Reconnecting with a high school friend on Classmates.com might cost you

Don't waste your money

WXYZ - Have you ever had the urge to click on one of those ads that claim an old classmate is trying to find you?

Over the years, millions of people are succumbed to that temptation.

Remember seeing pop up ads from Classmates.com 5 or 10 years ago, claiming that an old friend was trying to reach you?

Turns out some people are still paying...and paying...for membership they thought ended years ago.

Back in the pre-Facebook days, Classmates.com was about the only way to find your mullet-wearing high school friends.

But many people who joined years ago complain they are still being billed.

In 2010, the site settled a class action claiming it deceived customers into paying for services they didn't want.

People who signed up -- like Sandra Poland -- received tiny checks or refunds for the hassle.

"It said I would get $2.00 off," Poland said.

Premium members get a little bit more.

"Now if I was actually a member, I'd get a $3.00 check," Poland said.

As meager as the settlement was, lawyers hoped it would end complaints about Classmates.com.  But it didn't.

A viewer, Maria Rupp, recently emailed the Don't Waste Your Money team to say "here it's 2013, with another $59.00 billed to our account."

The website consumeraffairs.com has posted more than 20 complaints so far in 2013 about auto renewals that won't stop.

And Better Business Bureau's says on January 14, 2013, the BBB recognized a pattern of complaints from consumers regarding billing issues, specifically automatic renewal of accounts without prior authorization or notifications.  But Classmates.com advised the BBB they require consumers to accept the terms and conditions of service prior to purchase...as it discloses key information related to the auto-renewal feature of paid memberships.

So you better read those terms and conditions carefully...because by giving your credit card, you agree to auto renewal each year unless you go back and end it.

Classmates.com is not doing anything illegal.

But if you keep getting charged for renewals and you don't want the service, contact them.  And always check your credit card statements for unexpected charges so you don't waste your money.

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