The attorney general of Minnesota, Lori Swanson, along with many consumer advocates, are accusing Discover Bank of engaging in deceptive business practices to enroll credit card consumers for its payment protection program and other financial add-on products.
"The company charged some consumers for expensive add-on financial products without their understanding that their credit cards would be charged. The irony is that the credit card company markets these products as a way for consumers to protect themselves from fraudulent or unauthorized credit card charges and financial instability in the bad economy," Ms. Swanson said in a statement.
The lawsuit alleges that Discover Bank and its affiliated processing company made aggressive and misleading telemarketing calls to sign people up for these products, tricking people to sign up for the add-on products and in some cases, charging consumers for enrollment without agreement from the consumer. This, the state alleges, would have been easier for Discover to do than your standard issue telemarketer because Discover already had access to their credit card numbers.
Credit card consumers need to be aware of the fact that many banks are looking for additional sources of revenue as credit card usage decreases and the affects of restrictive credit card laws take its tolls on bank profits. Some of these credit card companies may be willing to leverage their access to your credit card and use deception in order to sign you up for products that you did not agree to or that you agreed to unwittingly. Take the time to review your credit card statement each month and make sure that you are not signed up for products you did not order. If you find discrepancies contact the credit card company in writing and over the phone.