I have dealt with a magazine company in Florida for many years, and when I received the call from Magazine Services of America, I was under the impression that it was the same company I had been dealing with for many years. I asked the question if they were representing this company and was led to believe that they were one in the same. However, the young lady led me to believe, as with others who have complained, that she was new and she read off the names of the magazines that I was taking and a couple that I did not subscribe to. I corrected her on that matter and she acted as though she had made the mistake and was very apologetic. She asked me if I would talk with her supervisor and asked if I was satisfied with her presentation and if I would "put in a good word for her" with her supervisor. She then switched me to her supervisor who advised me that the call was being recorded and first asked me if I was treated well by the young lady and if I was understanding of the procedure. Again he went through all the terms and told me my payment would be $19.16 per month and if I wished to continue to pay the same way as I had been paying. He asked me to verify my address and my account number to assure their records were correct . I admit, I was dumb and this should have caused the lights to come on, but I didn't realize what had happened until the first payment was deducted from my account, as was the original payment of the other magazine company. This was in 2005 or 2006, I believe. In 2008, I receveid another call from MSA, and I was led to believe that they were reducing my payment "because of my good standing with the company" and I would be paying only $17.11 per month. Well this sounded okay to me, and I was asked to speak with the supervisor and give a good report for the young lady that called, and again I was being recorded. This was about five months after my husband had passed away, and I will admit, I was not thinking straight at all, and I should never have taken the call in the first place. So now, I was still paying $29.90 to one company, $19.16 to Magazine Serivces and another $17.11. After I had come to my senses about the scam, I tried on several occasions to reach the customer service which put me on hold for as long as 20 min. and then dead air and then a busy signal. A few months later, I received a call regarding the payment of $19.16 being past due. I asked how that could be since the payment was coming out of my checking account every month. They said that the payment did not clear at one time and therefore I was past due. In checking my account, I found that there had been one month missed, but there was money in the bank that would have covered it. This has been an ongoing problem now for the last 7 or 8 months. Finally, I received a call from a number registered as a Colorado call and I was informed once again that my payment was past due. I told the girl that it was impossible because once again they had taken a double payment out, and once again I had tried to reach customer service to get the matter straightened out, and again put on hold -- then dead air -- then busy signal. She asked if I would like to pay the contract in full, which would be $114.96, and I said yes if it would get them off my back. Well, not only did they take the $32.48 past due a second time, but they also took the $114.96 out a second time. I called the 800 number and believe it or not, I actually got through and I read the riot act and I told them I had reported them to the Federal Trade Commission (and I acually have) and that I wanted my money back. The lady (whose name was Cheryl) gave me her number and extension number and asked me to call the office the next day because she found where they had charged me twice and she would report it to her supervisor. She asked me to call the next day as she would only be in the office between 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM EST. Well, I called the next day and got an answering machine and I have yet to hear back. The money has not been refunded to my account as of yet. When I spoke with Cheryl, she played the recording back to me; however, it was only the recording with the supervisor and not with the first person I spoke with, so what was said at the very beginning of the original call is just my word against theirs. There is no doubt in my mind that it was my voice on the other end -- but there was nothing indicated as to the date and time of the actual recording so it could have easily been the recording from the very first time I was contacted in 2005/2006.
I have learned my lesson quite well -- finally! I am not one to be rude on the phone and I just can't seem to say NO soon enough. But there has to be something done to make these people more responsible with their techniques. They are very deceptive, fraudulant, and dishonest in many ways. They have a gimmick and you can be trapped before you actually are aware of it. The older you are, the easier you are trapped.