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Universal Reading Services



Complaint Rating:  100 % with 15 votes
100% 15
I received a call this morning from this place. I have had the flu for the past week and consequently am not up to par. So I laid disoriented on the couch while this guy (Devin) rambled in my ear about a sweepstakes and magazines. It sounded like a good idea to me since I was looking into a subscription anyway. (Hindsight: Don't ever sign up for a subscription from someone who comes to you. Go get it yourself firsthand.) He gave me the story about how he is new, blah blah, and I get a free watch, blah blah.

There were a couple things I noticed even through the fog of flu. First of all, they talk really fast. And when I would ask questions, they would avoid answering completely and instead give me an irrelevant response. Then the feeling that something wasn't right sank in when I was reading my card number aloud. The problem is that they are really slick about getting you to give information. I admit it was dumb on my end - but the "supervisor" on the phone was leading me to believe that he had all of this information already anyway and just wanted to verify that it was correct. And maybe they do have it and they just need to have you on recording so they can say you authorized everything. Who knows. But he would give me part of my info and I would give the rest. Stupid me. It did occur to me in the call that it was really odd that he was reading off information of mine and I had never even answered a call from here before.

When I realized this was a scam then I told the supervisor I wanted out. He fed me crap about me already consenting and he already put me in the drawing (boo-hoo, dude!). Then he proceeded to talk me down to a lower monthly rate (which added up to about $700 bucks overall, by the way). I was sick of him and I thought $39.31 a month wasn't so bad so I went on with it. At the end of the call I asked for a number to call them back (so I could cancel) and he said I would get it in my welcome package. "Oh, okay. Thanks." *Click*.
...wait..."I WOULD GET IT IN MY WELCOME PACKAGE?!?!?!" HELLO! Are you stupid???????

I immediately went into my bank account and there was the charge! Plus some other $1.00 hold. The $39.31 came from UNIVERSAL READING COMPANY, VIRGINIA BEACH. The $1.00 hold came from MAGAZINE INC. MARIETTA HWY FL. (Florida? What?) What I am guessing from the million numbers I've called is that the $1.00 hold is from all that secondary crap they feed you at the end (hopefully you didn't make it that far) when they tell you about some other ID theft companies or some other companies they are giving information to. Whatever that third party was, that's your $1.00 charge.

The scammers gave me the correct number for that third party but this second number they gave me leads only to some underwear place (Crap.) I already canceled with Universal Reading so I shouldn't have an issue with this third party.

The best thing you can do is
1) notify your bank of the scam and ask them to reverse the charge. Most banks will do this for you. You may have to wait until the charge posts but that beats $700 of your life getting sucked away.
2) Cancel and replace your debit card. My bank said this is the best thing you can do in this situation. I did that. You should not have issues with collections and crap if you can get through to Universal Reading and cancel your subscription. Unfortunately, that's the hard part.
3) Call the scammers and cancel. The following numbers worked for me and you'll end up getting the same people no matter which number you call (another obvious clue that this is shady):
1-888-446-4405*** (***these two numbers will get you the same guy)
They will try to tell you that you made an agreement. They will also try and sell you a lower price. Just ignore it and tell them firmly that:
This shut them up for me and I had it canceled. Call time there was 3:33 -- so just be firm and you won't have 20-40 minute calls. I also called each of these number back again and I verified again and again that it was canceled. Also, they can give you a cancellation #. ASK FOR IT.
Complaint comments Comments (8) Complaint country United States Complaint category Scam Contests
More Universal Reading Services Complaints & Reviews
Universal Reading Services - Bad business [54]
Universal Reading Services - REALLY!!!! [3]


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 30th of Sep, 2009 by    0 Votes
I got a call about entering a sweepstakes and receiving free stuff, as long as I sign up for a magazine subscription. I was first talking to a female, then was transfered to a male who told me the previous woman was "new" at the job. It started out reasonably priced, but by the end of it, they were telling me I needed to pay 69.90 per month for 5 magazines! So I declined and I was offered a lower payment of 49.90. They have really good, persuasive fast talking sales people, and I already gave them my card number so I gave in. They will also record you agreeing to everything they are asking you. But then I googled this company and found a complaint on this site, so I called my bank right away. I found 4 pending transactions on my account: a 49.90, and three $1.00 charges by the same company. My bank told me they cannot dispute pending charges, and that I should just wait and see if the transactions go through or not. They eventually didn't, so I let it go and assumed I wouldn't be charged again for those rip off magazine prices. But then one week later, I was charged a 24.99 by a company named Magazine Virginia Beach (which I guessed were the same people). First of all, the first transaction didn't go through because I didn't want it authorized, secondly, this new transaction isn't even the same amount that I was told I was going to be charged. So I called the number listed on the transaction, and talked to a "new" salesperson who couldn't even get past 5 minutes talking to me about cancelling and decided to call in her "supervisor" who started to explain to me that I was talking to a "new" girl. De ja vu much? Same story as the first call. I then told the supervisor that I want to cancel, and she kept insisting that I am locked in and cannot pull out of the deal. When I kept insisting that I wanted to cancel, she proceeded to give me a 70% discount and that I MUST pay the monthly and whatever bs they had left to pull. I told her the bottomline was that I wanted to cancel and that I am in no legal way bound to keep paying. And if they weren't willing to cancel, I will just freeze my bank account. She then became pissy and told me that they were making an $800 loss and even had the nerve to ask me "are you happy now that our company is making a loss?" and I said "Yes." So she cancelled it. They better not charge me again. My advice, just don't give your card number to anyone calling from either Universal Reading Services or any magazine services coming out of Virginia Beach. But if you unfortunately have already, just keep insisting on cancelling, don't fall for their discounts or specials as they call it, and be ready to freeze your account if you have to.
 23rd of Nov, 2010 by    -1 Votes
Wow I cant believe how stupid I was I believing all this crap! All the stuff you guys are saying happened to me too 3 days ago so here I am all freaked out because that stupid magazine company charged $68.28 out of my card and yes I did give them my card number and the safety numbers from the back...what's wrong with me now I'm regreting what i did! If your reading this I'm sorry to tell you, you got scammed big time as someone said already freeze your card if you have to..cuz I'm ready to do that ASAP!!
 9th of Nov, 2011 by    0 Votes
They work under a company called National Services Corp.
 1st of Feb, 2012 by    0 Votes
I just got off the phone with the supervisor. He told me I couldn't cancel, it was too late, I made an agreement. He tried offering me a lower price, told me the magazines are pre paid and they just want their money back. I told them I have cancelled my card and that my bank won't be making payment. He told me my bank does not have the authority to cancel it. At that point I hung up. I'm scared, I do not know who can help me or what to do. I can't afford to be scammed like this. Someone please help.
 4th of Jun, 2012 by    0 Votes
This was helpful. I was so disappointed with myself when I got drawn in. Immediately after the call, I saw the charge was on my card. It took me to find this website, and get the phone number. Thanks. It wasn't provided, and I have not received anything from this company yet. I just beat the 3 day receision period, although it took me at least 4 times telling the receptionist I wanted to cancel altogether. She wanted to offer options, but I insisted I wanted the order cancelled.
 11th of Jun, 2012 by    0 Votes
After getting the wrong numbers to cancel, they tried to convince me that "this is the fourth day and therefore i was unable to cancel." Just argue that the 72 hr period is mute when you were given the incorrect contact information initially. I asked to speak to "Latoya's" supervisor and, or course, I was already speaking to her (as if). I pointed out that there is always someone in charge of even the highest managers and wanted to speak to them. I was transferred to another person who gave me a cancellation number, a guarantee that if anything posts on my account it will be refunded and if not to call back (rolls eyes). Raise hell, and you shall receive. Having worked in customer service for years, I already know we don't' want to deal with the asshole-iest people in the world, so just be a pain in the arse and you're golden.
 20th of Feb, 2013 by    0 Votes
I made this mistake, and was told that I would be charged 68.28 for the first month and then 30.00 for the next 11, a total of 12 months, with 7 months free! (they also signed me up for another service that I was unaware of that was charging me $35 a month) They record you answering questions, basically what they are trying to do is to get to you say what they want so they can alter the recording to suit what they want. Unfortunately I was unaware that I was still being charged 68.28 for the past 7 months. I called the phone number that was on my bank statement (once i realized what was happening) and cancelled. a month later I got another 68.28 charge so I called the number again and Latoya answered and told me I had already cancelled with her company(this was the company that was charging me $35) and that she wasn't the universal reading company. So I searched online and found this! THANK YOU!!! You are a life saver for having the phone numbers. I called and Latoya answered, she ended up putting me on the phone with a supervisor who I argued with for over 20 minutes, where they tried telling me I still owed $800+ to them, I continued to tell them I want the account cancelled and they continued to try and negotiate a lower price. I then stated that I had already notified my bank and issued a stop payment on this account. They continued to try and negotiate. I proceeded to tell them that if they did not cancel my subscription that I would be contacting the Better Business Bureau, the attorney general and my lawyer and that THEY would be paying me back in full, plus whatever it cost them in legal fees! The supervisor FINALLY cancelled my account.
 5th of Jun, 2013 by    0 Votes
I'm so thrilled I seen this before the 3rd day! Just wish I didn't give in already. That's for all the info!! Cancel as soon as I can.

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