I was called by Publishers Business Services at my place of employement in regards to a magazine subscription. Initially I agreed foolishly thinking it sounded like a good idea. After I made my first payment of 24.90 I decided I no longer wanted their magazines.
A billing rep contacted me about payment. At this time I stated how I no longer wanted their services and how I would like to cancel. The rep told me that there was a non-cancellation clause in the contract and therefore was obligated to pay $700.00.
It went from 24.90 to $700.00. I found this OUTRAGEOUS! I told them I wasnt going to pay and hung up on him. This is when the harassment began. They called my job on a daily basis. Each time a different person contacted me.
They even went as far as to misrepresent themselves saying they were calling from my financial institution. And when I said "this is she" Suprise Suprise, they started hounding me about payment.
I resigned from my position on 12/29/03 and somehow they obtained my home telephone number. A guy by the name of "Henry" threatened myself and other members of my family.
There is no way what they are doing is legal. God only knows how many people they've conned into actually believing they owed the $700.00. I have been in contact with other people who've had terrible dealings with PBS and they too were charged different figures in the seven hundred dollar range.
On January 26th 2004, I decided that I would not tolerate this harassment. I filed a complaint with the BBB, Federal Trade Commission, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Affairs and The Florida General Attorney's Office. On January 28th I sent via overnight mail, a letter to the company president Ed Dantuma in Altamonte Springs, FL indicating that they have to stop harassing me or else I would seek legal counsel. I also demanded they pay the $246.00 they owed me.
Publishers Business Services did the following:
They falsely claimed the magazine subscriptions were only $24.90 a month then tried to charge $700.00 which was not part of the original verbal agreement.
Failed to include an official notice of cancellation or inform consumers in writing of their right to cancel, then stated there was a non-cancellation clause in their contract.
Engaged in false and deceptive tactics to promote magazine sales
Engaged in intimidation tactics (i.e., multiple phone calls a day, continued harassment, threats)
Falsely claimed that consumers' savings would outweigh the costs.
MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS ACUTAL COST
Belle $28.00 1 year
Rolling Stone $12.97 1 year
Woman's Day $10.00 1 year
Home $12.00 1 year
Jane $10.00 1 year
Getting these magazines directly from the distributors costs only $72.97 a year for five magazines.
Publishers Business Services was charging me 24.90 a month. That equals $298.80 in a year. Four times the actual cost. Plus hidden charges .
It wasn't until I began researching online that I realized this company was defrauding people and has a history of doing so. if you paid the $700 or even 20.00 I urge you to take the same steps I did. Do NOT let them get away with this!