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United Magazine Service / It's fraud and scam!

1 United States Review updated:

I got a call ooon Jan 7, 2007 wanting to renew our subscription to Autoweek. They sounded as if they were Autoweek calling: had my husband's subscriber name, obviously our phone number, and knew when the subscription was expiring. In short: the caller offered a good deal for a 3 year renewal, offered a free one yr subscription to Playboy (which in hindsight I thought was very odd) that I declined, said they would send an invoice but that if I wanted to save an extra $5 I could pay right then with a credit card. I said fine, fortunately gave them a Virtual Account number (good for one time use only). They then said that the credit card billing would say "United Magazine Service" (UMS)- my only clue that this wasn't Autoweek calling, but I figured Autoweek had farmed out their renewal service calls. I received an order confirmation in the mail a week later (good tactic to make one think everything is fine). Weeks later, after receiving 2 "your subscription is about to expire" notices from Autoweek, I called them directly and found that they have no relationship with UMS and had received many complaints, had even published a warning in the magazine against scams like this, and are currently investigating how UMS got actual names and phone numbers of current subscribers. Today I called the phone number UMS listed on my bogus receipt and, surprise surprise, it is not a good number, nor is the phone number listed on my credit card statement next to their name. So - buyer beware!! I would call the magazine with whom you have a subscription directly, or respond only to their official renewal requests.

Note that this is one of many complaints against UMS.

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  • Cy
      16th of Jan, 2007
    0 Votes
    United Magazine Service - Magazine subscription not received but account debited!
    United States

    March of 2006 I received a call from United magazine service. The representative began the call by saying that as a former subscriber to Discover Magazine I was being offered a chance to renew my subscription at a lower-than-usual subscription rate. I bit. I subscribed for 3 years ($53.46) and gave them my credit card number. To date (1/16/07) I have not received a copy of the magazine. The phone number on the receipt -- 866-629-7775 -- has been disconnected.

    I've just sent a message to Discover to inquire if they know of the company, deal with the company, or have a record of a subscription from me. I don't think the reply will bring good news.

    Do not deal with United Magazine Service.

  • Sa
      14th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I was called to renew a magazine I was receiving for 3 more years and paid the company in full on 5/05/2006. It wasn't until 7 months later when I started to receive notices from the magazine that my subscription was about to end. All the phone numbers on the receipt sent by have been disconnected and I am out all the money. Don't believe any calls for magazine renewals deals... they are scams and you'll never know it!

  • Ma
      11th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes
    United Magazine Service - Subscription not renewed
    United States

    They Billed my credit card for a 3 yr. subscription renewal, but I never received confirmation from the magazine publisher (Playboy). The transaction was done via a phone call, Her name was Natalie, they also offered 1 yr. free subscriptions to two other mags (those I am receiving).

    Their phone # is "Not In Service" - I don't know how to contact them - This Ruins The Credibility of All Tele-marketers! Don't these callers have to be licensed, approved / qualified or regulated - at all!?

  • Br
      27th of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    * Names changed to protect privacy* While having dinner at my parents one night in March 2008, my dad (who is hard of hearing) answers a phone call. They ask for my mother but only as Mrs. Smith. My dad asked "do you want Jane?" The man on the line never identified himself, only stated he was from United Magazine Service & that it is b/c she is in collections for a magazine subscription she hasn't paid from 2006. My mom gets on the line and tells him she has never had a subscription to any magazine. She tried to get the name of the magazine(s) and all he would say was it was special deal f0r 3 magazines & didn't have the names. Then he tried to convince her to pay right then with a credit card or her credit score would be affected. He said this a number of times and she refuses. At this point, I knew a scam was happening so I got on the line and listened in. WHen I asked him for his name he freaked out and asked" How many people are on this line". He did give us his name, David Johnson. We informed him that he would have to send us something in the mail before we would pay and refused to give our address since they should have it in their file. She never received anything.
    But the story continues...
    May 2008 I happen to be at my parents dropping off some things while they were out. I answered the phone and they asked for Brenda. I said this is she. He said that he was calling in regards to my unpaid magazine subscription. I asked for the company & his name-again it was United Magazine Service & it was David again. I made sure not to specify my last name or give away anything he could play off of. When I asked for hte names of the magazines he again said it was a set of 3 & didn't have the names. When I asked for the address on the subscriptions, he couldn't provide it. I asked when this subscription was started since I was only visiting and haven't live there in years. He asked when I moved before he answered and i said a few years. Then he said I started this in 2004, which informed him I haven't lived here in over 10 years so how can that be? and also how come i haven't received one magazine at this address then? He was unable to answer any 0f my question and would keep steering the conversation to "are you goign to pay today with a credit card? if not this will affect your credit score when it is reported" I informed him No payment since i never received the product and they can send me the paper work if they want payment. He kept pushing the "credit score" issue and I could tell was getting agitated I would comply. I finally told him that he can go ahead and do what he had to and I hung up. Later when I told my parents, my mom said someone had called earlier in the week asking for Brenda and she said I wasn't there so it shows how persistant they are by trying to reach me again there.
    I am so thankful I had gotten emails about scams that try to get you to give personal info over the phone otherwise parents (who weren't aware of these scams) could have gotten sucked in if I wasn't there and that I was visiting when I did in May to catch them and realize it was the same guy & company as before. Everyone should be aware of these scams!!

  • Mi
      13th of Jun, 2008
    0 Votes

    Exactly the same thing just happened to me. "David" called (the number was shown as "blocked" on our caller ID) and requested $850 !!! for magazine subscriptions from "2004" (sound familiar). He couldn't tell me what address the subscriptions were sent to either. Interestingly we moved to our current address for only two and a half years. Apparently we had made 7 payments of $50 but still had 17 payments due. Like Anyone has EVER orders $1, 200 dollars in magazines!!! I asked for his number so that I could return his call. He asked why and I told him I had no idea who he was or that this company is even legitimate. He said that a return phone number was only available through the billing dept. and he didn't have that number at this time. I told him to go ahead and take me to court and hung up.

  • Ch
      14th of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    My experience is exactly the same as Mitch's. I just received a call from UMS saying I owe them $600 for magazines I received supposedly four years ago. The were extremely belligerent, would not tell me what magazines I received, would not give me the phone number of their company (same line Mitch got that I'd have to get that from billing, but he wouldn't transfer me to billing, would not give me the address of their company, and I finally hung up on the guy and said I'd be happy to see them in court. I have very vague recollections of these people back in 2004, realizing it was a scam, and refusing the service. I have no recollection that it was left unsettled. These people are fraudsters. Anyone want to start a class action against these jerks?!

  • Jk
      18th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes
    United Magazine Service - Magazine Subscription
    United Magazine Service
    United States

    I also recieved a call from someone claiming that I owed over 1200.00 for a magazine subscription from 2004 that was for 20 payments for 20 months. He said they had collected 3 payments and then I had stopped paying and I owed for the remaining 17 payments. He claimed to have a phone recording of the order. I asked what magazine it was and he said it was a choice from over 200 and would include something like a watch but he could not tell me which magazine. He also pretended to put me on hold while he looked the information up.
    I did not live in the US at that time so I knew it was a scam, I also do not use my real name on Magazine subscriptions. I also never order except from children selling for fund raisers because I do not like magazines.

    He said the company would settle for 399.98 and they would not take legal action and ruin my credit. He mentioned the legal department several times and my credit several times. He kept assuring me I had ordered something for that huge amount, and somehow I could not remember it.
    I told him I didnt know what kind of scam he was trying but he was not getting anything from me. I kept trying to get a phone number and he said only after I had made the payment. He did give me the name and the location of Messina New York.
    I think he realized I was trying to get information so I could turn it in to the attorney general and he started raising his voice and saying have a nice day and trying to hang up.
    I looked on the internet for the company and found these stories that are so similar and nothing for the company so I decided to add my story. It was very upsetting and I hope the legal system can catch them and put them in jail.

  • Ya
      25th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    This is almost identical to my case. Out of the blue I recieved a call for a magazine subscription that I've never had. He claimed that I had place services on hold in 2004 and I needed to fulfill my contract or I'd be taken to small claims court. He stated that he had a voice recording and when I asked him to play it for me he couldn't. He did tell me that I could hear it in court. He also claimed, that I had made 3 payments before placing the account on hold using an account number ending with these 4 number **** needless to say he was lieing I don't have an account ending in the number stated. I told him to take me to court. Do they call back when they aren't successful?

  • Br
      27th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I just got a call from someone using the name of William Fulton. He also said he had a contract from 2004 and wanted to know if I had lost interest in the subsciption. He gave the number 1-800-938-2639 and when I tried to use the reverse lookup there was no number listed. He also gave me the Better Business Number 3931133 which I also just looked up and saw that it is not a legitimate Number. There is United Magazine listed but it had a different number. It really worries me that they get old people with bad memories or really unorganized people and get them to pay.

  • Ma
      28th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I received yet another phone call from UMS. The same scenario as what I have read here. What can we do about this? The first time they called I was so upset I did not know what this was about. I called "Woman's Day" magazine (the mag. I was supposed to owe money to) and they said I did not exist in their system. I called my bank where UMS said I stopped auto payment to UMS and they said I never started auto payment with them. UMS is so aggressive that at first I started to doubt myself. They called again last night. I told them of my findings and they just hung up. Again they will not give out their phone number. This is like an attack every time they call. How do we prosecute these ###? I fear they may prey on the elderly. I want to put them in jail. Any ideas?

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