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Midwest Clearing, Inc. / Misrepresentation!

1 United States Review updated:

A young woman came to my door , telling me that she is part of a program called Paragon which helps young black men and women get education and training so they don't end up in gangs and helps them be productive citizens. On the form it said in big letter, "NO DONATION". She then showed me a page, like a survey, where I was to sign my name and hopefully give her positive comments about her presentation, etc. She said that if I did this she would get "points" toward receiving $1,000 to be used for her education. I did not sign and lifted the page on the clipboard and saw a long list of magazines. I then asked her if she was selling magazines. She said she was but that anything I bought would give her "points." I said I didn't need any magazines. She said I could buy them and donate them to the program to be used by others in the program. This is the same as the complaint from the woman who said she was told they would be sent to the tent city in Louisiana. I refused to buy, she was rather insistent, I still refused. I told her I never give to or buy from any charity unless I check them out. I did check with the Attorney General of MN and there is no Paragon program listed with them. She wanted to know if she could come back later. I told her a day the following week that I might be home. It will be interesting if she will come back. I will inform her of the complaints against her company and I will not buy!

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  • De
      3rd of Nov, 2007
    -2 Votes

    Two young African American women came to my door, as well as my neighbors' doors trying to sell magazines for points to get a job for single mothers. Their paperwork was good, but I felt funny about this. I wish I would have thought it through and checked them out online. My concern is their coming back for me from me and my other neighbors.

  • De
      3rd of Nov, 2007
    -2 Votes

    Ripped off by Paragon Sales Inc. Sold me a magazine subscription to gain points to help single moms. This is a lie. They ran away so quickly you could see wind under their feet. I know I will not be repaid or receive my money back. This company must be shut down!

  • Am
      8th of Nov, 2007
    -1 Votes

    I too received the same sales pitch. As I am apparently a dummy, I said yes-- only to find out that the subscription was for 3 yrs and cost $58 to House and Garden Magazine (thought it would be similar to Home and Garden-- but this magazine is full of expensive unrealistic decorating ideas). I received 5 months worth of the magazine and decided to call and cancel-- First I called House and Garden, they gave me a different # to call and then from there, I got a DIFFERENT #. They were willing to cancel my subscription with NO REFUND. When I was transferred to another person, he was basically like-- so what, your contract said you had 3 days to cancel. Man I am a dummy-- thanks to the internet, hopefully someone will read this and wish the person well and send them on their way while they dont get scammed!

  • So
      5th of Jan, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I just fell for the same scam, but thanks to finding this I canceled my check and will mail my cancelation slip tomorrow. It makes me feel like a real idiot. I hate having to suspect people

  • Bi
      2nd of Feb, 2008
    -1 Votes

    I have the same comments as the others. Two blacks come to my door and pitch their wares. The female was nice and she told me her sob story. The biggest problem to me is the $12.00 shipping and handling fee, poor choice magazines and the lengths of many of the subscriptions are 2 years. Lastly, the website,, did not exist which made me more skeptical.

    I cancelled my check and mailed the cancellation form.

  • Al
      6th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes does exist, but it's a noncommital website where you don't get any info on Paragon -- I just wish I had read this blog before I just wrote my check!

  • Na
      19th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    Two young people came to our door yesterday with the same pitch that I have read in all of the messages above. Today we do not know what to think about our "purchase". The problem is that we really did not want any magazines, so we chose to have them sent to "centers or places for other disadvantaged youth", which would be selected by Midwest Clearing. One problem with their pitch is that they do not offer any way to verify that the magazines that we purchased will actually end up where we asked for them to go.
    These two young people really were very good sales-people and they were likable and believable. We just don't like not being able to check out Paragon and Midwest Clearing (after the fact) to our satisfaction, so today we have cancelled our transaction with them. It is unfortunate. If Paragon and Midwest Clearing really are honest companies of real integrity, then it should be much easier to validate their existence and their business model and practices.
    Further, and more importantly, they have done an extreme disservice to these two young people, because the companies could not maintain the trust in the transaction that these seemingly fine young persons were able to create with their sales techniques.

  • Ty
      15th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    The company is not the problem, to my knowledge Paragon Sales is a wonderful program for young adults to get out and see new things and gain knowledge on great sale skills. I was able to work with people in the program and the things I'm reading about is not true I made my money in the business and helped out young adults which gave me the reason to continue on helping once I got home now I'm helping young adults to be their own person when they thought they could not. Its just that some people don't understand that you have to work for success it will never come to you you have to go get it. Everybody is not the bad guy just because they sale magazines so give an young adult a chance to talk and tell you why they working so hard in going door to door. You can email me anytime for any more questions because I understand but help its just a sales pitch don't take it to the heart.

  • Jo
      17th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    I was scared into buying... stopped payment on the check, sent in the cancellation and then got a nasty letter in the mail from "Dave" at Midwest Clearing threatening collections... below was my response.


    Receipt # XXXXXXXX

    RE: Midwest Clearing c/o Dave
    3649 West 183rd Street
    Suite 101
    Hazel Crest, IL 60429
    (708 ) 206-2001

    Dear Dave:

    I received a letter from you today regarding the stop payment of a check that was issued by me for magazines sold by Midwest Clearing. Here are the facts…A representative from your company came to my home in Gilbert AZ at 9:20 pm while I was home with my young daughter and three of her friends. He proceeded to apologize for the late hour and then started to tell me how he was trying to raise money to better his life since his brother was shot dead while commiting crimes and he had also been shot and proceeded to show me his scars from bullet wounds. He asked me to “make a donation” to help him out and to sign a “petition” to show his bosses he was at my home and doing his job….quite honestly I was afraid to tell him no. …so I signed his “petition" thinking he would leave. Instead I then listened to him tell me how magazine companies “donate” free magazines to help people rebuild their lives and what magazines he had to offer and I agreed to one…he wrote down two and asked for a check close to $100.00. I said that was not what I agreed to… . He changed it to one …. The “free donation” was a sizable price and the added “ 12.00 fee” made it even higher. He was very irritated saying he had not made his goal and if I would buy more he could get off his feet for the rest of the night. My daughter and her friends were frightened of this man and I was very leery as well. Frankly, I wrote a check against my better judgement just to get him to leave my home. Upon closer inspection of my “receipt” and a quick look at the internet I saw all the fraud reports and the number of BBB complaints against Midwest Clearing. I told my husband what happened and he was furious that your representative came to the door at that time of night and that he frightened myself and the children. He contacted our lawyer and was told that solicitation after 8 PM is illegal and that we should call the police. I chose not to call the police, but, to cancel the sale.
    I did call the number on the receipt numerous times from my cell phone and got put on hold three times and argued with the fourth time. After wasting many cell minutes and being thoroughly disgusted with Midwest Clearing I chose to stop payment on the check and I mailed in the cancellation as instructed by the rude person I spoke to on the phone at Midwest Clearing.
    I will not send you a copy of the stop payment order from the bank as you requested and I highly suggest you do not have a collection agent contact our home.
    Thank You,

    Joyce Stephens

    CC: Fenstermacher & Howe, LLC

  • Ma
      18th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    Ok, so maybe I'm a complete sucker, but I bought magazines both last year and again today from a young guy who came to our door. I spent about 1/2 hour talking to him, asked lots of questions, initially not completely trusting him. He did give us the spin about getting away from a bad situation (inner city Chicago) and said that he was working to develop sales skills and if he made enough sales he'd get a $1000 bonus at the end of the summer for College...he said he was going to Community College in Chicago...but who knows he may not have finished high school!! He did not talk about donating the subscriptions. He did tell us he'd make more money if we bought 3 subscriptions., but was was up front about how the program worked for him. We didn't, buy 3 just bought 2...that I didn't really need...and they were expensive, since you have to buy 2 years minimum for the most part. He did say that it was pretty tough where he lived and that he felt lucky to be able to be in New England for the summer...and I have to believe that anywhere in New England is better than inner city Chicago.

    I guess I feel as though this kid is far away from home for the summer and pounding the pavement daily...he had been out for 4 hours today and had the door slammed on him more than once...people who wouldn't even open the door (probably because he was black) and he hadn't had a sale.He said he ws going to keep trying. He comes to our house in an upscale suburban neighborhood. It's dfficult for me, anyway, to say least he's working for it and learning a skill. Have you ever tried to sell anything door to door or done cold calling for a company? It is not fun!! I was happier to see him than the Jehovah's who are the only others that solicit me.

    I do agree that there should be more online info so that we don't feel "taken". However, I'm going to get my them last year, and feel good that I gave that kid a sale today...and will get some new rags to read!

  • Th
      9th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I think that the kids in the program is not the problem its the stereotyping that those kids have to go through.People just need to believe in them like you believe in blessing because GOD never made two people alike. I actually liked the young adults that came to my house AND THEY WAS TELLING THE TRUTH!!! AND I DID GET MY MAGAZINES! So you should'nt blame everybody for one mistake. Be a leader not a follower.

  • Da
      12th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I just want to thank you for this board because I left the young woman standing outside while I checked the internet and found your postings.
    What a shame because there are so many good organization and good people out there.
    Thanks because of you I didn't fall for this.

  • Sa
      29th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    August 29, 2008

    Same story. A slick talking salesperson and two "trainees, " and the line was that I would be helping him build points as well as making a charitable contribution to a Boys Club by purchasing the magazine but NOT for myself.

    Then I looked at the receipt and saw the "NO DONATIONS!" along with the declaration on back about the operation not allowing itself to be represented as any form of charity or non-profit organization.

    Obviously, Midwest Clearing is not doing a good job of informing its personnel. And we're not doing well by the young people who are seduced into type of life.

  • Ms
      3rd of Sep, 2008
    0 Votes

    i think that tha program is actually a great program for young adults because for tha simpl;e fact they except tha homeless and actually turn them into sucessful business men how do i kno because im one of them. so next time u actually read something on tha internet think before u react. because u do believe in second chances dont u?

  • Jj
      28th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    Exact same deal just happened to me, here in a suburb south of Seattle. Young black woman claiming to be part of training program... first thought was it was scam. Asked if I could do a donation on line, she said that wasn't possible. Checked it out and of course it's a scam. Hopefully they can explain to the police department why they're peddling goods without a business permit.

  • Mr
      12th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    Does everyone see K.Price's comment? Read this article:

    Notice a Kevin Price in the article? Interesting no? Compare the dates of how many days ago his post was made vs the date of the article. Interesting no?

  • As
      17th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    We had two black men come to our door as well, long story short we fell for the sob story and wanted them out of out house so we got the cheapest magazine for 51.00. we wrote a check and they left, yesterday we got the check back and the stupid men had changed the amount to 151.00 and wrote over our writing in dark marker. We are so mad. I cant believe those idiot boys, i will never fall for something like that again! i can't believe how sad this world is. We are just so thankful we received the check back. we are among the lucky few and im sure its few.

  • Ca
      31st of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    I just bought a four year Weight Watchers magazine subscription for $60 (30 points?)from a young man, who was very nice and articulate, and came to my door this evening in the Bernal Heights area of San Francisco. A lot of other people had signed up, many for high points amounts (300-400) indicating several magazine subscriptions. It's not until the end of a long conversation that you find out he's selling magazines. I hope I actually get the magazine. I should know better, but I got suckered in. I'm suspicous someone is making money off these kids.

  • Sj
      8th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    Yesterday, I was visited by a young man from Paragon, selling magazines. I told him that frankly I thought he AND I were being exploited by this company, but in the end I subscribed. Stupid. A little web research and I learned that this exact kid was arrested for assault (upon one of his fellow salesmen) in Salem, Mass just six months ago. From now on I'm not answering the door.

  • Pa
      8th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    I'm a former paragon sales person and for all of you who claim our program to be scam, its not true. This program creates realistic jobs for young men and women! you may have came in counter with a sales person who keep your money or lied, but this does not make our company a scam they give every young person who wants a chance that chance now if they do keep your money or lie they will be fired! bye you saying its a scam you make it hard for people like myself who's really working to change. please dont discredit us like this.

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