Report: #22948

Complaint Review: Ameri-Source Publications

  • Submitted: Tue, June 18, 2002
  • Updated: Sat, February 14, 2004
  • Reported By: Lincoln NE
  • Ameri-Source Publications
    P. O. Box 2661, Champlain, NY 12919
    Champlain, New York

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On 18 May 2001 Ameri-Source Publications sent this church an invoice for $299.95 for listing in a national yellow pages. Later a $9.00 service charge was added.

When contacted by the church to determine what this was about, we encountered a very rude person who informed us that this was a listing ordered by the former minister of this church. All further contact with this company either resulted in no return call when a message was left, or extreme rudeness was used to discourage any further attempt to resolve this billing. All of this transpired BEFORE the publication was printed.

Beside the unnecessary nature of a local church of 50 people wanting or needing a national listing, the minister was not authorized to make purchases of this amount. That is reserved for the Board of Trustees only. When asked, the minister had no knowledge of ever intending to place an order or even of having engaged in a conversation regarding an order. The claim of an order by Ameri-Source was entirely bogus.

The company claims to have a recording of the minister placing the order and agreeing that she had the authority to be able to do so.

We have repeatedly told Ameri-Source Publications we do not intend to pay for something the board did not order or authorize or even have use for.

Today, 6/18/2002 we received a call from American Solutions, a collection company that we feel is a division of Ameri-Source. A Steve Jarrett (possibly an alias) at 1-866-299-4531 attempted to collect this bogus invoice.

In no time he was willing to waive the $9.00 service charge and reduce the billing to a $69.95 "cancellation charge."

It is my opinion that this "cancellation charge," is a number designed to be small enough that most small churches will pay to get the matter handled, and after all it is lees then retaining a lawyer. In that light, I feel it should be called an "extortion fee."

I have found where Ameri-Source Publications has an unsatisfactory business performance record with the Buffalo, NY BBB and has generated 448 complaints as of nearly a year ago.

Church Secretary
Lincoln, Nebraska
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 06/18/2002 10:41 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment

Emma's Ethics Lesson is possible to edit a tape to make it look like I've agreed to just about anything?

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)


I think you meant to say that the tapes are real. They are in the sense that you have a recording of someone at the company saying "yes," but don't you realize that in this day of digital technology it is possible to edit a tape to make it look like I've agreed to just about anything?

That said, it is a no-brainer to say that most reasonable people would tell you to get lost in a heartbeat, but by clever deception you make it look like they've obligated themselves to pay you $399.95 as many times as you care to invoice them!

And Now The Ethics Lesson:

You make yourself feel good about being a criminal by cancelling the churches and only going after the big corporations that you feel are screwing people. MY CORPORATION is not big at all and yet your people keep bothering us whenever you want. Does it ever occur to you that you are engaging in the same crime that you profess to detest by robbing small businesses that are just trying to feed their families. Also consider the poor bookkeeper, who may work for a large corporation but it's HER job on the line if she's called on the carpet for paying you.

It is my experience that you meet all kinds of people at any level of business. Treat people fairly and you will be surprized how they will treat you. It is true that large companies will go into areas with low labor costs and pay less for the same work than they would in the industrialized countries, but that these jobs actually represent economic gain in areas that would otherwise have very little work.

Actually the standard of living does rise because, believe it or not, they now have more disposable income. Also, it is steady.

'Screwing the company' is not the way to correct abuses. Rather, the answer is to demand accountability and even in some cases shop with conscience when there is a known pattern of abuse. But you have to remember who was hurt the most by the boycott on South African products years ago. Yes, it was the victims of apartheit far more than the whites. If you learn anything, learn that.

And Emma, I doubt that you keep a dossier on each American company to know who's screwing people and who's playing clean. It would seem to me that you ought to just realize that you are engaging in the very crime that you accuse everyone else of.
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

calm down, I never said the taped conversation was a binding contract

AUTHOR: Emma - (Canada)

Ok Robert calm down, I never said the taped conversation was a binding contract, I simply thought I should mention it was real considering no one else could figure it out. Obviously he doesn't have to pay me because for one it's complete bullshit and secondly I wasn't making money off they're checks, just getting paid by the hour in a shitty a*s job. Not to say that I didn't do anything wrong, although I didn't know it was illegal, I realized it wasn't a nice thing to do. Anyways I would have never sold to a church, I usually just cancel those, I prefer to go for the big corporations who screw other people over and save enough money from child labour to be able to afford it.
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#3 Consumer Comment

Most States have a law in force that gives a customer 72 hours to cancel a sale.

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

The merchant is REQUIRED BY LAW to notify the consumer of that right as well as to PROVIDE CLEAR CONTACT INFORMATION.

Thus said, Emma, your tapes, which can be easily edited by you, do not constitute a binding contract at all.

The Pastor was TRICKED, pure and simple, and IS UNDER NO OBLIGATION to pay you!!!
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Yes this company does scam people all the time, even churches

AUTHOR: Emma - (Canada)

Yes this company does scam people all the time, even churches, but when they say they have taped conversations they really have them and they're not fake. The pastor of this church really did authorize it, but was just manipulated into not realizing what he was really doing and that is why he did not remember the conversation. I worked for this company for a long time so know all about it. If it makes anyone feel better I do know that they've gotten completely screwed over thanks to being sued countless times.
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#5 Consumer Suggestion

Go Directly to Pavlos Angelatos at World Wide Source AKA American Solutions Information, Kindly Refuse to Talk with His Underlings!

AUTHOR: Robert - (U.S.A.)

You should write directly to tis guy, who owns all these companies, and state that he has thirty days to produce a WRITTEN contract and that if he can't then he is not to contact you by telephone, fax, electronic mail, U.S. mail, courier or in person! (Spell it out this specifically so that you can protect yourself from further HARASSMENT). Let him know you are going to the Attorney Generals of your own state AND New York State. Also tell him you are reporting them for MAIL FRAUD (get the form at your Post Office). Here is the address of the "Mother Ship"--the rest are just a ruse so you can't find them:

Pavlos Angelatos, President
W.W.S. Source Mondiale de Publications, Inc.
2015 Drummond Avenue, Suite #800
Montreal, Quebec H3G 1W7

Now follow through and report them. Vermont was able to obtain a handsome settlement for people who had been scammed by this company. Other states are moving on this too.

Michelle in Florida faxed everything to him at
800-303-1489 every time someone called her from this horrible company. She made Pavlos Angelatos go through a few reams of paper but eventually they stopped calling and she got a credit.
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#6 Consumer Suggestion

Not required to pay

AUTHOR: Meghann - ()

You're not required to pay for anything you didn't order. (Many people either just pay invoices without thinking twice, or think that they have to pay an invoice even if they didn't order the goods/services; it's what they count on when preying on unsuspecting & trusting folks. You're a step ahead of the game since you didn't pay up.)

The good folks at Ameri-Source can say that the pope ordered the listing, but if they can't prove it, they can't make you pay.

Tell their collections person that you did not order the listing, that you will not pay for it. Put it in writing, if you can (you didn't mention whether you had an address): tell them that you consider the matter closed & that any further communication from their company will constitute harrassment and that in that event you will take legal action against them.

Then follow through. I don't know if you retain an attorney; sometimes just the threat is enough to get them to back down.

Any legal eagles here have more input?
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#7 Consumer Suggestion

How to fight fake orders/collections?

AUTHOR: kata - ()

Go to your police and report them for fraud, extortion. The police can call the company and request the ORIGINAL tape with the voice of your minister. IF they have a tape it is a fake tape. Possibly they called your minister some time ago, asking him trivial questions: "Is .... is your address"? Are you the minister of the congregation? Do you have Saturday/Sunday service? " etc. After they recorded a couple of YES, they edited a new tape with different questions.

About the collection. Even if it is a legit debt/collection aganecy, you have the right to ask for validation. They have 30 days to answer you, and to provide proof that the debt valid.
Most of the fake collection agency run away when they see that you know the laws more than they.

I do not think there is any danger that they are going to the court for the money.

This company had already many problems. It seems they are operating from Canada, with some US addresses, and when a state ban them they are moving to another state.

I would recommend to report them not only to your local police, but to your state attorney general,
and the Canada fraud center:

Do not communicate neither with the compnay nor with the collection agency on phone. Send them registered mails not only requesting the validation of your debt, but mentioning that you reported them to the police and the state attoreny general.
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