I got a call from Universal Reading Service which woke me up Saturday morning, August 8th. Sleepily, I answered to a caller who quickly stated the name of the company (as well as herself, though I don't remember the name) and said they were in Utah. She asked if I had a Visa card, to which I said yes, and rattled off a bunch of other information saying I was eligible to be in a sweepstakes for $25,000. Okay.
I was referred to a supervisor after this preliminary stuff. The next lady I spoke to said something about how the first lady was new and had to verify information (I have seen this in many complaints and I'm very curious as to why this is so frequent.) So somehow magazines got involved and she said I would receive five magazines for $4.99. I'm a bit of a push-over, so I agreed. She then asked for my debit card number, and I, not very knowledgeable of these schemes until now, gave it up. She also asked for my SSN, which set off alarms in my sleepy head that something wasn't right, so I didn't give it to her. She had my card number anyway, so I was already screwed.
She started talking so fast that I couldn't even understand her. But I heard the number $68.28 and I stopped her and said I didn't want these magazines if it was going to turn into such a high number. She thoroughly confused me and said no, that wouldn't happen, but continued to say something about 19 payments and not paying anything for 41 months. I was totally confused but tried not to sound stupid and parroted the information as she recorded me, (which I hope is not a binding contract-- I doubt it can be since so many people don't understand this wacko policy, either).
It was my understanding that I was paying $4.99 for the magazines and could choose to continue the service after I got them if I wanted to. She also added that a diamond watch and $100 gas card would be added as well. I fully intending on canceling the service but the phone number she gave me she said so fast that I couldn't understand it, and continued on, saying that the info would be in a letter I would receive soon. (It is now the following Wednesday night, and I doubt any of this will really reach me.)
The more I thought about what I had given into, I became paranoid and checked my balance at the bank. Calling customer service of my bank, the lady said $68.28 was already debited from my account from Universal Reading Service...in Virginia Beach. What happened to Utah?
After reading plenty of reports on these companies online, I felt threatened that so many people fall for this and they are scammed out of hundreds or thousands of dollars over a long span of time. I'm young and don't want my hardly-existing credit ruined already, so I had my bank freeze the card and file a dispute against the company. I am currently waiting on a new card to arrive in the mail and for a credit to be issued to my account in the amount that the company essentially stole from me. I hope that this will be the last dealing I'll have to do with these scam artists.