A rash of customer complaints spurs discussion as to whether or not Active.com is intentionally scamming event registrants.

Over the years, consumers have fielded a fair number of complaints about Active.com, calling Active.com a scam — or worse.

Well, let’s be clear: we don’t think Active.com is a scam. But from what we can see, Active clearly has used practices that leave race and camp registrants feeling a little ripped off.

Let’s look at some of the complaints:

Active camps running scam?

Active Network "Scam"

Not too long ago, Active.com was pushing the Active Network.

This “membership club” gives you discounts on various events and products. That, of course, was fine. The problem was the way they sold and collected these fees was by slipping the Active Network signup into the registration process.

Many folks didn’t notice and were soon charged big money for their membership — but couldn’t figure out why.

Can't Escape the Network

If joining the network was a problem, a bigger issue was (Or is? Let us know if you have recent reports) getting out of the network.

Many camp registrants say that once they joined, they were unable to quickly and efficiently cancel their membership. The result was extra credit card charges for the Active Network and a host of “free” but unwanted extras, like magazine subscriptions.

Pop-up Ads

Another common complaint from camp and race organizers is that even though they pay fees to use Active.com’s registration services, their registrants are forced to pick through ads — sometimes lots of them — before getting to sign up.

It starts early, often with pop-up ads on the home page and has, at least in the past, carried throughout the entire registration process.

Advertising, particularly on Active’s directory, appears to be a core part of their business model and unlikely to end soon.

Unauthorized Charges

Many of the folks calling Active.com a scam point to “mystery charges” that they don’t remember signing up for. But more notably, there seem to be an awful lot of Active.com complaints about customer service.

The complaints about Active.com are varied, but mostly revolve around unauthorized charges — or, if authorized, the registrant didn’t realize it — and the company’s approach to addressing such complaints.

The Bottom Line: We Don't Think Active.com is a Scam

Nor do we think the Active Network is a scam. But…

We highly encourage our customers who are considering “upgrading” to Active.com to go through the registration process themselves and decide if it is simple, fair and honest.

Active.com is a huge company. HUGE! There can be advantages to this, but it is also easy for a company like this to let the user experience slide in favor of a short-term boost in profits.

At NetCamps, we always put our users first. We don’t accept third-party advertising and do not sell your registrants additional products. We believe this is the right way to handle things. And we are happy to say that hundreds of camp organizers agree.

Learn more about our registration software here. Or contact us… we’re happy to help.