Option Billing and Preaquired Account Marketing
Budget Has No Clue Which Credit Card They Are Giving Out To Scammers
The Sad Truth About The Budget Trilegiant Scam

I asked Professor Ben Edelman if he ever heard back from American Express or any of the other credit card companies he wrote to.    Professor Edelman was kind enough to reply:

Thanks for the note.  I read through your four-part post and enjoyed it.  My best suggestion on strategy: Keep pushing Budget and Amex…

As you saw, I wrote to the big three card networks.  But I haven’t received any substantial response.  I received a superficial response (roughly: “we received your letter and are appreciate your interest”) form one of the three, and no response from the other two.

My contact at American Express as willing to offer this comment:

Jason – I completely understand your concerns, and we share those concerns, which is why as I mentioned we’re looking at our policies and these companies’ disclosures. As I mentioned, I have shared your experience, blog posts and the issue with Trilegient with our internal teams to review this circumstance closely.

While American Express failed to explain how Budget and Trilegiant have been flagrantly violating their cardmember agreement for years, at least they agreed to look into it.

Budget’s only reply was:

Thanks for the email. We have referred your inquiry to Trilegiant.

I hold no illusion that I was going to bring down Trilegiant/Affinion when Senator Rockefeller and Professors Edelman and Cox haven’t been able to.    I am just one more voice speaking out against this.

American Express, Visa, and Mastercard could enforce their existing cardmember agreements tomorrow, ending this practice, but I see no evidence that they are prepared to do that.

Ultimately, it will take congressional action to prohibit these practices.   As we have seen with the CARD act, credit card reform comes once in a generation, so I will not hold my breath.

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One Response to “Postscript: Preacquired Account Marketing”

  1. Eric Says:

    ugh so helpless. damn corporates.

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Paul