Approx. 9 months ago I received a seemingly random phone call on my cell phone. The call was from Magazine Publisher's Service. I was promised a diamond wrist watch as a "gift" with a 5 year subscription to a selection of magazines of my choice. I was told a default selection of 3 magazines would be selected and I would receive a packet in the mail which would include my list of magazines to personalize my subscription. I was told I would be billed quarterly $57.50 CDN for 5 years at which time I verbally agreed over the phone not to cancel in this time. I never received the wrist watch, I never received a packet in the mail, I never received a confirmation of any kind, I never received any magazines.
Today 04/10/2012 I received a billing statement with my Magazine Publishers Service account number and an amount of $115.00 due immediately as a previous balance. I continued previous payments in good faith with the verbal agreement across 9 months. As I had received nothing from the company prior to the notice of payment, I had no means of contacting the company. I received nothing through the mail, I was provided with no e-mail, website or telephone number to contact the company before today.
Fed up with the whole ordeal I figured I would count my losses, call the number on the billing notice and explain nothing was ever received and cancel my account with them. I spoke to Ashley who validated the correct address but refused to cancel the subscription. I explained I allowed myself to get duped by this, I explained I was not asking for a refund but I have not received anything and need to cancel future payments. Ashley reminded me of a verbal agreement and offered to play the recording from 9 months ago. I hung up in frustration.
A second phone call was placed to 1-800-784-0232 where I waited on hold for 10 minutes after which time the IVR said the business was closed and to call back during business hours. The IVR then hung up. I know full well that when you make it into a queue before business hours close the IVR of a respectable legitimate company doesn't "dump" remaining customers. This was 3:57 PM EST, even in mountain time this seemed a bit off to me. I placed yet a 3rd phone call 20 minutes later, SURPRISE they are open again and again I spoke to Ashley. This time I asked for a manager and I spoke with Pablo.
I was told anything I was promised was sent and therefore I must have received everything. When I pleaded I did not Pablo's response was "do you know how many people tell me they never received anything" and implied I was just trying to get out of an agreement. Paying $57.50 every 3-4 months and not receiving anything that was promised and then contacting the company who calls me a liar and tells me I should have called sooner is bad business in so many languages.
Additionally Pablo refused to cancel further billing and offered me no solution to my problem, I was expected to continue to pay for nothing for the next 4+ years. My account was flagged "refused to pay" and I was told it was my responsibility to contact my credit card company have them get contact information for the Magazine Publishers Service and cancel with 3 days with a 14 day grace period. At this point I was rather enraged because during the initial phone call I was told it may take 4-8 weeks for the magazines to start arriving. Why would I call to cancel in 3 days if I was told to wait 4-8 weeks for any other reason except "I changed my mind"?
In summary I have made multiple payments of $57.50 over 9 months, received nothing, was called a liar when I called to cancel & cancellation was refused, was told what I should have done where no solution was offered and then hung up on by Pablo when I got angry. I am expected to continue making payments for the remainder of the term 4 years & 4 months in which time I will continue to receive nothing because Pablo thinks I'm a liar and I've received everything which was promised.
I think this is a family owned business operating out of Quebec. I can't see calling and speaking to the same people using a 1-800 number as a coincidence. Even if every thing magically appeared on my door step in a "back ordered" bundle there is NO WAY I will continue doing business with this seemingly shady company.