Hi everybody,

I hope this is the right place to inquire about this. I have some 
information about a possible problem with the company handling 
registration for code4lib. I recently noticed a suspicious charge on my 
credit card for the amount of $64.95. The charge showed up as 
ACT*ACTIVE-NETWORK. After some investigation I found out this was from a 
company called ACTIVE Network, LLC. Apparently this company handles 
registration for events.

To my dismay I found out that I had been charged for this annually since 
2013. I'm very embarrassed that 1. I didn't notice this during the 
registration process and 2. I didn't catch the charges earlier. Anyhow, 
after a quick email search I found something surprising; I had received 
emails from this company at my /work/ email address. I never noticed the 
emails because they looked like junkmail, however, upon reviewing them I 
discovered that at some point I had supposedly registered for a free 
trial that ended after a month, at which point I was automatically 
enrolled into an annual subscription. Needless to say, I//did /not/ ever 
sign up for any trial or subscription, at least not to my knowledge.

Since I have only used my personal credit card for work purposes 3 
times, it was easy to tie this to code4lib 2013. I looked at my receipt 
for code4lib 2013 and saw that something called RegOnline (owned by 
Lanyon Solutions Inc) was used to process my event registration. Though 
I'm not sure this is the same company, RegOnline, Lanyon Solutions Inc, 
and ACTIVE Network, LLC all share the same physical address. I suspect 
these three companies are one and the same and will refer to them as 
ACTIVE Network, LLC for the rest of this email.

I did a little investigating and found out that ACTIVE Network, LLC. 
uses unscrupulous business practices to trick people into singing up for 
their annual subscription. The crux of this is an "automatic opt-in" 
they employ while processing enrollments for third parties. Though I'm 
very embarrassed I didn't catch this, in my own defense I wasn't 
expecting it while registering for an academic conference. I'm not 
blaming anyone nor am I angry with anyone on this list. I only send this 
email to inquire and inform:

 1. To see if anyone else has had a similar experience.
 2. To warn other people from code4lib to check their bank statements.
 3. To plead with the community to stop using ACTIVE Network, LLC and
    anything affiliated with them for registration.

Let me be frank for a moment. ACTIVE Network, LLC engages in highly 
unethical business practices. I did not intend to enroll in any annual 
subscriptions when I registered for code4lib and I never would have 
agreed to anything of the sort had I noticed what was happening. 
Additionally, the subscription isn't at all relevant to code4lib. I'm 
not even sure what value is being provided by the subscription. I think 
it has something to do with coupons for outdoor exercise equipment but 
I'm not even sure. Also, these guys are bad. They lost class action 
lawsuits in Iowa and Vermont. In fact, this whole thing is just bad all 
around. Since noticing the fraudulent charges this morning, I've already 
disputed them with my bank and filed a formal complaint against ACTIVE 
Network, LLC with the better business bureau. Apparently I'm not the 
only one:


I apologize if I've made an error in my investigation or if I've done 
something inappropriate by emailing this list. I can't imagine that 
anyone would have intended anything like this but I thought you should 
all be aware.


Brad Busenius
Web Administrator
The University of Chicago Library
(773) 702-4391