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Universal Reading Services Complaints & Reviews - Bad business

Universal Reading Services Contacts & Informations

Universal Reading Services

Posted:    Michelle H

Bad business

Complaint Rating:  98 % with 42 votes
Contact information:
Universal Reading Services(company)
Their contracted call center is in VA beach
United States
Phone: Some 1-800 number
Doesn't exsist
My hubby received a call right after getting off work from night shift, so understandably he was tired, and not all there. The salesman rattled off a bunch of perks quickly, slowing down on prizes my hubby would be entered to win, then rambling through magazines, prices and what not. My hubby agreed sleepily(I have forbid him to answer his phone when he isn't alert ever again). We decided to just see how it went. Three months went by and we didn't get a magazine, we called to cancel when we were moving and after arguing with a grunt, we were passed the the supervisor who offered a "70% savings" cutting the subscription from 5 years to 2 and making our payments only $30. But for the same amount of time, which is almost two years, so that's more expensive than what you originally pay, did she really think we were that dense? HA. We said no and opted to cancel. She said we were locked in because it was like a line of credit, well KEEP THE LETTER YOU GET IN THE MAIL! It clearly states you can cancel ANYTIME, that what you agreed to IS NOT a line of credit or a contract, and you are FREE to get out. We had to quote that text verbatim to the woman TWICE, and she still tried to argue, but eventually reluctantly agreed to cancel and said we would get what we hadn't received and wouldn't be billed any longer... It's Sept. 1st and checking my acct online I just got billed, and I can't freeze my card because I have plane tickets charged that are pending. I'm about to flip out.
Comments United States Magazines & Newspapers
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 1st of Sep, 2009 by   Michelle H 0 Votes
To everyone that reads this complaint, National Readers service inc(or whatever) and International Readers svc are THE SAME COMPANY. I called the VA Beach Consumer protection agency and both names are fake names. The company is actually called "International Marketing Association Inc". They arn't based in Virginia beach, a call center they contracted to do their dirty work is what is based in VA Beach. I will be filing a complaint with the consumer protection agency in VA Beach, the man on the phone was SUPER polite and helpful, he said that the last complaint they had was resolved with a favorable resolution, which gives me hope.
I hope my experience helps others! Don't let them beat you, I know to some this may seem like alot to go through, especially since I've cancelled my card and will no longer be charged, but this company needs to realize their way of business is BAD, and I didn't get ANYTHING, not a single magazine, and after all this time, and the hassle I want the money they don't deserve back.
 4th of Sep, 2009 by   Michelle H 0 Votes
This company is very tricky to find!

/URL removed/

This is where I found help:
http://www.bbb.org/montana/business-reviews/magazines-subscription-agents/century-marketing-in-helena-mt-64005596

Business Contact and Profile

Name: Century Marketing Inc.
Phone: (800) 643-1164
Fax: (888) 854-4705
Address: 2905 North Montana Avenue
Helena, MT 59601
File Open Date: January 2006
Type of Business: Magazines-Subscription Agents, Magazine Sales Departments
BBB Accreditation: This company is not a BBB Accredited business.
Additional DBA Names: CMI
International Marketing Association
IMA
 11th of Sep, 2009 by   DGreen 0 Votes
i had the issue with universal reading service. and i try to file a claim and was hoping they can cancel my transactions. i'm also getting my debit card number changed. i cant believe that would be such scam artists. its the last time i answer a call like that.

but i have a question. even when they said i couldn't cancel my subscriptions, i can? because i have tried to cancel it the day of it, since i had finally woke up and did my research on it. but they said i had to wait. so i waited and still they said i couldn't cancel. so how do i get out of it, just in general. who do i call, and what do i say, because obviously the company wont let me cancel. i need help. i will be grateful for assistance
 12th of Sep, 2009 by   Stephanie B. NY +1 Votes
I am currently going through the exact same issue. I did, shamefully on myself, agree into the magazine subscription because it sounded like a good deal. however, after really giving it thought I changed my mind. Now, the only written information I received from the company stated that in order to cancel, any request must be made in writing within ten days. So, I wrote my letter asking to cancel, mailed it in, but am still being charged. there apparently is no record of my request to cancel. Whenever, I have called the actual company to cancel- I've been told that i cannot cancel since the "process" has been started. Then the rep has the nerve to offer me a buyout at a drastically reduced price. So, they can cancel my order for a one time fee of $300 and still mail me the magazines. Complete Rip-off. I want to change my credit card number, however, I am afraid that the compnay will put me into collections in the future.

Stephanie
Brooklyn, NY
 22nd of Sep, 2009 by   buhs914 0 Votes
Yeah i was an idiot and got caught up in this yesterday. Similar things were presented to me in exchange for a "small" magazine subscription. I agreed like an idiot and got charged 39.31 almost instantly. I found the company's actual number today and called them and told them to cancel because, being a college student, i have no money for this crap. They told me that the initial starter payment could not be refunded but the rest of my subscription will be canceled. And for my initial payment i would receive two magazines subscriptions that would cover that price. They recorded the conversation where the lady stated that my subscription will be canceled as of that day. Hopefully i don't get charged any more. If so i'll cancel my account and deal with the collections bs later.
 24th of Sep, 2009 by   Crazykatie 0 Votes
I actually just went through the same thing. I had already been interested in subscribing to Highlights for my kids, so when they called I thought that I would give it a shot. However I am a single mom with two kids and did not get paid for a couple of days. With only 50.00 dollars in the bank I asked three times if they could wait until I got paid to charge my card, and three times I got the same answer. About two hours later I called the bank to clarify my available amount and they had already charged my card. I was livid but it was after hours. So I just called and spoke with a supervisor and was vary firm with them. They canceled my membership and replaced the 39.31. I am thankful that I was able to find the number here!!! Thank-you for your help and best of luck to the rest of you!!!
 9th of Nov, 2009 by   Alyssa09 0 Votes
just now i was called by Universal Reading Co. they started off saying they were calling from Visa, so i naively trusted them. they had my address already. and asked me a couple questions about what age category i fell in (which was the youngest category) and if i go to college and work. then started rambling how i was entered in a sweepstakes, and i was eligible to receive a free diamond watch and a free 100$ gas card if i subscribe to these magazines for 4$ and something cents per week. at first i was like "hey thats pretty cool" good deal right? well i agreed and then she asked for my card number and the three digits on the back of my card. i did. uh oh. i told her though that i did not want to start any payments until they sent me their information in the mail so i could verify. she said of course, that she would send me a welcome package and no payments would have to be paid until December 1st anyway if i DID agree. then she asked if she could record me giving her my information for shipping. that sounded weird to me, but i agreed. she asked for my social security number, i said no way to that thank god! she said thats ok and then started talking so fast i couldn't understand. i was getting the impression that i had made a big mistake as soon as she asked for my social security. so while i was still on the phone with her i told her wait, i dont want to do this. i cant afford it. and she said no payments would be made until i agreed on the information coming in the mail. so i was going to just throw away whatever came in the mail and forget about it. she abruptly hung up on me, and when i tried to call back the operator said that that number was not able to make a call. i quickly got onto my online banking and there it was!!! a charge only seconds after i got off the phone with her of $37.98!!! i immediately went to the bank, explained to them and they destroyed my old card and put a freeze on my account until the transaction goes through tomarro so i can file a dispute. i typed in the name of their company on google to get a phone number or any info and this is what i found. complaint after complaint towards the same "company" or shall we call them pathetic cons?? all similar stories to mine!!! how can these people get away with this? again and again??/ i am going to find a way to see that it does NOT happen to any other again.
 2nd of Dec, 2009 by   kayleighlinc 0 Votes
In regards to this company i got a call about fifteen minutes ago with this and i was sitting there telling the annoyuingly enthusiastic guy that i do not want this and they put the order through anyway so now 70 has been charged to my student credit card and nobody can do anything about it i am so POed at this to much stress caused by idiots.
 7th of Dec, 2009 by   VANESSA MEZA +1 Votes
I RECEIVED A CALL LIKE ABOUT 2 HOURS AGO AND LIKE EVERYONE ELSE THEY GAVE ME A MAGAZINE DEAL WHICH I PROCEED. BUT 2 HOURS AFTER THAT I CALLED THE NUMBER THEY CALLED ME AND IT SAID DISCONNECTED! SO I TRIED ONE MORE TIME AND THE SAME THING SO I RIGHT AWAY CALLED MY BANK IT WAS ALREADY POSTED IN THE ACCOUNT BUT NO NUMBER WAS AVAILABLE SO MY BANKER ON THE PHONE LINE ONLY REVESED THE PAYMENT BUT ON TOP OF THAT I WAS ALREADY CHARGED A DOLLAR THE SALESPERSON DID NOT EXPLAINED THIS SO I DISIDED TO LOOK UP THE NUMBER IN THE INTERNET MY BANKER SAID THAT THE DOLLAR CHARGED WAS FROM A MAGAZINNE AND AND THAT THE OTHER POSTED TRANSACTION AL IT SAID THERE WAS UNIVERSAL READING SO I LOOKED UP IN THE INTERNET AND FIND ALL OF THESE CASES. SO I CALLED THE NUMBER THAT I FOUND HERE THE LADY TOLD ME THAT TO CALL BACK TOMORROW. AND SAID THAT MY INFORMATION WAS NOT THERE IT TAKES 24-48 HOURS TO SHOW. I STARTED TO THE RURED WITH HER FINALLY SHE SAID TO GIVE HER MY NAME ANED MY LAST AND THAT SHE WAS GOING TO CANCEL IT FIRST THING TOMORROW AND TO CALL HER I MIGHT JUST GO TO MY BANK AND FREEZE MY ACCOUNT. NEXT TIME I SALES PERSON CALLS MY PHONE I'M JUST GONNA HANG UP.
 21st of Dec, 2009 by   JR. JCW 0 Votes
Well I'm added to the list I see. A real retard I feel like for actually agreeing to it but like everyone else it sounded like a deal you couldn't pass up. Some "chipper" sounding guy calls me up telling me I'll be signed up for all types of sweepstakes and they're giving me a free diamond watch with a 100$ gas card and I'll be getting 5 magazines for cheap (who would ignore that?). I asked immediately and repeatedly if I had to make any payments today or any time soon? "Every time he said NO" I would have to pay in 3 months cause they were being considerate of the holidays. Couple days later I get a call from my bank asking about the charge and the 1$ didn't seem unfamiliar but then they told me the same company charged $68.78 right behind that. "I FLIPPED OUT" those scam artists flat out lied to me. I got the number from a letter in the mail cause the bank couldn't find a number for them. I immediately called and told them I wanted it canceled this girl spent "10 minutes" trying to tell me she couldn't do it cause the "process" was started, tried to give me some sob story how their company is going to lose money and she didn't have the authority so I bugged out on her, got a manager on the phone to cancel it (so they said). After that I told them I wanted a release of the hold they had on my account and a refund of my money which they said they did. Well I spoke to my bank afterward which they got the fax for the release so I figured ok it's over. Boy was I wrong; it's been over a week and the release is no longer on file and I haven't gotten a cent back. I called them back again and this time I get sassed from one of their csr's now she tells me it take's 8 to 10 business days for the money to be refunded and since some of those days fall on the holiday's I have to wait until a day or two before new year's (which is my birthday no less) for the money to show up on my account. I swear if that money doesn't show up on that day this company is gonna have some real problems. I'm gonna make it my mission in life to put them under. I should've listened to what I've always heard and always known... IF IT SOUNDS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE... "IT IS"
 22nd of Dec, 2009 by   nick22 0 Votes
shit i just signed up for this shit
so what do i do
they charged me 69 whatver allready
 6th of Jan, 2010 by   BlademagePSN 0 Votes
yah the charges are insane quick and you get another charge if you agree to some gas card

Here is the # for the Company, 1888 446 4405 (magazines)

(gas card) : 1866 637 5554

i called to try and cancel but soposedly i commited myself to financial crap to the company and they have my recording to confirm but i will try canceling. though my bank's claims services thank god for my bank, cause it saved me from overcharges before, will help me out once the charges are through and i cancel them through there.
 15th of Jan, 2010 by   POSeclipse 0 Votes
I got the charge for the gas card, which is 29.99 and I didn't agree to it. But I just got off the phone with a girl who tried giving me the whole "do you want us to lose 1200 in sales because you want to cancel your account" I said "doesn't sound like my problem now does it." So she offered to give me the two magazines since I've already made the payment, and I told her "NO! your going to give me my money back. My car doesn't run on magazines, and I need that money for gas to get to work!" She agreed to give me my money back, so now I'm waiting to see it appear back in my account. Now I have to take car of this gas card charge...
 1st of Feb, 2010 by   LSSNAJH 0 Votes
I wasn't thinking when i signed up for this program. They promised all kinds of things which I never received. I called them to cancel and they tried to sell me that if I paid one low payment of 400 dollars then I could still receive the magazines that I hadn't been receiving I kept telling the woman i just wanted to cancel she wouldn't listen till i brought up the fact that they ARE NOT with BBB and that if she wouldn't cancel my account I would get Naval Legal Centers into this since I am in the navy and what she called a contract was a verbal agreement NOT a binding legal document for the fact that a legal document to be binding has to be signed by the participant and been notarized by the government. She promptly shut up and canceled my account the easiest way to cancel with these people is to be direct and forceful and threaten to sick the BBB on them they will cooperate with you.
Hope this helps.
 9th of Feb, 2010 by   Checkboi 0 Votes
About 5 or 6 months ago i received a call in the morning from a service that was providing magazines. Like a dumbass, i opted to hear what they had to say. The man started off by saying he was new and to bare with him. He told me about the subscription and asked me what kind of Diamond/gold watch i would like to receive as a gift for free. He stated that the payments would be $5.20 a month so it would be a 1 time payment of $62.40, and the next 4 years free. They recorded the conversation but in a way that they could edit out certain parts to twist the truth if checked by someone. I ordered the magazines and paid the $62.40. about a month later i did not receive any magazines nor did i receive the diamond watch. I should have checked before i ordered because the did not give me a name of their company or any time of information on them. I looked up the phone # they called me from (866-450-5695) on google and all i kept getting in the search results were thousands of pages of other people being scammed by the same people who called from that number. i Immediately called and canceled my credit card. I called and canceled with them also. But for the last 4 or 5 months they have been calling me day in and day out. Between 6am and 11:30pm, they call about 3 to 5 times a day. i recently received a letter in the mail stating that i am to pay a total of $1, 236.45. That is complete BULLSHIT!!! Who the fuck pays 12oo dollars for a total of 8 magazines recieved (already used and old issues). They did not abide by their own terms in which they tried to make invalid charges to my credit card, did not send the watch that was provided, and says you cannot cancel after i already called and they said they cancelled my account. Do not fall for this service at all!!! THEY CAN SUCK MY DICK. IF I SEE THEM IN PERSON I WILL RAPE THEM WITH A BANDSAW!!! THE NUMBER IS 866-450-5695. ALSO KNOWN AS Premier Reading Service and Consumer Reading Company. FUCK THESE ASSCLOWNS!!!
 11th of Feb, 2010 by   kerschenl 0 Votes
Same thing happened to my college age daughter who just couldn't hang up or say no. After talking to me, she finally called back and was told that she couldn't cancel. She was in tears when we talked to her again. She finally read the back of the letter they sent her which did say she could cancel at anytime. She has sent in her cancellation letter by certified mail, return receipt and we are hoping this will be the end of it, however, from reading the above posts, now I am not so sure. We will keep an eye on her account and if necessary, close it. I wonder whether they even bother to pursue collections. I guess we'll cross that bridge if/when we get to it.
 1st of Mar, 2010 by   MzAisha 0 Votes
omg i cant thank u enough Michelle H!!! i called and they cancelled my subscription!!! although i had to put up a fight they finally gave in!!! so glad i stood my ground b/c this lady was like pushing the $19.99 plan on me and i was like NO WAY!!! lol but i appreciate ur help and definitely recommend who ever is in a similar situation to CALL THE #!!! and be stern they cave eventually!!!
 12th of Mar, 2010 by   alainncailin1021 0 Votes
Screw this company...tried to tell me I already obligated myself to the 39.31 dollar charge to my account when I haven't recieved anything!! I made the order 20 minutes ago then I read all these posting and canceled immediately!! The customer service lady kept telling me no she couldnt give me back my money even though I didnt receive anything...finally after a few choice words I said to her and the fact that they have bad business and bad reviews, she finally said she was canceling everything. This company is a total scam!!! BEWARE!!!
 12th of Mar, 2010 by   Alyssa18 0 Votes
I just got a call about this earlier this morning!!! Right after the call i talked to my mom and she was like "its probably fraud so dont give out your info" (not knowing i had already done it) So i panicked and started looking up my bank account and they had already charged me 68.28 in less than 10 minutes!!! But my account told me who took the money out so I started searching the we and not to my surprise a whole bunch of websites came up about fraud. So I called and finally got somebody. They had some nerve asking me "is it a financial problem? we have a financial center. We'll lower your payments" and I was like NO! I want to cancel. The guy kept trying to force me to commit to something, but I was like NO! I want out!! Since they had already taken my money out though, they didnt refund it but sent me 2 magazines for a year since they said it would be the equal amount. Now I know this is a scam because at the beggining they were saying I had to pay 68.28 MONTHLY for 19 MONTHS!!! (for 5 magazines. 2 that were supposedly free) Thats about 1300 dollars!!! So how in the world, according to what I ended up getting woud THREE magazines equal 1300 dollars for 19 months? but 2 magazines for 12 months only cost me 68.28? This thing is ridiculous. DONT BECOME TOO EXCITED AND FALL FOR IT!!!
 23rd of Mar, 2010 by   There Liers 0 Votes
Oh thank you so much for this site. It just happen to me today. I asked him 3 times if my account was going to be changed and he told me not till May 1st well I guess todoy was May first becouse they cleaned my account out. It was after hours for me to, but thanks to this site I found the number and went off abut it. The girl's named was Brittanie and she canceled my account and said my money would be back in there in 7 to 10 working days, Thank god! Oh there's another number she gave me its:


1800-637-5824

Good Luck,
Deana, TN

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