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Madison Who's Who / Unauthorized credit card charges

1 New York, NY, United States Review updated:
Contact information:
Phone: 718-932-8011

A few months ago, i got a phone call from a representative of madison who's who saying that i am elected as a member of the year. I was foolish enough that it is a flattering experience, and i paid more than $600 for 5 year membership. The representative said that i just simply pay additional $200 or so to become a life - time member when i want to, but there won't be any additional charges. Two months later another representative called and said that they will charge $299 for annual book. I got another call 2 days ago, and i was told that i am invited for a vip member. So, i said "no thanks!" but i realized that they still charged $218. 95 against my credit card. I called my credit card company and requested depute for the amount.

I searched comsumer reports to find out whether there are other cases, finding out there are too many to ignore this scam. Mostly they have never received any services that they claimed that they would provide. I would like to know what can be done to stop this.

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  • Da
      20th of Nov, 2008

    I was stupid enough to agree to a two year membership because they said there was nothing to loose because of the two free airline tickets. Those tickets are useless with hidden requirements for hotel stay. But they didn't tell you. After that I was harrased by their sale representatives repeatly and with unauthorized charge to my credit card. Fianlly, I have to tell them if they continue to make unwanted calls, I will call the police. When someone from Madison Who is Who calls, hang up!

    +1 Votes
  • Tr
      28th of Jan, 2009

    was that 219.95? and maybe the last payment of the first thing you mentioned? cause there is 19.95 shipping... also, no one forced you to purchase, you chose of your own volition. yeah they probably called you several times, often information gets double printed by accident, but everything they tell you you get, you get.

    -1 Votes
  • Ly
      25th of Mar, 2009

    As a soon to be "FORMER" employee...I can tell you.
    MADISON WHO'S WHO is a poorly ran business and quite un-ethical!

    As a sales person, I was instructed to "get the money" however I could even if this meant harrassing a little old woman who was receiving social security.
    I simply cannot and will not take my self or my beliefs to those measures, which is probably why I never made any sales. LOL
    I have witnessed the brash tones and complete impoliteness of these sales reps (one of which sat right across from me) using very harrassing tones.

    Please people, if you feel that your money is being invaded please make a complaint against with your bank and have the REPORTED!!!
    These ### owners drive bentleys and jaguars. They want for nothing and it is disgusting.
    They are money hunger and looking for victims.

    I feel horrible that I allowed my self to be in that type of enviornment. I took the job because it promised a completely different approach to sales.
    As of this Friday, I will be exiting doors I never should have walked through to begin with.



    +2 Votes
  • Ma
      13th of May, 2009

    BEWARE! These are theives and frauds! They call from "restricted" numbers and steal money from people!!!

    I called to complain about unauthorized charges to my credit card, having never previously heard of "Madison Who's Who" (I am in Marquis Who's Who Among American Teachers.)

    They charged me 20% to reverse charges neither made nor authorized by me. I spoke to the same man over and over under the following names:

    "Jonathan Martin" "Financial Director"
    "Justin" in "Finance"
    "Sean Martin" "Director of Operations"
    and "Andrew Jones" "Managing Partner" (who said there was no one above him in the company.)

    It turns out that my card was used by a 15-year-old relative because they called and pushed her into acting immediately-
    and obviously a 15-year-old child does not have the experience to deal with a hard sell. They called to include her lawn mowing enterprise so that she could make money over the summer. Mr. Jones suggested that the 20% fee was my punishment for not knowing that the child used my card. (I was at work.)

    After several threatening and belligerent phone calls, I finally agreed to accept the reversal- although I provided verification from my bank proving that the charges were unauthorized and a statement of the fact. Because they said, "you'll take 80% or you'll get nothing", Mr. Jones was becoming increasingly rude and insulting, and my planning period was ending.

    I just looked up "Madison Who's Who" and the names that were given to me are NOT the names on the Contact page. Sean Martin's "position" is actually filled by a woman.

    On top of all that, the child with whom they initially entered into an agreement never received any of the benefits promised. They did not verify that she has a fictional BA from a fictional college ("The University of Arts"). They did not verify her identity. They did not verify her age.

    This company pushes children into entering into agreements with them, runs credit cards without verification and then charges the unsuspecting credit card owner a "fee" for reversing the charges.

    This information has been forwarded to the FCC and the FTC as well as the FBI unit for internet scams.


    +3 Votes
  • Jo
      15th of May, 2009

    I recently took a "Sales postion" with Madison Who's Who. Now keep in mind, I have over 20 years experience in sales from starting in the automobile business in 1996 to becoming a sales manager in life insurance in 2009. So I go on the interview, which lasted about 5 minutes. the girl that interviewed me- -Ashley (Director of Human Resources) could not have been more than 23 years old (I am 38 by the way and have conducted hundreds of interviews). OK. So I :get the job, which pay 300 per week plus commission. I show up for training the next day. There is some english guy doing the sales training which consists of having you read thier sales script over and over and going over thier "rebutal board" over and over. The training started with four(4) people and by mid afternoon, the only person left was me. By 3 PM the same day of training, I was out on the sales floor. I am handed a stack of old leads to call. about 100 people. Just about everyone I called had been contacted already and asked me to stop calling and dont call them again. I brought this to the attention of the "sales Manager" and he told me not to worry about it, took the leads from me and promptly handed them to another salesperson to call.

    No problem. I am sitting and watching the other sales people on the floor basically bullying people into buying a listing in a book that they will never recieve or even really be listed in for almost $1, 000.

    This company is a scam and I hope that they are shut down soon.

    +1 Votes
  • Ra
      11th of Jan, 2010

    I was contacted by a sales rep today for Madison Who's Who, congratulating me on "making the list." When I wouldn't agree to purchase any of the packages, the rep rudely just hung up on me. Appears this company is just a scam.


    +1 Votes
  • Jm
      21st of Jan, 2010

    I purchased a book but didn't buy membership back in May last year. They told me book wasn't published yet and would get it in September, I believe they said. Well I just realized I never got the book I spent about $100 bucks for on my credit card. Hopefully it's not too late to dispute the amount from several months ago!

    +1 Votes
  • Br
      12th of Feb, 2010

    Wow...I was contacted today for an interview for a "Sales" positon for Madison Who's Who, and I must say after reading the reviews I've decided that I will not be going to that interview. I will not participate in any fraudulent activities like those mentioned above. I feel sorry for those who have fallen victim to this company, and I must give special thanks to those who highlighted the wrongful acts of 'Madison Who's Who'. Thanks
    - Brooke B.

    +1 Votes
  • Jm
      2nd of May, 2010

    AND when I called them back they said I will receive this book in April and the book isn't ready yet. Well it's May and I don't know what to do!! I don't know if I can dispute the charge through my bank even though it's been almost a year ago now!

    0 Votes
  • Jm
      29th of Jun, 2010

    R, I filed complain on the Better Business Bureau today because my purchase is unresoved. I never got book I had ordered over a year ago. I called them and after I said I'd like to request a refund, they hung up on me. I do NOT recommend this business to anyone. Don't work for them or sign up with them. I don't even see anything about this published book through their website. What a scam! Now I'm hoping and waiting for a refund..

    +1 Votes
  • Cy
      17th of Aug, 2010

    2 weeks ago I received a phone call from the US (I am based in France), from a restricted number.
    The guy asked a lot of questions I answered nicely & honestly during 5' (I had a meeting beginning, the questions were general, & I am used to answers to recruiters from the US), beginning with an "You have been highly recommanded, you seems to have a great professional experience" ending with an "You know, I thing that - as a lady - you are more valuable as many men".
    I asked them to give me his e-mail back or his telephone number. He told me he would prefer to call me back. We set up a phone call 1 week after. 1 week after, well... nothing. Few days after, I received a second phone call from another person, I said I did not have time, we planned another phone call. Well... Nothing happened of course.
    Today, a nive lady called me. She began straight to the point : "we interviewed you, everything is OK on our side, your biography is ready to be printed, we have very strict deadlines of publishing". I told her that her company missed two appointments, I did not know how they were able to print a biography with 5' of answers. I asked for more details about their company. She was only able to tell me 'take you computer, I am going to show you". I said "I can do it myself". She said, "no, no you need me for that". 10' after she call me back, we went on the website, she showed me a sample biography (very poor I found and not professional at all). To make a long story short, she wanted me to buy 5 years now or never, today or never. I sais never... I don't know what is the company but they are not professional at all, their biographies cannot be real truth as they do not verify anything just trusting what you are saying on the phone.
    Be careful though, They are attacking France;-)

    +2 Votes
  • As
      18th of Aug, 2010

    I'd like to point out that the only positive comment about this company, filed by one R Thompson, was posted by a user wh made an account 50 days ago and has only ever made one post. Also, his wording is strangely corporate... strike anyone as a plant?

    +1 Votes
  • Il
      21st of Aug, 2010


    +2 Votes
  • Co
      25th of Aug, 2010

    This company is a credit card fraud. They make illegal things and they steal money from people. I wonder why Visa and Mastercard don't put a ban on their transaction. It is obvious that they are scam. And they attack Eastern Europe nowadays. I wonder how do they reach the information about my phone and e-mail address. It's a fruad.

    +1 Votes
  • Ab
      27th of Aug, 2010

    Dear R. Thompson,

    Seldom right and wrong again. There is, in fact, a complaint about Madison Who's Who with the NY State Attorney General's office. I know, because I filed it. These people are scam artists and thieves!

    +1 Votes
  • Gr
      31st of Aug, 2010

    Well if you look at these complaints, the majority of them are typed with terrible grammar and spelling, which raises the question, "what type of idiots are typing false complaints and think they are convincing people of these false alligations?". I am a recent member to the Madison Who's Who registry and I have already gained 2 new buisness contacts. I purchased a lifetime membership for 789$ and already it has been worth it. These people on here making false complaints are not only hurting a productive service in Madison Who's Who, but could be steering away potential future contacts and clients of mine by scaring them away from a helpful program. I suggest those of you researching this for your own interest of signing up, do not be detered by these falsifications and speak attentively with a representative to see if this program is for you. As for those of you making these claims against the company, im not sure what your motive is, but it is clearly misguided. I suggest you mature a little bit, do some real research on the company, and then re-post.

    -1 Votes
  • Go
      31st of Aug, 2010

    The positive review right above this one tries to denigrate all the previous negative reviews by saying that the majority of them contain terrible grammar and spelling. Ironic, because that review contains terrible punctuation. It appears to me to be a company-written review.

    +1 Votes
  • Ja
      10th of Sep, 2010

    Same comment from Spain.

    A first guy called me three times to my mobile phone. Since I could not hear properly I asked him to call him to a landline (of course in Spain).

    At first I was flattered by the guy and impressed by his eloquence. Of course, English is not my mother tongue and this plays to his advantage!

    After a long conversation (say 40 minutes or so) he proposed lifelong or long term membership. I was thinking about it when he pressed me to give him the details of my credit card.

    At that point, I just refused to give any information that could lead to my money being drawn from my account.

    I asked the man to send the information, so that I could analyse it and take a proper decision.

    No way! He just wanted my bank details, so finally I stopped the conversation.

    Two days later a second "advisor" called me with the same tale. This time I asked him straight away whether he was going to ask for money after all the bla-bla.

    He mentioned that he needed the Visa number and expiry date to make a "safe payment". I refused to do it and he just wished me the best for life before hanging the phone.

    I have to mention that, between the first and second advisor, I had looked for similar experiences and knew that it was a scam.

    My only doubt is whether madisonwhoiswho really exists and provides services or whether these people just have usurpated their identity!

    +1 Votes
  • Go
      10th of Sep, 2010

    Do not listen to "Cyber Stampede".

    Check the New York Better Business Bureau.

    Over the past 36 months, *** 75 complaints **** were filed about Madison Who's Who

    To put that number in perspective, Best Buy in New York has had *** 5 complaints *** against them in the past 36 months.

    You can see these numbers for yourself at the following links, or google the NY BBB and look up "Madison Who's Who" and "Best Buy".

    Those numbers can speak for themselves. If the poster "Cyber Stampede" isn't financially involved with Madison, that would be really shocking.

    +1 Votes
  • Fr
      29th of Sep, 2010

    Madison Who’s Who is one of the worst solicits out there. Never sign up with them. They will not stop until they draw all your money out. Thanks, R. Thompson for your advise. I'll complaint to the state attorney general's office next. Before that here is my story:

    As I became an assistant professor, they called me and asked me very nicely that if I want to become a part of the Madison Who’s who. I didn’t know much about the organization and wanted to know more about it. They told me it’s a net working club in the New York City, very prestigious. The person I talked to also said to me that I can become a member over the phone while they will send me the hard documents. He also mentioned that this requires credit card number which they will not charge until I sign the membership documents. (Javier in earlier post was right)

    I agreed!!! I, however, specifically told the sales representative that I don’t want to become a member before I see the documents. In three days I received a package from the Madison Who’s Who. I carefully looked at the documents and realized that it’s a money making scheme. At that moment I decided to throw all the documents and not go with the organization. I specifically remember that the sale’s rep I talked to told me that he is not going to charge my credit card until I sign the documents or approve the transaction.

    One month later I found out Madison Who’s Who charged me $299.99 for a membership fee. I called the sale's rep directly. He told me he is busy and will get back to me. $299.99 may not be much to Madison Who’s Who, who are scheming people every second but it was a lot of money to me. That person never called me back. I went furious. Started calling all possible numbers I can find online. Finally, I get their Financial manager and he told me once the membership is done they cannot do anything about it but he is willing to give me some discounts. It was total BS.

    Finally we settle in an agreement that they will return $100.00 and give me one year trial membership. I didn’t care much at that moment just wanted some of my money back. I also told the financial manager that I am sticking with this membership because they cannot do anything about it but please cancel my membership ASAP. Personally I never believed Madison Who’s Who can offer me anything at this point. He told me it’s a trial membership and will not get renewed until I renew it.

    After that the Madison Who’s Who started charging my account occasionally without my authorization. When I called them back there was no one who can really help me with those transactions. I was really frustrated and called my credit card company to get a suggestion how I can protect myself from this organization. My credit card company gave me a new account number and managed to get all the unauthorized transaction made by the Madison Who’s Who organization.

    Apparently a year has passed. I moved on, changed my job and moved to a different location. Never used anything from Madison Who’s Who. Today, 8:30am, I get a call from Madison Who’s Who again. Asking if I have moved from my previous location because there is $299.99 membership charge due with the Madison Who’s Who and they would like to send me the bill! I couldn’t believe my ears!!! I stood like a statue for a second and went furious.

    +1 Votes

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