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:
A) YOU ARE NOT UNDER CONTRACT WITH THEM and
B) YOU HAVE ALREADY NOTIFIED YOUR BANK AND THEY WILL GET YOUR MONEY BACK NO MATTER WHAT
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.