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American Reading Club / Tried to Rip Off my elderly Mother

1 United States Review updated:

Hi all! I want to WARN everyone about this company - A R C American Reading Club. They are nothing but a RIP off. If they contact you hang up. Rip up any mail from them. DO NOT give them any information at all. They sucked my elderly mother in told her she would get a package from them and a year later still nothing. They say to cancel you need this package or there is nothing you can do. They also give your info to other companies. Two other companies took money from my mothers account and A R C took no responsibility for it but they are the ones who gave the info to these companies. My mother got her money back with the threat of being taken to court. But do not do business with this company they are a RIP OFF

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  • Mi
      21st of Feb, 2007
    0 Votes

    Wish me luck, I don't know how these people got my credit card number. I called my credit card company to contest the charge. Time will tell what mess we are in. I do not plan to pay one cent!

    We have been slammed with unsolicited magazine subscriptions. I get tired of cancelling them.

    Good luck to others.

  • Re
      6th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    I think I know how these people got my debit card number and it was by fraudulent means. I have called them at least four times over the last two years to have my money refunded and have requested that they stop sending me magazines every time. I am tired of having my bank account go into overdraft due to these people. I was just charged $119.91 (that was my electric bill money for the month, which I now cannot pay without incurring overdraft fees) and had to get downright rude in order to have my money begrudgingly refunded (hopefully! I haven't seen it back yet). I purchased a cd two years ago and was asked by the sales clerk at Sam Goody's in Starkville, Mississippi if I wanted some free magazines. She handed me a card and I checked a couple of magazines that were supposed to be free. At no point in time did I put my debit card information on that "free" magazine card. However, because I purchased the cd with my debit card, my debit card number was "miraculously" attached to the card I filled out. This has been an ongoing nightmare for over two years now and I am furious. I filed a complaint with the FTC (which I strongly suggest anyone else do) and am in the process of contacting my Consumer Protection Agency. I have to go to the bank and change my debit card number now. I can only hope that some charges to my account have not slipped through undetected. I am also told, every time that I call, that the person with whom I am speaking is a "supervisor" and they refuse to transfer me to anyone higher up the chain of command. Moral of the story, DONT' FILL OUT ANY "FREE MAGAZINE" CARDS, EVER! I am now receiving "Men's Fitness" and "Latina" magazines. I am a 33 year old caucasion woman and am not even slightly interested in these subscriptions, but I have been assured by American Reading Club that I requested the magazines. GIVE ME A BREAK!

  • Ra
      13th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    I used to work for this company and I can offer you an explanation as to why you are charged on your credit card when you weren't even solicited.

    First off, they buy lists of people's names, address, telephone number, and also they obtain their credit card information! This is completely illegal if they keep the credit card information on site instead of having it secured at a third party location. They may tell people that they have access to only the last 4 digits of the card number for "verification purposes" when in reality they are staring at the WHOLE CARD NUMBER! WHOA! Big trouble! And what if the peron looking at the card is a thief and wants to order something offline? Whoa! More trouble! The whole company is totally crooked and they seriously need to be in major investigation by the FBI.

  • An
      23rd of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    1st of all, if you had READ what you signed it would state that you authorize to have your info shared.
    2nd of all, EVERY company keeps the COMPLETE credit card number. How else do they charge or credit purchases. It is a federal law to only allow the last four digits to be shared.
    I'm sorry you have endured so much financial stress over this but it truely is your naivety that helped lead to your strain.
    Lesson: Dont sign anything you haven't read first.

  • He
      8th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    After 12 phone calls to them all by general complaint, cutsomer service to all three major heads: Janae, Susie, and Chris. I got to speak to Susie. Susie told me about the company got the information, apologized for the phone call, gave me an immediate refund and stated that I owed nothing because the debit card # said it was pending. On pending if you call to get money back they are required to. After I also told her I filed with FDIC, my bank etc. she closed it down for good. She stated if I had given her the debit after she cleared the check, it would have required a dispute to get the money back, she sternly stated never to give out credit card or debit info, and how to prevent this again. She even removed my phone number and name from her computer. Chris then called and I told him about what happened with Susie. He apologized as well. I should get the refund by the end of 24-48 days.

    I ended up lucky thanks to advice on this board- whatever you do never answer an anauthorized call, read all your rights, and register with gov. agencies for future protection. Also try to find the company's business ids online- all companies are required to by BBB and all the ones with complaints are marked on the BBB site in red with contact info. Also request a BBB report on the phone for free that was also how I got the steps to appeal.

    Also always check internet creditentials- many of these contest ideas are fake and register you for this stuff. The ARC may not have a website but there is a promo called the Preferred Readers Network- most contests automatically enter you in there and obtain your credit info which was exactly what Chris said. The Preferred Readers Network is owned by ARC's parent company- so be careful! Even Susie warned me about that- fortuntately the ARC complied with me.

    Never pay them and check to see if it is pending especially on debit cards. With credit cards- flag them to the company, provide contact info about them to the company, and dispute all charges. On pending they get no money so make sure t0 tell ARC about the rules you read here, mention that it was obtained without permission, and the steps you took. They'll be forced to comply and they rather give that money and your info back to you to avoid further action- a major sign that they are crooks, know exactly what they did was wrong, and the reports against them.

    Also ask them to remove your number and never contact you again- when you mean business they'll comply!

    Be sure to stay away!

    Good luck to you.

  • He
      9th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    I got my money back but I had to make a lot of threats to them- fortunately I caught them before they tried something else and the lady on the other line kept her word. But if I hadn't had pressed I'd be screwed.

  • Te
      16th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    All these magazine companies are thieves! They will promise not to share your information, lies, the minute you hang up they put your info. on a list to be sold to anyone who wants to pay a minimal fee. Then they send a couple of magazines from your list, then they never get it right. And if the payments are suppose to be paying for the subscriptions, for 5 years, WHY!!! are the companies sending bills. For example: we keep getting Maxim ( Not on my list) they sent me a bill. Also they are slick. they buy your info. from the original company ( now knowing) that you ordered, and you think you are talking to the original company. They want to confirm your


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