He used the Minneapolis Super Bowl zipline, and is still getting charged 2 years later

There have been numerous complaints made about the company involved.
Publish date:
Nate Schimelpfenig

Nate Schimelpfenig was among the many who tried out the "Bold North" zipline across the Mississippi River as part of the Minneapolis Super Bowl 52 celebrations in January 2018.

Two years later, he's still getting charged for it.

The 36-year-old art director from St. Paul recently became aware of the charges when he received an email from the Active Network informing him that he had renewed his subscription.

The only problem was that to his knowledge, he had never taken out a subscription.

Active Network is a Texas-based company that offers software to be used in the organization of road races, outdoor activities, camps, and school events.

A further check of his "account" on Active.com showed that Schimelpfenig had paid the $36.14 including tax for the Bold North zipline on Jan. 10, 2018, but was subsequently charged $79.95 for an Active Advantage Membership on Feb. 9, 2018.

He was charged $89.95 for the same membership a year later, and again this past week, with the extra charges totaling just under $270.

Screen Shot 2020-02-11 at 1.12.34 PM

It turns out that when he paid for the zipline, he had been signed up for a "free" membership for 30 days, which he wasn't aware of.

"I still don't follow how I signed up and maintained a membership," he told BMTN, with the email he received confirming he had booked the zipline making no mention that he was now a member of the Active Network, nor did an email he received a year later after he had been automatically renewed for the first time.

It was only the most recent email received last week that mentioned that his membership had been renewed.

"Since I didn't log in to cancel my unknown membership, they continued to charge me, until they finally made me aware of my membership this morning," he said on Sunday.

Schimelpfenig has since received an email from Active Network informing him that when he signed up for the "free" trial he would have been asked to re-enter his email address and click "an offer acceptance button."

When asked whether he remembered re-entering his email, he said: "I remember it being a crazy, frantic process to try and find a time slot that was not sold out.

"Is it possible I checked or didn’t uncheck a box when signing up? Sure, but to sign me up, retain my card information and continue to charge me for a membership I was unaware I had is fraudulent."

The email from Active said that Schimelpfenig would receive a refund for his membership, though it's not clear whether that would be for the 2020 membership or the two previous ones as well.

BMTN has reached out to Active Network, but has received no response.

Others have had this problem

But Schimelpfenig is not the first customer to fall foul of Active's seemingly vague opt-in memberships.

A look at the Better Business Bureau site shows numerous complaints from customers, with one saying: "I'm a lawyer who has litigated deceptive 'free trial' offer cases and I have no idea how i got enrolled in this Active Advantage scam."

Another wrote: "Signed up for a race, then 3 months later am charged 89.95 on my credit card without authorization. I am a teacher and am very sure I did not opt in for this membership. When you go to their website they actually have a dedicated page that explains this 89.95 charge - obviously is an issue. In a roundabout way they indicate that if you sign up for any of the races you automatically do a trial membership and then are charged subsequent to that if you do not cancel - of course you did not know - so could not cancel. Unbelievable!"

Its Yelp page is a similar collection of 1-star reviews, with one user describing the voluntary "opt-in" to join the trial.

"I never write reviews, but Active is the slimiest registration service I've ever encountered. Every single page of the registration process is bloated with ads and offers with hidden fees," he wrote. "With every click, make sure you read the fine print. Call it an 'opt-in' service or not, it is very clear they are trying to trick consumers into offers with recurring costs."

The company was also the subject of a class action lawsuit in California, which was settled in 2016 after consumers complained they had been enrolled in a discount program without their knowledge, per the Times of San Diego.

The complaint said Active had violated California law by advertising a free trial membership without "adequately disclosing that at the end of the trial period, the consumer would be automatically enrolled in a paid subscription program requiring the consumer to affirmatively cancel that membership to avoid annual charges."

Next Up

Alexus Norberg

Search for girl, 14, missing from St. Cloud

The teen left her home without her parents' permission.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.


What health officials know, don't know about Brazil P.1 variant

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first case of the P.1 variant in the U.S.

christopher and banks

Christopher & Banks closing stores for good, laying off 361 people at Plymouth facility

The layoffs began earlier this month and will continue through March.

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 8.56.43 AM

Tributes, donations after death of popular South High School teacher

The fundraiser had raised more than $9,000 of its $15,000 as of Tuesday.

Target headquarters

2 men plead guilty to arson at Target headquarters in Minneapolis

The two men were charged in the Aug. 26, 2020, arson that happened following false rumors about a police shooting.

State Capitol.

MN House votes to condemn insurrection and false election claims, 8 GOPers vote against

The resolution condemned violence at the U.S. and state capitols and declared support for 2020 election results.

Michelle Young

Teacher from Edina steals Matt James' heart on 'The Bachelor'

She's also a former high school and college basketball star.


How are Super Bowl guests finding the Mall of America?

It's the media center of Super Bowl festivities ahead of Sunday's game.

How are Super Bowl guests finding the Mall of America?

It's the media center of Super Bowl festivities ahead of Sunday's game.

A used vehicle scam has been duping consumers in Minnesota

It involves creating fraudulent shipping companies.

Furious models lift the lid on sexual harassment at Maxim Super Bowl Party

One says she was groped and then grabbed round the neck.

Airbnb reveals plan to help MN homeowners cash in on the Super Bowl

Airbnb says it hopes to double the number of people offering rooms and houses to rent ahead of the NFL extravaganza.