In April 2005, a representative of Active Periodicals called me to solicit their magazine substription. A promise was made to also send me a "diamond watch", enter me in a $10,000 sweepstakes drawing, and receive a 4-year magazine subscription for more than 4 "popular" magazine titles, including Bazaar, SmartMoney, Inc., Redbook, etc. The agreement was that I would be billed for 12 months for $58.28, monthly.
The first magazine sent to me was 2-3 months OLD. The company would call me periodically to check on my subscription. They attempted to "remedy" this situation. Although I did not receive the watch nor win the sweepstakes, I was content to receive my magazines, feeling I would eventually "accept" one of their annoying CONSTANT phone calls to my CELL phone(for Lord knows what...)so I could tell them of my concerns.
You see, after the first 2-3 months, my subscription dwindled down to ONE magazine each month. However, the problems really started toward the end of the 12-month billing. At this time, I also moved and attempted to update my mailing address with Active Periodicals so as not to have my magazine service be interrupted.
When I FINALLY accepted one of their CONSTANT phone calls, they were calling to attempt to BILL more for an ADDITIONAL subscription using the premise that they were calling to see how I was "enjoying" my current subscription. When I explained ALL of my concerns, including requesting that they update my mailing address, the guy referred me quickly to his "supervisor". I explained the same concerns to this "supervisor" who "pretended" to be updating my mailing address. The next thing I knew, he was saying that "okay" they had me down for an additional $20 something for my subscription... What?!?! I told him I did NOT authorize him to charge me for anything else... And he hung up on me...
The calls kept coming from that day on and I took them 2 more times in my attempt to update my mailing address. All the while they kept PUSHING to charge me for more subscriptions, without remedy to my current concerns of updating my address and my not receiving all my magazines.
Finally, I closed my credit card account. Then the "bill" started coming for a 13th charge. The magazines stopped coming altogether since magazines will NOT be forwarded to new addresses by the US Postal Service.
To date, Active Periodicals are still trying to bill me, including an additional 5% late fee. They have finally updated my address using the contact information given to them in writing since I have an attorney sending corrspondence to them with my demands of giving me a refund for the time my promised subsrciption was not honored. I am NOW receiving ONE magazine again even though I told Active Periodicals I NO LONGER WANT due to their wrongful business practices and harassing attempts to solicit even more CHARGES from me.
I am very annoyed and angry. I felt I was being very "patient" and willing to try to work this out with Active Periodicals to get the services I paid for. But this has gone too far. It angers me even more to think that I, too, did NOT sign any written contract with this company, yet, they can get away with this seemingly "illegal" form of business where they solicit consumers to pay for services AND PRODUCTS that are never received.
As I pursue this "illegal scam", my advice is, NEVER accept offers over the phone, NEVER freely give your personal data, especially NOT your charge account data. To undo this type of problem takes so much time, money and energy. And we must all be very wary of Identity Theft threats that can be made against us as consumers. (I've also filed a complaint with the FTC)