Monday, November 23, 2009

E-tailers snagged in marketing 'scam' blame customers

First, the good news for consumers: the U.S. government's investigation into how dozens of well-known online stores worked with controversial marketers to "deceive" customers out of $1.4 billion has prompted some retailers, including Continental Airlines, to sever ties with the marketers.

Now, the bad news: the marketers--Affinion, Vertrue, and Webloyalty--are still in business and judging from the responses of many of the retailers involved, such as Priceline,, FTD, Shutterfly, and Orbitz, it will be business as usual. They see nothing wrong with the marketing practices that millions of angry online shoppers and members of the U.S. Senate have called a "scam," "robbery" and "theft."