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Steer clear of buyers clubs, group warns

SHARE Steer clear of buyers clubs, group warns

The National Consumer's League, a nonprofit advocacy group, is urging consumers to avoid buyers clubs after fielding huge numbers of complaints from people who have found charges on credit cards they didn't make and debits from their bank accounts for memberships in buyers clubs that they never authorized.

Often, customers called to buy merchandise advertised on TV. The prices often are unusually low and customers are required to pay shipping costs. But nearly hidden in the fine print is information telling the customer that he or she will be enrolled in the club. Other contacts come from telemarketers.

Some customers also have received "welcome packets" for memberships they never requested with notices stating that the customer has been automatically enrolled unless the customer notifies the club and says otherwise. Club phone numbers often are not functional.