I was being solicited by these 1-800 phone numbers (1-800-845-2074; 1-800-976-5385; 1-800-334-0626; 1-800-281-0739;) Since the 17th of July 2009. Sometimes I would answer and no one would be on the line.
Well today July 21st, 2009 at about 5:45pm I answered a call from 1-800-845-2074. The operator Crystal told me that I have won a diamond watch as well as was being entered into a $25,000 sweepstakes that would be held on January 29th, 2010. I was at first excited to hear this, Crystal had asked if I had a major credit card in the begining of the call by the way, and I was waiting for them to ask for it. I normally would not have fallen for this but I have recently signed up to some internet sweepstakes and figured if I didn't have to pay for the shipping and stuff I would go through with this. While i was talking to Crystal, I heard other operators talking in the background saying the exact same things Crystal said to me, about winning and everything ... I kept catching bits and pieces of lines Crystal used with me.
Well, some time went by while Crystal discussed with me that I had also won (4) free monthly magazine subscriptions and (1) weekly magazine subscription for (60) months on top of the diamond watch. She told me I had to confirm my prizes with her supervisor. She even told me to put in a good word about her with her supervisor (which I didn't)
I was put through to a supervisor that discussed the same things as Crystal but also informed me that the Company would pay for all the shipping for the diamond watch and magazines and that I would only have to pay $3.84 a week for the weekly publication. I would have hung up the phone but that sounded like a good deal for (5) magazines and a diamond watch. So I gave them my pre-paid debit Mastercard account information. The supervisor also asked for my work telephone number and I told him "no, why do you need my job's phone number?" He said it is incase they need to talk to me about my account. I told him "No, I can not receive calls at work like that" He asked for a cell phone number after that as an alternate phone number. (I gave him my cell phone number except it was one number off from the real one. He then asked for a family or friend that he could call in case there is future questions about my account and I needed to be contacted but couldn't be reached. I tried to give him my roommate's name but when he found out my roommate has the same phone number as me he wouldn't accept it. He asked if my roommate had a cell phone, I told him "No, he doesn't." He asked for anyone else, family friend I told him "No I am not authorized to give out anyone's phone number like that"
The supervisor then told me he had to do a recorded message of my order, for legal reasons so I said "okay" he reviewed my "order" verbally (I thought I won this? When did it become and order?) going over the magazines (Not once did he mention the diamond watch on the recorded review), credit card and shipping information and even mentioned that there was a problem with my order having to do with the family/friend issue.
I am also told over the course of the last (2) conversations, with Crystal and the supervisor that I will NOT have to pay anything today and I will be first billed in 10 days. The simple $3.84 a week for the subscription, i was told would cost 16.55 per month (they do not mention it is for 60 months). I am then told that they have a mandatory payment plan to pay multiple months (3 Months) at a time equaling approximately $45 a month for (20) months. I told the supervisor that was too much money. I was then told that $33.30 (a 2 month's subscription rate for each monthly payment)) for (30) months is the lowest plan they have. (~$33.30 x 30; and ~$45 x 20 both equal $999!) I agreed to the latter plan because I was getting tired (the entire phone conversation lasted about 30 mins) and let my guard down. Again I was told that I would not have to pay anything for (10) days. I told him "good" because I had put money on my pre-paid debit card.
The supervisor then informed that I must speak to the sweepstakes verification representative to ensure my sweepstakes number is me with the proper contact information. I get switched over to the representative and confirm all my contact information and my sweepstakes number etc. The rep told me about a program offer that I would have to pay a one-time sign on fee of $5.00 and then about $30.00 a month and assumed that I wanted to do this because she didn't even ask me she just told me that I was being signed up for it. I told her that I absolutely did not want to be a part of that program and she said she removed me. The rep also gave me a customer service number (1-877-253-5535) and asked if I had any questions, I told her no and finally I was done.
I had mixed feelings about this after I hung up the phone so I typed in the company "Family Reader Service" and searched it on the internet; immediately the first results were negative reports. I immediately called the customer service number and it asked for my party's extension then it said for customer service press (1) .. I pressed one and heard a recorded message saying to call back during business hours. I then got the idea to call the 1-800 that they called me from. I called back the number I was called on and an operator thanked me for calling and asked for my phone number. After giving her my phone number she knew my name and address. I told her I just signed up for these services and that I have read bad consumer reports and that I wanted to cancel immediately. She said that I would have to talk to her supervisor and that her supervisor would call me back in about 10-15 Minutes because she is with one of her co-workers. A few minutes went by and I was called back by a weird number (on my caller I.D. it said: Unknown Name and the phone number was 8112) I answered and spoke to a woman (Linda?) .. She was very polite and asked what she could do to help me. I told her that I just signed up less than an hour ago and being a single parent living alone I can not afford these payments and want to cancel. She tried to convince me that she could do lower monthly payments of $16.65 but I told her that I really can not afford it. She told me that my order will be canceled and to have a good night. That was it.
Today is the first day and I have no idea what is to come but if I hear anymore from this company I will post a report immediately. Please do not fall for this scam! I didn't even know the company's name until I asked, I should have known because there were A LOT of warning sings but my guard was down and I really thought I won something!
hampton bays, New York