The Hearst Corporation ,INVOICING BUREAU P.O. Box 8464
Red Oak, Iowa U.S.A.
The Hearst Corporation INVOICING BUREAU, Hearst Corporation's Misleading Invoices to Sell Magazine Renewals - How to stop this Red Oak Iowa
Like many we have continued to get misleading invoices from The Hearst Corporation for renewing magazines. The last invoice was sent first class and on the envelope it read "Dated Materials Enclosed" and "INVOICING BUREAU". The implication is "CREDIT BUREAU".
The letter reads:
Your account with us has been brought to my attention. Your current subscription has come to an end and we still have not received payment for your renewal.
This concerns me, since we can not guarantee uninterrupted service on your subscription until your payment is processed.
(This section seems somewhat legitimate - the next section is inappropriate and uses scare tactics to sell the renewal)
Please take a moment now to settle your obligation with us and we will promptly extend your subscription as you requested.
G. L. Valk, Vice President
The words "settle" and "obligation" bring to mind that there is an outstanding promise made by us to renew. "Settle" is a term often used in collections.
We have received many of these letters with the same flavor from the Hearst Corporation. I imagine that it is quite easy for someone to misconstrue the letter to be a collections letter requiring payment to settle a promise to pay. We have good credit and pay our bills on time. This kind of letter tends to result in fear that our credit is threatened. I would be happy to learn that the FTC or some class action suit be brought to the Hearst Corporation as I am certain that thousands of people are simply paying because they believe there is a threat to their credit and the amount is only $15-$20 to "settle" the "obligation" stated by the Vice President of the company.
I just called the Hearst Corporation and let them know what I wrote above. I asked if we could resolve this over the phone or if I need to find someone else to help us resolve this. The person on the phone said we would no longer get any more letters from Hearst Corporation of this kind unless they are already in the mail.
The phone number is: 515-283-2578 - the auto attendant answers as Country Living but they had a list of all of the Hearst Magazines that are tied to our address and the letters that are going out. The person I spoke with was very polite and removed us from the list (at least that's what she said).
I hope this helps those who have encountered the same problem.
Camano Island, Washington
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