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Urban Nation Magazine Subscriptions / Don't throw your money away!

1 United States Review updated:

If you're reading this, you're probably wondering about the legitimacy of a company called Urban Nation. In short, don't give their door-to-door salesman a penny, unless you are willing to throw your money away.

For the longer version, here's the story... Although their office is listed in Willis, Texas, a salesman representing them came to my door in Brookfield, Wisconsin, in August, 2006 to sell his magazines. The salesman was upfront with me and told me that this was not a non-for-profit organization but was rather an organization that helps youth and adults get back on their feet by letting them sell their magazines with a large mark-up (with large portion of the mark-up going to the salesperson). After looking at the list of magazines, I purchased six months of Architectural Digest for $53. I figured, if this guy was legitimately trying to get back on his feet, why not... worthy cause. Well, it's now the end of December 2006, and I haven't seen any magazines from Urban Nation. I've tried repeatedly to call the phone number listed on the receipt and only get an answering machine. I've left several messages, and have threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). I called the BBB, and found out that these guys have 20 complaints filed and unresolved in the last 36 months. So, again, if you want to donate to a worthy cause, give to your favorite charity... if you want to get suckered, give to the salesman from Urban Nation standing on your doorstep.

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  • Sh
      27th of Mar, 2007
    0 Votes
    The Nation Magazine - Charged for magazine I did not order!
    United States

    I did not order The Nation - I was sent a sample copy - returned the invoice with "CANCEL" across the front - and continued to received for awhile. I am not liable for the $13.95.

  • Mr
      21st of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    I had a salesman come to my door here in Maine and, although I couldn't help but feel like this might be a scam, against my better judgment I bought a $75 subscription (3 years to saver that probably only really cost $36). He had a good sob story and I felt bad for him so my reasoning was either what he is telling me is true or maybe he is full of it. If he is full of it then all I can say is what a crappy job and even then I still felt bad for him. I was going to get the magazine anyway so I figured whatever. This took place just yesterday so I can't comment on whether or not they will hold up to their end of the bargain yet but I definitely felt the need to see what info I could come up with on this Urban Nation incorporation. So far not so good.

  • Fr
      22nd of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes

    I gave the polite young man $52.00 for two magazines yesterday.I tried to go on the website this morning ( listed on the pink receipt he gave me. There IS no website. I am putting a stop payment on my check!

  • Je
      10th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    Fortunately I only ordered one magazine--using cash because I had twinges. Although I know that cash is easier for a "sales person" to keep (and never fulfill your order)--well, at least I know they won't have my account # and be able to get more. I was hoping they were legit as the girl really seemed genuine. Having leaked out commissions as a legit Greenpeace door-to-door canvasser, I know what a touch gig it can be. So disappointing. Well, we will see if I actually get my magazine. From the comments here, I don't hold out much hope. BTW, the Website is up, perhaps they were updating it when the last person tried. Or they recently got it up to look more legit.

  • Bp
      16th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    There's a sucker born every minute and today being my birthday, it was me. I fell for the very personable, but down on their luck, young men who came my door selling magazines. They reeled me in with their story of trying to get off the streets and better themselves. I was a little hesitant because of the price of the magazines but I saw that many of my neighbors had also made purchases so I thought it was legit. I already get all of the magazines one person could ever read so they told me I could have them "donated" to my local children's hospital, Ronald McDonald House, or a battered women's shelter. I thought the kids magazines might be nice for the children at any of these places, so I "donated" a few subscriptions there.

    Anyway, not 2 hours later, the police show up at the door with my check in hand telling me I was scammed. I feel like a fool for believing these guys. I guess you really can't trust anyone. At least I got my check back.

  • Jo
      23rd of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I buy every year and my experiences with each sales person has been pleasant. The magazines have always come, sometimes a little late but nevertheless they arrive. Whatever the company has done for these young people, is working so keep up the good work.

  • Ja
      13th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    Urban Nation is a scam. It appears to be teaching young ex-offenders how to hone their confidence-person beginnings to new levels.

    They now have you call their supervisor to verify your subscription order. He asks a few questions -- were you told that we are NOT a non-profit or charity? and cautions you that your magazines may not arrive for three or four months.

    I stopped my check and left messages at two numbers to cancel my order.

  • Je
      12th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    I felt I should follow up on my earlier comment. Well, I almost fell over last month when I received my magazine order! I think it must depend on who you have come to your door. My advice would be proceed with caution--not all the sales people are honest. And one has to wonder how much money the legit people make when they don't rip anyone off (in other words, are the sales people paid fairly if they play by the rules?).

  • Le
      16th of Apr, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I had an experience with an Urban nation salesman this evening. He was a very impressive young man who stated he was making his way out of the inner city. I was impressed by his sales pitch so continued on to hear what he was selling. He then explained about Urban Nation, the magazines and the point system. Unlike the stories here he said in order to participate that I had to buy four magazine subscriptions. I thought ok, maybe there is something here my wife and I might read and besides, I am helping the guy out. So I bought 3 subscriptions for my wife and I and a National Geographic to donate to charity. I had bought magazine subscriptions before so I figured $50 bucks tops right? Wrong. After completing the form he tells me the charge would be $240. I was like woh! That's a lot. He wanted to know if I was uncomfortable about that amount and of course I said yes. So we changed the National Geographic to something else which dropped the price to $220. He said that was the best he could do. He then warned me not to cancel the subscriptions because it will put him two steps back. I thought for a moment then I asked him what happens to him if I were to cancel. He said that Urban Nation will take all of his points away from the sale and his commission. I said that's not really fair. He did the footwork and made the sale. The company should eat it if a subscriber gets uninterested in the magazine at some point. Anyway I thought that was weird but I apparently didn't have the fortitude to refuse altogether so I just wrote him a check to get it over with. I felt horrible. Not at the guy but at myself. I also knew my wife was going to kill me when she got home. He walked away happy after he politely shook my hand. At least I did it for a good cause I told myself.

    After the transaction I ran inside my house and looked up Urban Nation then found so many complaints about the for-profit company. I knew then that I really got scammed. I realized that very little of what I paid will probably go to the guy and that if I really wanted to help inner city kids there would be a much better way. So I then mustered up the guts to track the guy down in our neighborhood and had him give me my check back and he did (by the way, he fingered through a stack of checks). He was clearly unhappy about it but I assure you I was more unhappy than he was. Also, because I put him through the trouble I wrote a personal check out to the guy for $20. He won't get any Urban Nation points but hopefully gave him some of what his commission would have been. So I am not a complete Indian giver folks. I sincerely wanted to help the guy by buying the subscriptions and probably would have had Urban Nation been a reputable company.

    Incidentally my wife was pissed about the $20. Can you imagine?

  • Cr
      22nd of Apr, 2008
    +1 Votes

    I've worked for these magazine crews in my early twenties and it gave me an opportunity to see the rest of the country, meet and work with people different from myself and hone my interpersonal skills and grow into a mature adult. I am now a father, husband and healthcare worker who owns his own home, pays his taxes and votes.
    I feel that a lot of your comments are unfair. It is my belief that most people who are scammed know they were being scammed. Granted some members of the crew I worked with stretched the truth to pull on the heart strings of customers, but at least they were industrious and earning a living, which in a lot of cases these kids would be into trouble otherwise. It clearly says on your receipt that there will be 90-120 days before delivery, and if you don't want a magazine or don't want to donate it then have the balls to say NO. You guys who wrote these complaints have no one to blame but yourselves, so stop being so judgemental and paranoid. They''re just young people trying to find their way in the world and will eventually grow out of it, save money, go to school and get a good job like I did.
    I recently had the privilege of opening my door to one of these young men who definitely had the gift of gab. I let him do his spiel and then ended up buying a subscription to Nickolodean Magazine and donated it to the local Boys and Girls Club. I can now write it off on my taxes.

  • Ja
      23rd of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    I believe the negative comments posted about Urban Nation are erroneus and unfair. This sales organization saves lives and should be commended. It is not a scam and they deliver on the products that they sale. The whole goal of the program is to create job opportunity, teach, train and motivate young people from inner city areas. My son was on the wrong path in life. Urban Nation gave him a chance through selling mahazines door to door. He is now on track and supporting himself. It is not a scam because i've purchased magazines to support my son and I have received all of them. It takes time to receive the magazines because Urban Nation is a third party company. Patience is a virtue and the true reward is the good deed you do for these inner city kids, by supporting them. If you're not about supporting these individuals, you shouldn't buy the magazines in the first place. That's truly what the program is about. If God has blessed you in life, it's only right for you to bless others.

  • La
      23rd of Apr, 2008
    -1 Votes

    My name is Lawrence Engerman, I am the sole owner of Urban Nation Ent. I was just made aware of this web site today and felt is was my duty to defend my reputation and the reputation of my company. First I would like to apologize to those who may have had a bad experience with my company and would like to show my gratitude for your generous support by honoring all orders that have not bin filled. No receipt will be necessary please call me direct at 480-785-6872 or my office at 1-800-586-0134. My staff and I will work diligently to satisfy your needs. I just wanted to take a moment to assure everyone my company is not a scam that would make me a scam artist and I am so far from that. Like many of you I have children and so I have a great deal of morality. What goes around comes around I'm not perfect, but I work on improving myself and everything I'm associated with everyday. I ask those who support the company, the young man or woman who's future you invested in, please stay optimistic. This is how I got started, I was eighteen young and dumb. Like many of the young people in my company I was in trouble and I needed a way out. Everyday I was subjected to something that would have landed me in jail or prison, but threw the grace of god I answered an add in the New York Times 15 years ago; it brought me here. Its already hard for a young man or woman now a days, let alone growing up below the poverty level or an urban area lets not make it harder. When I went door to door I met very influential people and one in particular was Jack B. Root he is the Co. Author of The 7 Steps to Financial Success. He gave me an autograph book and in it, he wrote as sincere as a man can be "You are the best sells person I have ever met". Because of people like him believing in me when I came from the areas were its hard to believe or be believed in. He gave me that book when I was 20 years old I'm 33 now and still look at it time to time. Sometimes I wish people were a lot like him and others like him. Open your heart, open your mind, find the truth and believe in people. That's my job everyday, because someone believed in me. Thank You

  • Ki
      26th of Apr, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Curious. Most of the comments about being scammed are from people who paid for magazines and then felt bad and canceled. But how could they tell they'd been scammed? They can't, unless the 120 days is up and they haven't got their magazines, AND they've called the company and can't get a refund or satisfaction. If you ordered a car, and the dealer told you it was going to take 6 weeks to get from the factory, and the following morning you changed your mind because you didn't like the salesman - Does that make it a scam? NO.

    As for the police reports (I found three on line), the "scam" seems to be that Urban Nation doesn't always buy whatever permits the city they're in requires for door-to-door salespeople. But once again, that doesn't necessarily make it a scam. I know plenty of folks who feel that cities run their own "scams" requiring permits for every little thing you do.

    We've just bought two subscriptions to Natl Geographic. NG normally costs us $34 / yr. We bought two 3 year subscriptions which works out to $204. We paid $258 total. That's 26% over the usual subscription price. You can make your own judgments about whether that's a reasonable premium to pay to give the young person that came to your door a commission. But here's the real question, and it's for you, owner Larry, if you're still watching this website:

    How much of the extra $54 I paid did that kid get?

    Bottom line, unless you've waited the 120 days, you can't complain because you don't know whether they've delivered.

  • Do
      27th of Aug, 2018
    0 Votes

    @Kit M. I agree with the waiting period for the magazines and not complaining before the 120 days. I had a young man come to my door but found it really impossible to verify what he was saying and trying to sell. I called the number on the front of his magazine portfolio but only heard a recorded message because it was after working hours. I think helping young people is a great thing to do. However, in this day of scams and such there has to be a better way to sell these magazines without someone giving cash or checks to a total stranger. I think perhaps making the order with the sales person would be great and then maybe paying for it online or being billed. I did not help the young man that came to the door and felt terrible after he was gone. I offered him some money for his troubles but he was insulted and left mad.

  • An
      19th of Jul, 2008
    +1 Votes

    People are worried this is a scam because it feels like a scam. I know that is why I Googled Urban Nation after my husband made a purchase last night.

    If you really are doing this to help urban youth, then why is it a for-profit company? Where is all the profit going? If you don't want people to worry, set up a transparent accounting system.

    Who are these people and what benefits do they gain from this program? What are they being taught and what do they take with them when they leave this program? None of this is on the website. Once again, if you don't want people to worry, have more transparency in your company.

    And speaking of the website, it's just a front. I went to it. None of the buttons go anywhere. There is no real information on the only page available except contact information. Once again, we're back to this feeling like a scam.

    And what is up with the high magazine prices? I subscribe to Vogue for $12/year. There seems to be a high mark-up. Where does the profit go? To help these at-risk people or into the pockets of the company?

    I'm sorry, but Urban Nation seems to have scam written all over it. If you aren't a scam and truly want to help these people, then switch to a non-profit organization, adopt a transparent accounting system, and explain who you are and what you actually do for these people.

  • Yi
      21st of Jul, 2008
    0 Votes

    I agree with Angel W. IT DOES FEEL LIKE A SCAM! I just ordered a magazine last Saturday. But after calling several times 800 686 0134 just to check if it was legit, and no getting an answer, I left a message, I also checked their web site(didn't help). I stop my check. I would have love to help this young woman. But their web site, and their phone numbers don't work so it looks like a scam!

    Lawrence Engerman: Please, If you want people to believe in your people then MAKE THINGS CLEAR! At least answer your phone!

  • Pj
      29th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    10/29/08...Today I had the opportunity to meet an Urban Nation sales representative. The young lady was very pleasant and came to our door with a pleasant smile. My wife invited her into our home as it was somewhat cold outside and she said she didnt feel well and asked if we could sit down. My wife listened to her sales pitch while I was in my office but within earshot.

    My wife was not interested in the magazine subscription but offered a donation to a battered women's shelter. As I heard my wife's decision, I walked in the room where they were sitting and began to write a $20 check to the young sales representative as a dontation. As I looked on the table was a receipt of $93. Immediately, I said...Who do you represent again? Urban Nation, she replied. I asked for the website address and the young lady obliged and gave me

    I typed in the address only to find a web PAGE!! This is not a website, it's simply a front for a money making scheme. For those of you who actually wrote this company a check, Im sorry for your loss. What saddened me the most was that UrbanNationent is using young impressionable minds to rip people off aparently all over this great country.

    I would encourage *anyone* who approches you from the organization Urban Nation, call the authorities immediately.

  • Je
      12th of Nov, 2008
    -1 Votes

    Several months ago I agreed to buy 2 subscriptions from an Urban Nation representative, due as much to the young man's persuasiveness as to my actual desire for the mags. I found the above thread on this site soon after. Now that I have received my magazines, I feel like I should let people know 2 things. One, give it some time. The mags do take some time to arrive, but eventually they come, which is exactly what the rep I spoke with told me would happen. Two, if you don't have the guts to tell someone to their face that you don't want a subscription, don't cancel your check on them the next day. Give it some time. Follow up at the phone numbers provided. When I called, I left my name and number and someone called back that same morning.

  • Li
      15th of Dec, 2008
    0 Votes

    I got scammed like the rest of you. One poster said we should wait six months to see if we get the magazines. I did that and I still haven't received them. And why does it take six months to process an order anyway??? This is just to give them plenty of time to use your money.

    I even called the so-called "direct" number listed by Engerman and got the same recording. Nobody has ever returned my calls.

  • Vi
      6th of Feb, 2009
    +1 Votes

    Its been almost 6 months for me and I paid over 300 dollars for magazines. So I went to my lawyer and Im going to take them to court. I thought I was doing a good deed. I thought my kids could use the magazines but there is no magazines. I have called Mr. Engerman and office a hundred times. Mr. Engerman has only answered one time and blew me off. The office is nothing but an answering machine all day. So I got phone records showing I have tried to get my magazines . I got a copy of the check I wrote to them and I got a copy of who signed and cashed it also. So you tell me...

  • Ma
      10th of Feb, 2009
    0 Votes

    Scam I agree Just as a lot of you polite at first but ended in a bitter dispute in the front yard. I will not be guilted into buying something because I am successful and your not. Is this what they teach? No dedication, not professional. Just a jerk trying to push people around because he has no real ambition for a real job.

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