Report: #305413

Complaint Review: NME - National Magazine Exchange

  • Submitted: Fri, February 01, 2008
  • Updated: Sat, March 01, 2008
  • Reported By: Clute Texas
  • NME - National Magazine Exchange
    PO BOX 9084
    Clearwater, Florida

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I got a tannish colored envelope in the mail a few days ago. It was from NME, and I called earlier this evening. I was entered into a "sweepstakes" for $45,000, and then told about these great magazines that I could get at a discounted price. Some of which included :parenting, Rachel Ray, Hallmark, cosmogirl...etc. Then I was told to pick my favorite 2. As soon as I replied I was switched to another line.

A woman was talking very very fast and I could only catch about every 3rd word. Then I was told that I could get 3 magazines for 48 months at 1.29 a week. I said I didn't want to use my card; that if anything a money order. Then I was told I hadn't even listened to the payment options and we would go over that later. Then she requested my debit card #, for verification for my order. I HAD NO IDEA she was going to run my card for 44.87 I thought if anything it would be the 1.29 for the week. (Talk about stupidity on my part!)

Anyway after she ran my card I asked her basically what was going on. What did she run my card for? Then she told me 44.87!!! After I already told her earlier I wanted to send a money order!!!!! (Also I had three kids runnung around yelling and playing so it was really hard to focus and pay close attention) Then I told her that I didn't say she could run my card for that amount and she just kept saying that I authorized her to run it. Finally I broke down and started to cry because I only had 50 bucks in my account FOR GROCERIES!!!! So she very rudelt gave me the customer service line and promised to cancel the order. (but the money had already posted as a pending transaction so it's not available.) Thanks a freakin lot lady!

So I called customer service and they said the money would be refunded and gave me a fax number to fax a bank statement showing the money had posted to my account. I then called my bank, cancelled my card and was informed by my bank that I COULD press fraud charges and also file a police report if the money is not refunded in the next 3-5 days.

After that comforting call to my bank I called their customer service back and told them that I had called my bank cancelled my card, and if the money didn't get refunded I would be pressing fraud charges through my bank and with the police. (And yes I was rude and aggressive just like they were to me) I told them that I had not authourized this amount and this was completely ridiculous! I told them to take me out of their so-called sweepstakes and that I wanted my money and nothing more. I told them if they give my money back it will all be over and done no problems. I was then told I could call in the following day and do a 3 way call with them and my bank and they would tell the bank they will not take the money out and my money will be available a lot sooner.

If you experience this, pressing fraud charges, cancelling you card and taking no crap is the way to handle it. If they know you mean business they will cancel it and refund all your money. But the best piece of advice is NOT TO EVER give your card number to anyone or anything that you cant see in person. It's the only way to avoid situations like this. And remember when push comes to shove-SHOVE BACK!!!!

Clute, Texas
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/01/2008 11:37 PM 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 UPDATE EX-employee responds

You can get your money back from NME. Read this posting. It's works and it's easy.

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

I worked at NME and the above steps really work. You will get your money back. And if NME ever threatens you with a collection agency don't worry about it because they do not report to the credit bureaus.

The sweepstakes is real but they have only given it away 4 times in 24 years. If you take the lump sum and pay the income taxes there is very little left. Don't forget if you win you are now rich according to the democrats so they are going to take a HUGE piece for taxes. The last million dollar prize was only about 400,000 lump sum and around 200,000 and change after all the fed and state taxes. Nice money but not a million bucks.
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#2 Author of original report

I feel Sorry for you.

AUTHOR: Krystal marie - (U.S.A.)

For anyone to defend a company that ADMITTEDLY preys on the elderly and less educated and requires you to try and convice someone not to cancel their subscription at least 4 times when the ARE NOT satisfied with it is absurd. This company is a bunch of con-artists weather you want to admit it or not. You don't work in sales so you obviously don't realize their sleazy tactics.

These people talk so fast it's hard to understand what they are saying, they don't tell you you are being transfered to a confirmation department for a subcription, they tell you they will dicuss payment options but they will only do this AFTER running your card, and they didn't tell me they were running my card for $48.00.
They con people out of their money. It's pretty sad to see that 50% of people call in dissatisfied!

There's obviously something wrong with the company. Not to mention ex-sales people of this company (notice they are SALES people) talking about the motto "buyers are liars"! OUTRAGEOUS!! Not to mention there are over 75 reports about this company being a scam and the fine they got the other year because of their shady business practices! You can try and make yourself feel better by saying it's legit and it's the callers fault but that just shows how brainwashed you are by the horrible company.

Plus there are tons of people who have called in to cancel and were told they COULD NOT CANCEL, were ignored and have continually been being charged after canceling! If you want to defend the company tell someone else. I already know how to get my money back. Thanks.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

N.M.E employee -- How to CANCEL your account!

AUTHOR: Yoyo1988 - (U.S.A.)

I'm an employee of the national magazine exchange, I work in the Customer Service department. At work it's really called the Customer RETENTION department, because our job is to get the customers not to cancel their account. We get commision based on how many "cancel requests" we save. If someone calls to cancel we have to save the account. We are scripted and have certain offers we have to make. First we try and spread the payments out then give them 4 years for the price of 3....and so on.

We do have rules though. When ever someone threatens to call the Better Buisness Boureau, Attorney General, their lawer, or threatens to call their credit card company and reverse the charge we CAN NOT try and "save" the account we have to go staight to canceling the account with a full refund. If someone does make a threat and we don't cancel the account there is a good chance we'll get in trouble for it. Q.D listens to random calls all day and writes you up if you do something wrong. For example certain states have laws where if their citizens make any purchase over the phone they can cancle at anytime. Most people don't even know this law exists in their state. These states are called "cancel at will" and if a customer lives in this state it will say it in red when we pull up the customers account. If the cusomers calls to cancel for the second time we can't work the account we have to cancel it. I got in trouble last week because I didn't scroll down and read all the times a customer had called and I didn't see it was their second cancel request.

I know a lot of people think this company is a rip off and I do feel bad for some of the people that get hassled into buying magazines that's why I'm writing this to tell everyone how to cancel and get their money back. However, the National Magazine Exchange is not a complete rip off. The sweepstakes is real. We have a new sweepstakes every two years. I've seen them give the winner their check and there's no way that could've been fake.

Our company does prey on the elderly and low educated. But if half the people who called into our company actually listened to what they were being told they would understand that they were placing a magazine order and their credit card was being charged. First people talk to the sales reps then they get transferred to the "Verifier" who has to get the person to say yes to the magazine purchase 4 times before they can place the order. People pick 2-3 magazines then after the order is placed a computer program automatically pick 7-8 more magazines to add on to the package, but this doesn't cost the customer anything extra, and if the customer doesn't like the "bonus" magazines they can call customer service and change them.

You do get the magazines for 1.29 a week. There are 52 weeks in a year so it comes to 67.08 a year, and we have 1,2,3 and 4 year packages. So a four year package could end up costing you 268 dollars.

Just to let everyone know, about 50% of the calls I get are unsatisfied customers who think we frauded them and the other 50% are very satisfied customers who love the program and are just calling to change their magazines.

This company does have a lot of benefits to people. You get 10 magazines a month for a total of 67.08 dollars a year. AND YOU DO ACTUALLY GET YOUR MAGAZINES. You can also change your magazines as long as you have 6 months left in the service. So I think it's pretty cool. You can try out a magazine for a month or two and if you decide you don't like it you can change it. We have over 200 magazines and we have a lot of the really popular ones. Just make sure you really listen to the Sales rep so you know how much money they are possibly taking from you. Oh yeah cause if you authorize them to bill your card they'll take out your payment every 30 days until you've paid your account in full. How much money they take depends on what plan year you're on and how they broke the payments up for you.

So remember listen to the Sale rep, and if you got hassled into buying the magazine subscription call customer service and tell them if you don't cancel your account you will call your lawer, the better buisness boureau, or attorney general. If you do that your account will be canceld and you will get all your money back

Hope this helps everyone! :)
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Glad to see you are fighting back

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

I'm an ex employee, who quit after being disgusted with company procedures, practises and unfairness to customers and employees. In training, they preached positivity and that if there's any problems to work on, they prefer to refer to them as "areas of opportunity". I know, what a load.. Anyways, us employees wanted to be kind and gentle to our customers (the decent employees did, the aggressive ones didn't care), but those of us who didn't badger our poor customers (me included) were ridiculed, threatened with infractions (and much more) if we didn't do what we were told. It was unreal. They treated us like two year olds. I stood up to them until I could find a job for a company with kindness and respect for customers (and us). And now, I look back at this place and cringe. They record everything for legal purposes, so you do the same back to them. Let them know you are recording, "For accuracy, this call is being recorded." Throw their own words back at them by doing this. They want people to be lazy, roll over and give no fight, whether its employees or customers. Good luck and go for it.

(happily former employee)
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#5 Author of original report

Steps you can take to protect yourself-I did and it works

AUTHOR: Krystal marie - (U.S.A.)

I called the customer service today with my bank listening in (a 3 way call) and explained to the representative what was going on about me canceling the order and the miscommunication between the sales department and me. I verified the information that I had cancelled the subscription, that I was not fully aware of what was going on when I gave my card number and everything, and he looked up my info and said it was indeed cancelled and that I would not be recieving any magazines in the mail or be charged for anything.

He verified that this was all true to me and my bank. My bank then noted all the correspondence with the caller and what he said. He said they would not take the money and I had nothing to worry about. After getting off the phone with the customer service rep I asked the banker if anything could be done if the money was not refunded. The bank lady told me that I had to wait 3-5 days for the charge to fall off and if it was taken I still had to wait 30 days for the money to be refunded to my account. But if the money was not refunded by the 30 day period with the information we both got over the phone I could then press fraud charges. So now it's just a waiting game.

But if you've ordered from these people in the last few days my advice to you would be to 3 way them with your bank on the line. Tell them you want to cancel your order, you misunderstood what was going on, and get your bank involved so they know what is going on, they are a direct witness to your conversation and then they can document it and you have the ammo to sue or press fraud charges because it's not your word against theirs; it's your word and your banks word against theirs! Odds are much higher you will get your way and be unsubscribed from them. Good Luck to all who deal with this company. I feel they aren't frauds they ARE cons.

But do remember that the reps are in a completely different place than the "sales" department and are a little more willing to work with you. And getting a third person to listen as a witness is the best thing you can do. EVERY BANK I HAVE EVER KNOWN IS WILLING TO 3 WAY CALL TO HELP YOU.

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#6 UPDATE EX-employee responds

How to stop the credit card charges and stop the magazines. How to get your money back. Read this.

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

Are you a victim of this sleazy fast talking magazine sales company? NME was fined $535,000 by the FTC for their past sales practices. The following comments are some more things you can do to stop the credit card charges and get your money back.

To stop the charges you can change your credit or debit card number.

Want a refund? If NME told you there is a guarantee call them and politely but FIRMLY tell them you want to cancel AND want your money back. The rep GETS PAID to talk you out of cancelling so be firm and tell them that you will file a complaint with the state attorney general and FTC and that you will not listen to any more sales pitches. If they give you excuses like "the labels are printed" or "the magazines can't be cancelled" that is baloney.

You can also tell them that you will call the credit card company and dispute the charges and do a charge back. NME hates credit card charge backs so they are more likely to just give you a refund.

If NME or a collection agency threatens you with collection tell the collection company verbally and in writing that you did not order magazines and do not want them and to CANCEL. Tell them that if they do not cancel and close their file that you will file a complaint with the attorney general and the FTC. I was told by an employee in collections that NME LEAVES YOUR CREDIT HISTORY ALONE because they do not want state or federal authorities looking at them because of past FTC fines.

If you gave NME your checking account number you will need to ACT QUICKLY and call your bank for help. Try changing the account number. This is a pain and you will need to print new checks but it should stop NME from taking more of your money.

Good Luck. It is a great feeling when you shove back against these bums and win. It is your money so do not let NME take it when you don't want the magazines.
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