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Paragon Sales and Midwest Clearning Inc / ? scam

1 Mansfield, CT, United States Review updated:

I had a young, hadsome male approximately early 20's come to my home with no badge stating what company he was from who told me that he was an inner city kid from Philadelphia who was here (CT) on a mission of self improvment as a way to become a motivational speaker and get himself away from all the drugs and violence in Philly. When I asked him what gang he was in he told me that there really were no gangs in Philly but that he was just in rough areas in "the hood." He told me he was in and out of foster care since the age of 8 and that he had brought his older brother with him on this mission but his brother went back to Philly selling drugs. He told me that he had 8 brothers and a sister but that his mother never took care of them. He was smooth- definitely on smooth talker. He told me similiar stories to the others on this webiste where he needed to earn so many points for something I could not understand. He wanted me to buy a magazine. The paper he showed me said he was from Paragon sales and that Midwest Clearing was where the magazines came from. On the sheet it had NO DONATIONS written all over it but... he did want me to complete a magazine order form and give him the money directly for the subscription. He has a very firm handshake and excellent eye contact really trying to win me over. He was very handsome as well and did his best to work that aspect. I told him that I was not sure about this company and that I would not feel comfortable giving him money directly making sure of cours to tell him it certainly was not "about him." He tried to do some more convincing but then he left when I stayed firm. When I looked on line the first thing I saw was complaints similiar to those above. He also made sure to tell me that he was "authorzed" by the BEtter Business Bureau"./ He also told me that a neighbor from up the street remembered 2 other girls who had done the program from last year- He was smooth and believable but BEWARE

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  • De
      27th of Jul, 2009
    0 Votes

    I just had a very similar experience with a young man from "the rough streets of Chicago" just a few minutes ago. His paper work was really worn and tattered, and I didn't recognize any of the names on his sheet, even though he claimed he had several people in my neighborhood sign up. I didn't sign up for anything. I told him, I was just not comfortable giving my information and money to a stranger from a company I had never heard of.

    These "magazine kids" come to our neighborhood every summer. One year, I had a kid who stood right in my face, and said in a menacing way "so you are not going to help me." When I tried to step in my house, he held up his arm to stop my door from closing. He had long finder nails and seem a little "off". I really felt threatened. I was pregnant, it was later in the evening, and of course I was home alone.

    I am not sure what this company is all about, but I can't possibly believe they make any money selling magazines door to door. I did notice on the subscription sheet I was shown today, they charge a $15.00 handling fee on top of the subscription price. Nonetheless, I wish they would stop coming to my neighborhood.

  • Ni
      3rd of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes


  • Jo
      9th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    i would just like to say i dont agree with none of u folks cause im one of the worker that go door to door and everyone that i've talked to never had a problem just because i person do something wrong dont mean get on the internet make lies about the hlod company cause it is people that is working to batter them self so i wish yo would give us a chance and not make lies about paragon please and thank you. p.s if i get back on here and it's a nother lies about paragon im going to go the [censor] off.

  • Jo
      31st of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    My name is Johnny Mitchell and i am employed by Paragon Sales.I am astonished by some of these comments. It appears to me that a lot of the comments that have been placed on this page are just negative . If your child and I were throwing a baseball and I threw it through your window, you wouldn't blame your child for it ...would you??? NO YOU WOULDN'T! So all I'm asking, is not to paint the young men and woman that you meet in the coarse of the day with the same paint brush as you'd do with the person who threw the ball through the window. Everyone is different !You wouldn't want someone judging you because of someone else mistake...would you?NO YOU WOULDN'T!! Take time to listen to these young men and woman and judge them for them .Please don't judge them for another persons' mistake. Just because someone else has attempted to abuse your trust at the door, please don't think that way every time you open your door. Everyone isn't trying to change in life but believe me when I tell you this...SOME PEOPLE WHO YOU MEET AT YOUR DOOR ON ANY GIVEN DAY IS TRYING TO CHANGE THEIR LIFE. TAKE TIME AND LISTEN, JUST GIVE THEM A CHANCE!!! I'VE CHANGED SO THERE'S LIVING PROOF.

  • Sh
      22nd of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    My 18 yr old son started working for Paragon in Oct of 2010 and has some how dissapeared sometime between Nov 1o & Nov 17 in Ft Collins CO.

  • Gi
      30th of Nov, 2010
    0 Votes

    Hey Johnny Mitchell, you might want to check your attitude next time you go door to door. If things are that bad off for you and you are such a great person, why don't you just enlist in the military. There's a job for you. Stop scamming people.

  • Sf
      7th of Jan, 2011
    +2 Votes

    I had someone come to the door just now. I heard him out and had a similar experience as some of those described above. I understood that he was from Chicago and that he was trying to improve his life, and that he got commission on the magazines. I looked through the list of magazines and decided I didn't want to purchase another subscription (I have enough already). When I told him that, he asked me to give him money directly. I asked him why I should give him money and how he planned to use it. Living in San Francisco, I am asked for money every day by multiple people so I can't and don't give money to everyone who asks for it. Who does? He got irritated and said, "I'm going to use it the right way. What do you mean?" And then started getting a bit aggressive about asking why I felt like I needed to "get something in return". I thought he was taking the wrong approach, and told him that. There are a lot of people and organizations out there looking for money to help people. If Paragon is trying to help people improve their lives, there's a better approach to asking people for money than "selling" magazines and getting confrontational with people at their homes. My sense was scam.

  • Cl
      13th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    I live in oakland, ca and I had much of the same experience that most of you had except the 'sales' person did not get aggressive with me. I have seen this scam before in long beach and actually hour swindled out of money. So to those who are on here defending paragon sales, I would like to ask you for a website that I could look at to see if this is a scam or not. If it turns out to be I am going to my local news station people in america deserve to know this and from what I can see it is happen nationwide. I have also read on other sites that the way they treat the kids is unethical.

  • Jv
      19th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    ive purchased magazines from paragon at my home in sd, and never received them.

    i then returned to the bay area where several paragon salesmen have come to sell me magazines, and ive politely declined.

    in my experience, all 4 paragon salesmen seemed to be well meaning, and honest individuals. id say its really important to discern between those who are working hard as salesmen and the ones who actually started the paragon business. i want all the paragon salesmen out there to just be careful who you work for. i sincerely believe that all of you are working towards better lives, and think you should all keep at it. BUT it seems to me the people who started paragon might be taking advantage of you guys and your sincere attempts and turning your lives around. i think that all of those who are voicing complaints about the salesmen might be a little bit misguided, and to be honest, a little bit racist.

    to summarize my point. power to the salesmen for taking the initiative and working their butts off, but be careful with your managers and those who founded paragon. they might be exploiting your strong, positive attitudes. not receiving my magazine in SD wasnt a big deal in the long run, but it really makes me question paragon management. i really believe the salesman i dealt with, who i really respected, believed in what he was doing and had no part in me not receiving my magazine.

  • Ch
      14th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    I worked for Paragon Sales for an entire year (1995-1996) for a one armed "bandit" who called himself Fred Taylor. During that year I was beaten up, robbed, threatened, arrested and so on... and I was a top producer. I know that what I was doing at that time wasn't exactly legit, but I had to make a 'living'... if you want to call it that. It was a hard time in my life, but I never raped, molested, robbed or killed anyone, although, I'm sure some of the crew members we travelled with had done some pretty bad things. 90% of these kids are lying to your face when they knock on your door... most of them need help, to get home. If you don't produce sales, these crews will leave you stranded or worse. I eventually 'escaped', I would NEVER buy from one of these kids and if I ever see you around I will do you a favor and call the police - maybe they can send you home.

  • Ea
      27th of Aug, 2017
    0 Votes

    @Christomper I gave the young man money and assigned a "magazine" to donate not thinking there would be a magazine. He looked too thin, but otherwise well. I hope he is safe and now wonder if I did him any favor at all. It is impossible to protect everyone. But it takes a village to be a village and we all must look out for one another.

  • Ja
      16th of Feb, 2011
    0 Votes

    They are probably a scam. I wrote an article about this sort of thing that was okay, but the comments section will tell you more than you ever wanted to know about this strange little underworld.

  • Jo
      10th of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    I worked for Paragon Sales in San Francisco, CA in 2009, and I know for a fact it is a scam. My boss' name was Tina Gladden, and I was one of only two white kids in the whole group, which made it hard as it was because a lot of them didn't like me JUST because I was white. We were staying at the Travel Lodge in South San Francisco, by the airport, and traveling to the city every day in big white vans. Our goal was to get our quota, which was 3 sales. We were trained every morning on how to win people over (bright and early) in the conference room, and then sent out. The tactics we used were honestly just manipulation. We would use any story we could, and were even taught to look around and see what kind of interests they have in order to maybe throw it into our story OR get them to buy a magazine along those lines.

    I see a lot of the responses on here are from people who are trying to "better" themselves, and worked for this company, so I would like to ask those people, what exactly are you getting? Any education? It's obvious you're not because all of your responses were poorly written. Money? Only when you make sales, and you have to pay for your hotel room, food, and of course buy weed from all the people that sell it in this company. (Yes, I smoked weed in California while doing sales... everyone else did too...) Not to mention, even if you do manage to save a little money, which only happens if you REALLY REALLY bust your [censor] scamming people, then what are you going to do with that money? You are traveling and working. So you will spend it... on clothes, music, phone... and so on...

    And what kind of company picks you up and promises you that no matter what happens, they will not leave you stranded and will pay to get you back "home", and then when the time comes where you realize this is all a scam, you try to leave, and they tell you "bye" and literally cut off all communication with you? It happened to me. She told me that because she picked me up in San Francisco (knowing I am FROM Michigan, not San Francisco), that she wasn't paying for anything, and as far as she is concerned, I have always lived in San Francisco. Literally, to my face, pretty much told me to get [censor]ed.

    You keep doing your sales... eventually you will end up on the wrong side of the wrong door. And if not, it's only a matter of time that you get arrested...

  • Wi
      21st of Apr, 2011
    0 Votes

    Last October in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I ordered three subscriptions though Midwest Clearing's agent, a VERY personable young man. No magazines ever arrived, but the check cleared in a week. I have attempted to reach Midwest via phone, fax, their website, and certified mail. I want to believe that the young man to whom I spoke was not aware that he was fronting for a fraudulent company. I'll never see a refund or any magazines, but the next "salesman" who rings the doorbell will be treated to me reading him/her all of the letters I have written to Midwest Clearing, the BBB, the Attorney General of Colorado's Consumer Fraud Division, the Illinois Attorney General's Fraud Division, Martha Stewart Omni Media's legal department and Rolling Stone's legal department requesting that they have their name's removed from Midwest's lists, and the Illinois State Representative Al Riley, who has his office in the suite NEXT DOOR to Midwest Clearing. Then I will call the police, because as far as I'm concerned there is a thief standing on my front porch. I have been reading the stories about the exploitation of the young people they hire and it makes me sad that this goes on in the United States.

  • Cm
      10th of Aug, 2013
    0 Votes

    i to worked for Paragons Sales while i was on crew i was robbied my boyfriend was beat up and a guy was stocking me. The person who ran the crew was never really there. they never really paid u any money.

  • Ab
      25th of Nov, 2016
    0 Votes

    This magazine business is a scam. U wanted something different out of life and took the opportunity with this company to better myself. They provided a ticket for me and off I went. I was received with open arms on the first day. Things quickly changed when it was discovered I do not drink or do drugs. The men started approaching my door from the first trying to get me to sleep with them on the pretext of helping me out. I was bullied and ostracized. What made it even worse was to see the neglect and abuse the workers gave their children, keeping them confined to a hotel room for almost 12 hours. The owner and managers took turns sleeping with certain young women. Their was so much drug use, drug dealing and prostitution I could have just stayed in my inner city. If people stopped buying the magazines then the people on crews could just go home and try to better themselves. Please don't buy from them. Cancel all checks. Yes you will get ur magazines most likely but you actually contributing to further drug use and prostitution in a city near tou

  • Ea
      27th of Aug, 2017
    0 Votes

    Fast forward to 2017 and, of course, this stuff is still happening, of course it is.
    Racism is rife, times are frightening. I have a disability that is slowly dismantling my face causes constant pain. The last thing I need is to waste my money. The last thing I need is a magazine. Last week a woman who had been drinking fell of a curb outside a grocery and hit her head. She couldn't take help from an EMT because she feared losing her place in low cost housing she was only awarded the day before. She was terrified about her slip and though it wasn't safe, and I was in pain, I walked her as close as I felt safe doing so, toward her home. Yesterday a Paragon Magazine sales person came to my door. He had a story about his life, which I listened to, but I didn't believe a word of it. Still, I observed, he was a handsome young man, tall, overly thin, I thought of Donald Trump, I thought of opportunity and opportunity not. I thought of Black Lives Matter, and I decided to give him an absurd amount of money, which to me is a weeks worth of groceries... Here was my hope: that whatever his path was, he would be able to keep some of that money... maybe better his life? maybe have a better meal, maybe get the hell out of door to door sales which I have to say is a brutal place to be. I hope he learns some skills to move on to be mighty and good.

  • Fm
      15th of Jan, 2018
    0 Votes

    I paid for the magazines, never received the magazines, and after multiple attempts to contact the company they finally sent me a check for the $34 I paid for magazines I never received, and then the check bounced! Now I am out my money plus an additional bounce checked fee. I have called them multiple times and left messages and they never return my call.

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