Minnesota's Attorney General warned consumers to check their credit card statements for extra service charges after accusing Discover Card representatives of deceptive marketing practices. Lori Swanson announced the lawsuit in a statement to reporters this month, alleging that Discover's telemarketing team tricked cardholders into signing up for expensive services during aggressive phone calls.

Swanson's office obtained transcripts of phone conversations between Discover Card representatives and cardholders, then released them to publications including the New York Times. Investigators claim that the phone representatives quickly read through confusing terms and conditions for the card's payment protection and identity protection plans, then waited for a customer to say an affirmative phrase like "okay," "uh-huh" or "correct" to justify processing an order.

Unlike other telemarketers, credit card companies already have payment information on file, Swanson said. Swanson advised affected cardholders to contact their credit card issuers for refunds and to review information about a related, pending class action lawsuit. Discover Card recently won awards for its customer service call centers, but the Minnesota lawsuits primarily focus on the activities of a subsidiary marketing company.

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Joe Taylor Jr. is an internal business consultant for a Fortune 500 company, who writes about finance, culture, and design. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Ithaca College.