Minnesota Attorney General's Office
1400 Bremer Tower
445 Minnesota Street
St. Paul, MN 55101
M - F 8 am - 5 pm
November 22, 2011
ATTORNEY GENERAL SWANSON SETTLES DISCOVER BANK LAWSUIT
Attorney General Lori Swanson has settled a lawsuit against Discover Bank, banning the company from enrolling and charging customers for optional financial products, such as “Payment Protection,” “Identity Theft Protection,” “Wallet Protection,” and “Credit Score Tracker,” without the customer’s clear authorization.
The lawsuit alleged that Discover made aggressive, misleading, and deceptive telemarketing calls to sign people up for optional financial products, in some cases, charging people’s credit cards for enrollment even though the consumer did not agree to purchase anything. In other cases, the company tricked people into unknowingly signing up for these products, usually by inducing consumers to say “ok” or “yes” to a benign statement without understanding they are signing up and then treating that response as authorization to bill their credit cards. In many cases, Discover refused to make refunds to aggrieved consumers. To read the initial announcement of the lawsuit, click here.
Under the settlement, Discover is prohibited from enrolling customers in such optional financial products without their clear authorization, and will be required to:
- Provide automatic refunds to consumers who complain about being enrolled in optional products, or provide to the consumer the telemarketing tape recording documenting that the consumer agreed to purchase the product.
- Produce tape recordings of its telemarketing calls to the Attorney General on-demand so that the Attorney General’s Office can ensure that the company is complying with the settlement.
- Pay $2 million to the State of Minnesota for the benefit of those who were signed-up for optional financial products without their consent, through a claims process.
How to File a Claim. Consumers who believe they may have been victimized by Discover’s practices may file a claim with the Attorney General’s Office and may be eligible for a payment from the settlement. Consumer’s may download a Complaint Form by clicking here and mail the completed form to the Attorney General's Office at: 1400 Bremer Tower, 445 Minnesota Street, St. Paul, MN 55101-2131.
Consumers with questions about the Discover settlement can also contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-800-657-3787 or (651) 296-3353, or by sending a letter to the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, 1400 Bremer Tower, St. Paul, Minnesota 55101-2131.