Payday Loan Marketer Settles with FTC

If you ask me, payday loans are a permission challenged industry, when it comes to email marketing. Companies are buying leads, selling leads, working with multiple data partners, emailing at a high frequency, always pushing to get more mail out, find new signup streams, etc.

Well, sounds like email marketing is not the only way in which this kind of company can be permission challenged. According to the FTC, "the technology officer of a payday loan marketer has agreed to pay $850,000 to settle FTC charges for his role in an allegedly deceptive and unfair scheme that allegedly debited the bank accounts of hundreds of thousands of cash-strapped consumers in violation of federal law."

The settlement with "Jason Strober, the Vice President of Product Development and/or Engineering of Swish Marketing, bars him from misrepresenting material facts about a product or service, such as the cost or the method for charging consumers. He also is permanently prohibited from misrepresenting that a product or service is free or a “bonus” without disclosing all material terms and conditions, and from charging consumers without first disclosing what billing information will be used, the amount to be paid, how and on whose account the payment will be assessed, and all material terms and conditions. The order further requires that transactions be affirmatively authorized by consumers, and that Strober, in marketing financial products or services, monitor his affiliates to ensure compliance with the order. He also is required to provide specific cooperation to the FTC in its ongoing litigation. In addition, the order requires him to pay $850,000."

Note my emphasis above. I think the FTC is making it very clear that, in their opinion, the issue was consent, or the lack thereof. Pre-checked checkboxes and unclear disclosures led consumers to incur charges for things without being adequately informed about said charges.

[ H/T: The Consumerist ]

1 comment:

  1. Payday loans are predatory and, well, just plain evil. I don't see why anyone would expect them to behave any better in their marketing than in their core business.


Comments policy: Al is always right. Kidding, mostly. Be polite, and you're welcome to join in, even if it's a differing viewpoint.