On April 13th 2005 A young girl knocked at my door. She appeared to be either a senior in high school or a very young college student. My father had let her in so that I could see what it was that she wanted. At the time I was involved with cooking dinner and she was quick to come clear across my living room and make herself comforable at my dinner table which mind you was set for dinner.
Being that my mind was busy with cooking dinner I really didn't give it any thought as she explained in a very peppy way as to why she was here. She was telling me that she was going door to door selling magazine subscritions for her school.
I am new to the neighboorhood in an apartment complex which has signs at the enterences that clearly states NO SOLICITING. At first I figured that she was living in the complex, she was so sweet and charming. She further explained that who ever sold the most subscriptions would win a trip to Cancun. I was always the one who would buy someting for a good cause so as I was struggling with finnishing my dinner preperation she kept on insisting that I buy a subscription.
I was handed a hand written list of available subscriptions and none of them seemed interesting to me. She kept insisting that I purchase one even though I repeatedly told her that A-I don't read magazines and B-none of the topics were of my interest.
She reassured me that there was onother option available. This was the option to donate a subscription to a childrens hospital. Wanting her to leave and thinking that I was actually doing a good deed by donating a subscription to sick children. I gave in and told her to pick the cheapest one and donate it to a childrens hospital. She said it woukd be donated to St. Jude's hospital.
I wrote the check to PMI as instucted for $35 which to me seemed rather excessive for a Winnie the Pooh magazine. As I handed her the check she requested to use my cell phone to call her mother in Michigan. This now made me suspitious. Why was her mother in Michigan, and she was here in Holbrook NY? I told her that I do not have one and she insisted that I asked my father if she can use his.
I told her that we din't have one and her comment was "I guess you don't believe in them" then asked where the nearest pay phone was. Then it dawned on me she wasn't from the complex! There is a shopping center literally right next to the comlex. If she lived here or in the surrounging neighboorhood she would have known this! My mother thought she seemed rather suspitios for she noticed her scoping things out around my apartment while sitting at my dinner table. She finally went to leave, but before she did she gave me a small piece of pink paper that said BUG OFF so that none of the other "students" would come to my door.
The next day as I was looking through my wallet I came across the legal looking recipt that was given to me. As I looked it over thorouly I realized that the address was in Florida?! I live on Long Island in New York! I was questioning what I had done. My husband requested that I look it up on the internet. So I typed in PALMETTO MARKETING INC.
And to my suprize this web site came up immediately with all of the complaints about this company. I immediately cancelled my check and even took it to the extream by closing my checking account with the fear that they now have my account number and could easily have access to my account without my knowlege (just think - you can pay for things by check over the phone right?!) So as of now I don't know if the subscription would have been recieved by St. Jude hospital because I would have never seen it or looked for it! I was glad to have read other peoples comments on this company and was able to stop payment before I was scamed. I had to pay a $14.00 stop payment fee, but I am happy knowing that it didn't go to some apparently scumbag company!
I then began to wonder! Do these kids even know that they are part of this scam? I hope thay do because I would feel bad if they didn't, but something makes me think they do.
I did file a police report and alerted neighboors and other that came accross my path to look out for this company and to say NO THANK YOU to what they have to offer. I feel bad for legitimate sales for schools, churches, and other not for profit groups and ect. because of this experience I will be very reluctant to donate or purchase anything with the fear of being scamed!
This girl that came to me was later seen at the complex club house where she comfortably strolled into the gym and shouted "I WON A TRIP TO CANCUN!" by a complex employee who thought it was stange, but thought nothing of it.
I just hope that eventually something will be done about this company and any other company scamers! I can only imagine how many people fall victim to such scams!
Holbrook, New York
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