I received a phone call from Heartland, Inc this evening telling me that their customers had been receiving calls from other magazine companies claiming to be them. They wanted to reassure me that they were in the process of putting a stop to these scam companies and even gave me a security code for my account. They said that unless the person calling me could provide this security code, then it wasn't them. Having bought magazines (big mistake) several years ago and having recently gotten a phone call from another company claiming that I owed money for an account that I paid off years ago, I actually believed them and thanked them for looking out for me. He then went on to ask me what my favorite two magazines were and if I stilled lived at my current address (they had this information which to me added more legitimacy to the call). He said that I would be receiving the 2009 magazine list in the mail in the next 3 or 4 days. They then asked me which of the major credit cards I preferred best for my transactions, to which I replied Visa.
The person I was talking to then told me that he was new and would I mind speaking to his supervisor to put in a good word for him. I said sure as I was pleased that they were looking out for me. When the supervisor came on, I informed him that the caller was polite and had done a good job and thanked him for looking out for me. Thinking that the call was over, the supervisor then proceeded to ask me a number of questions such as the new expiration date of my credit card. I gave this to him and he said it was validated. He then asked me to confirm my credit card number which started with a "4". I asked him why they needed my credit card number since I had paid off my account years ago. He said that as part of my agreement, I was to receive an additional 60 months of magazines at a reduced price of $10/month. I told him that I did not remember agreeing to that 5 years ago, and he said he had my agreement that clearly stated that. I told him again that I did not owe anything, didn't want anything else and had not agreed to the additional 60 months. Just prior to this I had taken my credit card from my wallet and was about to give them my number, but something made me fill uncomfortable in doing so. The 60 month reduced rate agreement which they said I had agreed to made me even more paranoid and I put my card back into my wallet without confirming the number. I then told them that I had not agreed to that and he said that they would send the magazine list and my agreement in the mail in 3 or 4 days. I asked for a phone number, name and name of the company and they immediately hung up. I try to call back at the [protected] number just to see who would answer and I keep getting an error message saying that the network is having problems and can't connect. I hope I dodged a bullet, but after reading these other complaints, I will definitely be watching my credit account and the mail for anything from these guys.
How can they get away with this and why can't something be done with all of these complaints?