I've read all the reports about this company on this site and have decided to share my own story of my dealings with them and how I eventually got them to stop bothering me. I hope my story can help their many victims.
It all began in September of 2004 with a nasty phone call from Luebke Baker and Associates. The person on the phone, a particularly vulgar woman, told me I owed her client, Active Periodicals, close to $500 for a magazine subscription contract I had agreed to the previous September (September 2003.) I told her that I did not recall having entered into such a contract. She then snarked at me nastily "So are you telling me you are refusing to pay this debt?" I corrected her firmly by telling her that, no, I was not refusing to pay the debt. I was, however, disputing the fact that I owed the debt. I asked her for her company's address and fax number, and also for the address and phone number for Active Periodicals. I then hung up.
Now, the first thing I had to do was get it writing that I was a.) disputing the fact that I owed the debt and b.) that I wanted no phone calls from anyone regarding this alleged debt.
So I wrote a short letter to Luebke and Associates advising them of the above and faxed it to them. I never got another call from Luebke, or even Active Periodicals for that matter. I was, in fact, never contacted by Luebke again via phone or mail.
Next, I had to find out what this was all about, since I did not remember having agreed to a magazine subscription contract in September of 2003. I called Active Periodicals and spoke to someone named Amy. I asked her for the details regarding this alleged contract.
She told me that I had been recorded agreeing to a subscription contract to get four magazines for 48 months for $25.92 for the first 24 months of the contract. She said I had given them a Mastercard to be charged and gave me the number of that card and expiration date. The card number they gave me was to a closed account, closed incidentally around September of 2003 by me. I told her so, and repeated that I did not recall having agreed to subscribe to any magazines with her company. I asked her for a copy of the contract and/or verification that the voice recording she claimed to have of me, was in fact me. To date I have received neither.
I immediately wrote a letter to Active Periodicals essentially regurgitating what I had verbally told Amy then waited to see what they would do. A month or so later, I received a welcome letter from Active Periodicals which stated the alleged terms of the agreement, but was most certainly not a valid contract.
Over the next two months I received many "dunning" letters from Active Periodicals but no phone calls. Most of them all had the title of "Final Collection Attempt Before Legal Action" or some such gibberish. I responded to only one of these letters. My response letter was succinct and rather blunt: I denied that I had entered into a subscription agreement, demanded that they prove, via a copy of a written contract, or an authenticated tape recording, that I had in fact agreed to subscribe as they claimed.
Absent this proof, I stated, I would not pay a dime and would also take them to court and file a fraud complaint against them with the FTC if they damaged my credit rating in any way.
After sending this letter, I received only one other collection notice followed shortly thereafter (within days) by a letter stating that my account has been cancelled and I have no further financial obligations toward them but that they hoped I would consider them for my future magazine subscription needs. Needless to say, I am holding on to that letter!
Here are two key points to remember when dealing with these folks that might help you:
If they've got Luebke on you, regardless of whether you did or did not subscribe with Active, fax, or send in some other way that you can get verification they received it, a letter in which you state two things. 1. You dispute the validity of the debt and 2. Pursuant to the Fair Credit and Debt Collection Act, that you are asking them not to contact you via telephone. This will get the collection agency to stop calling you.
If you know you that you never subscribed with them, as I did, then call them and tell them so. Ask for a copy of the written contract or the tape. I doubt you will ever get either, since they most likely do not exist. You don't have to respond to every collection letter they send, as they send many, but when you do respond, always insist that you did not subscribe with them and tell them if that they damage your credit that you will report them to the FTC. Remember, this company is committing fraud.
I hope this helps.
Los Angeles, California