msa called me and told me they were my magazine service I had been using since 1998. Since I do get my magazines via mass mailings with my credit card, I did not know the name of my service.
They wanted me to know that they had recently moved from NY to Fl, then they proceeded to tell me the magazines I was getting on a one year/renewable subscription whici can be cancelled at any time, my full name, address and credit card # and type and indicated they had a new deal and asked if I would like to do it, since it was less than I was paying already, I thought it was a good deal and said sure. That was not recorded.
Ray, a supervisor (verified by Sue R on or about Dec 1, 2006 when playing the recorded portion) and he verified my information to include my credit card number, etc. I used to work at a Police Dept as a 911 Dispatcher so I knew not to ever give out my personal information unless I initiated the call with a company that is reputable and I know whom I am talking to.
Ray said I would get a letter and should respond to it within 10 days. I got the letter dtd 4/19/06 on 12/09/06, then they did not immediately credit my card, until August 06, when I received another call from an individual who wanted to verify if I got the magazines, etc.
My response and I listened to the tape was nothing more than "correct" and I did not order any magazines. He also stated I would be getting a letter. I started getting billes on Aug 3 for $57.48 and on August 8, the same day of the 2nd call.
I have argued, yelled, screamed at the people I mentioned with the only response of "you made a verbal and legal agreement, if you do not pay, we will take you to collections." Then hung up on me. Well I am if nothing else, persistent and kept on calling.
I contacted the BBB, which gives them a certain amount of time to respond and Keyana at BBB4 in Fl said she always gets a response from MSA. Okay, I realized they had more than just my complaint. I proceeded to contact the FTC and made a report on-line which was given a complaint number and they responded to me!
I contacted my credit card company and advised them of fraudelent charges made against my credit card, which was immediately cancelled and a new one issued along with an Affidavit I must fill out and have notorized which I am doing this week. I did not contact Florida's Attorney General, I am using my Attorney General of Alaska.
I had to contact each magazine and cancel or put a do not mail on them. What I found out was amazing. Every magazine agency, whether affiliated or not can pull up the every agencies customers, thereby getting some information that should not be given out.
I found out that my regular one was NewSub an affiliate of Synapse and they looked up the information themselves and said they would check further. However when attempting to cancel one magazine, it had me down for a subscription until 2013 but not from MSA, from NewSub, so I contacted them on Sunday and talked to Bob and told him that MSA took out a magazine order that I did have with NewSub and somehow left the agency as NewSub, but signed me up until 2013.
Synapse does not do business that way and are an excellent company. Because of the length of the subscription and the fact that MSA took it out under NewSub which they are not affiliated with, Bob said he is forwarding it to the Fraud Department.
It took me about 100 or more emails, not including the long distance, not 800 type nummbers and because I am disabled and was ill along with my daughter for 2 weeks, from Sep until Dec 11, 2006 to get some type of response that I wanted to hear from MSA. I have Cervical Stenosis which is closing my spinal opening, along with diabetes and other illness'. The stress caused my shoulder and neck muscles along with a migraine and jaw muscles to spasm, more than I they have in the years since my initial diagnosis.
Monday, December 11, 2006, I could barely talk, studdering, not able to pronounce a word and it was painful to talk. At that time I called Sheryl Hudson who seems to be nice, and she realized what was happening to me and my voice and was so gentle and kind. She got Sue R (at Ext 116) who stated her last name, but I could not understand it, because my hearing was off somewhat and I could not even hear what I was trying to say. I begged in a studder, non audible way for her to stop and let me try to talk, as she was still talking.
Finally she, Sue R. stated that she was letting me out of the contract, voiding it and the money orders I had already cut and was going to send them until I took another look at the mass of paperwork I had. Those were for more than 600.00 as a settlement added to the more than $300.00 already illegally charged to my credit card.
#1: File a report with your own Attorney General
#2: Contact your credit card company or bank and have the account affected "closed out" and a new one started. No one has the new information unless you give it out.
#3: File a report with your Local Police Department. And take it to your bank along with other information if your bank accounts were not charged, so they are aware of the situation and can assist you.
#4: File a report with the FTC and FTC Consumer Protection, all are under Homeland Security now.
#5: Contact the "main" BBB and have then forward your report down to the one in Fl. It may help.
#6: Keep all materials sent to you by msa because the letters are usually mass mailed and not dated, some are however. Make sure you write the date you received it on the paper and respond immediately, call the number, but you must send any paperwork back. get the ext # and first name of the person you talked to and send it if you can certified or registered (msa will tell you they do not want you to have to spend the extra money)...do it, because they can say they never got it. Make sure you put the persons name and extension on it also, but make sure it gets there and you get a signed receipt.
#7: Contact the National Credit Bureau also and report the fraud and or theft.
#8: If they want you to settle, do not! They will respond that they will take you to collections. If you have done half of the above, respond to them very kindly: You have to do what you have to do, but be warned that if you do, I will "sue" you, not the company, but each individual in a separate suit.
It might help, but make sure you have your reports in, at least to the bank, police and/or credit card company. thats called CYA and you may be harassed by collections. If you are, note it if you do not have caller ID and if you do, do not answer anything from Unknown and/or their location.
If you answer the phone, do the above and call the police department to add on to your report. Most Police Departments will help you and in some communities, some Editors put it in their paper as a "scam" for others to beware. But, I cannot say this enough, REPORT IT AS A CRIMINAL ACT.
I do not know if they will continue to harass me and I am in the process of everything I indicated above. Put things in writing as phone calls that are not recorded are not reliable, its your word against theirs.
Good luck to you all and hopefully some lawyer will have the "kudo's" to take them to court via a class action suit! I would, but I am not an attorney. I just hope they are done with me as this could with all the stress, put me in a wheelchair or perhaps even kill me if I get sick enough to not get my cortisone epidurals in the neck and trigger point shots. And I have a disabled child also.
One other thing, join a credible "credit notification" company that way, if anything unusal happens like someone checking out your credit, you are immediately notified of it. Protect your ID.