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Runners/Recreational Cyclists Beware – A New Scam… and The Fahrrad Tour in Frankenmuth

September 2014
« Aug   Oct »

I recently signed up for an event through and got quite a bit more than I bargained for out of that $20 entry fee.  As always, I don’t want to spend a whole lot of time tinkering with signing up for an event so I tend to horse through it…  Well, sure enough, I got bit by – a complete scam.  So much that I will be boycotting, from now on, any event that requires registry through Active.

See, when you sign up for the event, they sign you up for a “free” month membership with Active.  Sounds great, doesn’t it?  Unfortunately, at the end of that month they automatically bill your credit card for a full year membership (I’d bet there’s probably a way to opt out – my problem with them is they automatically opt you in) that costs $65 US.

So from this day forth, I’ll be publishing any local event that uses as a sign up so people can avoid them like the plague.

There it is…  The Frankenmuth Fahrrad Tour is the one that nailed me.

In any event, should you bump into when you’re registering for an event, either skip the event or proceed with excessive caution, those bastards are sneaky.

UPDATE: A credible friend of mine, in the comments section, disagreed with my assertion that the deal is a scam. He actually likes and uses his membership, so I’m inclined to leave the issue alone, even delete the post to the ether black hole save two things:
1. All I wanted to do was sign up for a 100k ride.
2. If I wanted a membership to active, I would go to their website and sign up for the membership. To automatically sign someone up and force them to cancel at a later date to avoid a $65 charge is shady. Plain and simple.


  1. magnuminsp says:

    It isn’t a “scam”. It is printed in black and white when you sign up:

    Start your 30-day trial for $1.99. If you decide to cancel your ACTIVE Advantage membership, contact us at or 866-561-0647 prior to the end of the 30-day trial period. Unless you cancel prior to the end of the 30 day free trial period, we will automatically extend your member benefits for a full year from the end of the trial period for $64.95, which we will automatically charge to the credit card entered below. Thereafter, unless canceled, your membership automatically renews for 1-year periods at the then-current membership fee, which we will automatically charge at the beginning of each new membership year to the same credit card. If you are ever dissatisfied with ACTIVE Advantage, contact us to cancel and to receive a pro-rated refund of the annual membership fee.

    Sorry partner, but if you failed to read the above, you got exactly what you signed up for.

    Just contact them and they will happily refund your money.

    Active is far from a scam and probably one of the best organizers there are. Sommer Sports on the other hand…………………………… 🙂

  2. I never sign up for the “FREE Trials” or 3 month magazine subscriptions on a lot of these registration sites. I’m too busy to go back and cancel them.
    I’ve had Active Advantage for two years now. The first year wasn’t great and I wrote several blog posts expressing my displeasure.
    They have really improved the program over the past year. After you sign up for 4 events they will rebate up to $65 for the 5th event. If you play your cards right you can get the full $65 back which covers the cost of membership.
    After the rebate, I’m running my fall marathon for $10.00!

    They are a business and they are out to make money.

  3. Sandra says:

    Every “free trial” is like this. I *never* sign up for them! 🙂

  4. Chris N. says:

    Definitely not a scam. I signed up for Active advantage trial two years ago AND I was aware of the “auto billing” after the trial feature was over.

    Now-a-days, everyone should already be aware of these “free trials” that will auto bill you after the period is over.

    Active advantage is great if you love to race though. When they have the “giveaways”, you do get great deals if you catch 2-3 a month. It pays for itself. I got about seven free races when I was a member. They also wave the “processing” fee when you check out.

  5. I did the exact same thing a few years ago. I signed up for a race and later saw the Active fee on my statement. I contacted them and they refunded me. I can’t boycott them because they handle a lot of the races I want to do, but I am very careful now when I sign up for these races.

    • bgddyjim says:

      The refunded my fee in full as well. Boycotting them will be tough for me too (and I truly don’t know if I’ll be able to – the ride they got me on is a perfect setup to the season). I’m going to try it though and I contacted the ride organizers to offer my criticism of Active’s automatic signup policy – that’s the part that chaps my ass. Automatically signing is deceptive as it gets and that stuff needs to stop.

  6. Negative billing sucks. I will not sign up for anything with a “free membership”.

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