ED Magedson – Founder
PeriodicalsP O Box 750 Lolo, Montana United States of America
The reason I went searching for this company and it's correlation to running scams is that I, too, was pulled into their web. I am a 21 year old female who works 40 hours a week just to pay the bills. When I got a call on my cell phone, at work, and the number was blocked intentionally, of course I didn't answer.
However, over the next few days, the calls came in at an increasingly alarming rate. I was taking a lunch break one afternoon, when yet another call brought my cell to life. It was the fifth one that morning. I was tired to having to look for my phone all day, just in case the call was an emergency from home, so I answered it, intending to tell them to lay off. This was my first mistake.
When I answered, a wonderfully pleasant woman named Paula cheerfully informed me that I had been entered into a $100,000 sweepstakes based on the fact that I owned either a Visa, Mastercard, or AmEx. [continued below]....
There were many little clues throughout our conversation that should have tipped me off. For instance, even though I'd been entered into this "sweepstakes" because I owned a credit card, Paula needed to know specifically what kind of card I had. In the back of my mind, I thought "shouldn't they already know that?" Still, however, I listened.
Paula described the magazine membership in the best light possible, I must give her credit. From my end, it seemed like a good thing, as they all do at first. If I paid for a subscription to one magazine, I got three more free, plus a diamond watch and my entry into this "super prize" sweepstakes. I thought about it, thinking that I didn't particularly need any magazines, but Paula gladly informed me that I could switch magainzes to any of the 500 on a list they would send me.
While my mind was wandering to how cool it would be to get Popular Science for a year, Paula rattled on about what a great value it was. At this point, I was leaning towards agreeing with her. She wanted this sale, and went so far as to say that her boss might ask me a few questions about her performance, and would I put in a good word for her? She had my sympthaties. She was appealing to my logic. She was appealing to my illogic with the free things and the sweepstakes.
Make no mistake, the people who work for this company are very good at what they do.
Eventually, I ended up giving them my card information, which included my security code, unfortunately. This was my third folly in a long line. It was with joy that Paula told me, immediately after the transaction was spoken, that her boss had magically appeared behind her and wanted to speak with me.
I work for a large company, and I can tell when a call is transferred. Nick answered just as cheerfully (I was getting tired of the cheerfulness, to be honest) and asked how Paula did. I didn't want to be mean to the woman, so I told him she did fine. Nick was even better at his job than Paula. He launched into a story about how he wished he was in FL (where I'm from) and how cold it is in Montana where they were. He went so far as to tell me that, should I win the money, I could come up there, and he would teach me how to ski. He was charming, and charismatic, and a perfect con.
I didn't like the way this left me feeling, like I had just stepped on a roller coaster that I knew was going to crash. I thought, after I had disconnected the call, "I can't afford this. This is ridiculous. How did I get dragged into this? I'm not usually this guillable."
I considered it a welcome sign when they called again. I thought "This is it. I'll just cancel. Tell them they can keep that first charge, it'll be well worth getting rid of these people."
The man who called me that time sounded like an actual manager. He sounded older and more responsible. I figured that I could level with this man. When I told him I needed to cancel my "subscription" with them, he was very humble, and offered to reduce my plan at it's extreme. (Of course, this still icluded a $30 a month charge... for two magazines?) I fool myself into thinking I was relieved, because $30 is better than $50, right?
I waited two days, and I got the "release" form in the mail. I carefully read through the papers, and was not happy. Several times on the first sheet I was reminded to give my signature. ("REMINDER: Include your Signature" and the like) The Official award release form is the part that you absolutely do NOT want to sign. The very top, which states "I, ______, hereby authorize the release of my gift that I'm entitled to for participating in the magaine offere. I acknowledge and accept the terms of my magazine subscription as described on page 1. Please send it to me immediately at: (address form to follow).
After reading this page, which I just got today int he mail, I jumped on my computer and zipped over to the Ripoff Report. Finally, my stomach had enough. I needed to know if I was getting in over my head before I actually took that step.
I am immensely grateful that I found this site before I signed and mailed the afformentioned form. I called the number at the top of the pages, the first time I had ever been able to, as they continually blocked their phonecalls. I realize now that this is deliberate.
When the second gentleman called, he did inform me that the call was being taped for "quality control". I didn't think much about it because my own bank does that, and it's perfectly acceptable. However, their purposes have a much worse intention. I thought back to that call, and remembered that the man had spoken very very quickly at one point, where I was agreeing to be billed the first charge. I remembered him saying "cannot cancel in the first three days", which I took to mean that they wanted to make sure they billed me before I could cancel. I was ready to accept that first charge, and cancel on the fourth day, if I needed to.
However, when I called the number on the forms, the woman, whose name I didn't get, told me that I was lucky to have called today, because this was the third day. I told her that I was led to believe I could not cancel within the first three day. She informed me that the opposite was true, that I can only cancel in the first three, not after.
She was the best person to deal with during this entire ordeal. She asked my name, verified my address, and very politely informed me that my subscription was cancelled. She did ask me to explain why I wanted to cancel, so that she could record that on my account. Not only did I tell her that I couldn't afford it, because I know someone would have called me to reduce my plan, once again, but I also informed her that I read the reports on this scam, and I had no intention of falling into it. She thanked me very nicely and wished me a good day.
If you're getting these calls, don't answer them. If you did, don't accept their bogus plan. If you, like me, thouht it might be a good thing, and then had second, third, thirty-second thoughts, call them back immediately at 1-888-506-8304 and cancel within the first three days. That's the only way to get out of this ridiculous scheme.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/21/2009 11:53 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/periodicals/lolo-montana-59847/periodicals-active-periodicals-international-readers-league-10000-sweepstakes-diamond-w-498096. 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.
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