The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
United Marketing GroupScam and cheating

I would like to get some information out to consumers who have been having issues with the company United Marketing Group. I feel the need to get this information out anonymously as my current employer makes it a requirement of my job to offer programs from this company, even though I realize that UMG is a fraudulent business.

In regards to offers made by agents when calling in on catalogs for The Company Store, Company Kids, Domestications, Silhouettes, And Undergear/International Male, Programs are offered at the end of the sale for programs called Buyers Edge, Perfect Home, or The Travel and Entertainment Club. These three programs are run by a company called United Marketing Group, or more simply, UMG. These programs are offered by the above catalogs due to contract with UMG and should not reflect the company Hanover Direct as we have no control over how UMG conducts their business. We just contract with them to offer the product.

The call center reps of companies who have a contract with United Marketing Group have to sign an agreement that we will offer these programs when prompted by our respective computer systems, and that failure to do so can be grounds for termination of the offending employee. So I ask that the customer's who are having difficulties with UMG to please not take it out on the sales rep that initially made the offer, as it it more than likely a requirement of their job.

Let me explain how the customer is initially set up for the program. When the offer is made, there are terms and conditions that are required to be read. You can tell which ones these are as they sound the most obviously scripted. When a customer is offered one of these programs, they are given approximately two weeks to receive the program. This is where customers usually hit their first snag. The package for UMG can be easily confused as junk mail, and customers often thrown the packet away without thinking about it. Just because the customer says they never received the package does not stop the program. The 30 day trial period clock keeps ticking.

The next part of the terms and conditions are that the customer must call the 800 number for UMG to cancel that program. I myself have heard mixed results with this, as the reps are told that it is supposed to be a "No-Hassle Cancellation, " but apparently isn't always so when speaking to the UMG reps. If the customer does not call to cancel during the trial period, per the terms and conditions that they agreed to when signing up for the program, they are automatically charged $99 for the program for the year's membership. This fee does automatically renew, so you cannot assume that it will just run for the year and cancel out. The part where they get you is that if they do charge you the $99, you will not recover that full amount as UMG will only issue a pro-rated refund on that charge.

A lot of customers sign up for a UMG program to claim what they believe to be $50 in prepaid gas cards (at least at my call center, that is the incentive for signing up with UMG). What the customer usually is not aware of is that the gas cards are not included in the package. The customer has to fill out a couple of claim forms to receive the gas cards which come in increments of $25. Just to get the first gas card in the mail takes almost as long if not longer than the trial period itself. A lot of customers are not aware of that unless they ask the rep specifically. When it comes down to it, you're really not getting something for nothing folks! Do you really think it is a sound business practice to just hand out $50 in gas cards all ay on a program that charges $99? No business could exist under those conditions, unless I missed something in my high school economics class.

How does UMG get the information for you credit card? That is one I am not 100% certain on, so I would have to make an educated guess. When you place an order with a company, most companies such as mine will retain credit card info for the convenience of customers who do repeat business (Just to ease customers peace of mind, we do not retain the card ID number. We have to have that entered in new each time an order is placed.) I have had customers calling in about why they were charged $99 to their account, so I can only assume that when a customer accepts a UMG program, that we charge that $99 to the customer and send the money to UMG in return for a financial kickback to our company. Otherwise what would be the profitability of 3rd parties to offer UMG programs in the first place?

What I am now going to let you know is a way to sidestep the whole UMG offer. This part is the biggest reason I am going to stay anonymous because I could potentially cost multiple businesses a lot of money. You do have the right with any business to opt out of being offered the UMG program and that you do not want to hear the offer. If you make this clear at the beginning of the call, the rep is then required to either mark the upsell as either "rejected" or "not offered" and 9 times out of 10 will not offer the program (we still get to have the 1 in 10 chance of offering because we are human too, and sometimes forget on the longer orders. Please don't take it personally) We also are obligated to set it in our system to not offer that customer any more UMG programs at that point. And any call made to a call center is recorded, so they have it coming out of your own mouth that you don't want to be offered that. This is also how those of you who say you never signed up for the program and were still charged can get out of the charge. If you didn't accept the offer, then that was recorded, and call centers do have the ability to pull the recording from that call and listen to the transaction as it happened.

I hope that this has given you an insight into how the UMG machine works, as well as to have given you a solution as to how to handle any UMG offers that may be made to you. If you follow these steps, you can send a message to United Marketing Group to clean up their practice without placing the poor call center rep who's just doing his job out of a job. We don't make a lot of money doing our job, but most of us do love our work and just want to be able to pay our own bills too.

If any customers were defrauded by UMG because of any offers that I made while placing your orders, you have my most sincere apologies, and hope that you don't take it personally against me.

More United Marketing Group Complaints & Reviews


  • Fo
    fortunately aggravated Jul 16, 2011
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    To United Marketing Group (Buyers Edge, Medifiles, Stonebridge Benefits, My Advisor and any other services you signed me up for):

    I want to cancel any service that I have with your company. I called and my last name could not be found. I'm not surprised because the people on the phone could barely speak english. I was told that I could cancel by calling [protected] but now the phone number doesn't work.

    I am aware that this is a scam after my research and and it seems that there are endless others.

    I do not want any charges from your company and any of the companies that you represent. The sales person on the phone completely confused me by giving me a bunch of company names: Buyers Edge, Medifiles, My Advisor, Stonebridge Benefit services and I'm not even sure what else.

    I am CC'ing this message to the government Federal Trade Commission and to the NYS Attorney General's Office. I have also reported you to the Better Business Bureau
    (Thank you for using the Better Business Bureau's Online Complaint System.
    Your complaint has been assigned case # [protected].)

    0 Votes
  • Wm
    wmharding Jan 10, 2011

    What do you think your rep. in congress is for? When I tried to cancel the famous 24.oo a year for phone service co, they reved up the sound of their "rounds" on the phone that repeated and repeated what I said when I tried to cancel. One call to Congressman Aderholt solved my take that New Jersey business!! Also, AT&T got mad that I cancelled their phone service to use the aforesaid phone co. so when I got back on AT&T they didn't let any of my phone calls through to anybody who did have that 24.00 phone service. I called the Federal communications service (FCC) and Aderholt and solved that problem too. Use your head and solve your problems.

    0 Votes
  • Gi
    gigi grandma Feb 08, 2010

    When I called the Company Store to order my granchildren's Christmas Presents, I was asked if I wanted this offer from the united marketing group. I said NO, but someone deceided I said yes and took $99 out of my checking account. I did not have funds to cover this fee. Then I had to use my social security check to cover the fee. When I called I got the run aound with false staements. I was told they would put in right back in account since I called the day of the deduction. But no, then I called again and they said it would take 10 business days, and that they did not get a call from me previous. After three weeks I got my money back, but what a hassle for something I did not agree to. I will never buy anything again from Company kids or the Company Store. They are respaoible for letting the sales girls ask this and scam their good customers. Shame on you, The Company Store and Company kids for scaming a Grandma that has 14 grandkids. You would think you would want to keep a loyal customer than.You must make alot more money from you scam artist, United Marketing Group.

    1 Votes
  • Ca
    CaraM Jan 03, 2010

    United Marketing Group ( definitely uses the fine print to their advantage. The Better Business Bureau gives the company an "F" rating for a reason (421 complaints have been filed with the BBB as of today). My advice is to watch your credit card very carefully after dealing with the company. Take careful notes during a phone conversation, and watch your mail closely. It's the details that matter! We can only pride ourselves in not being idiots as long as we go the extra mile to protect ourselves. ...Thank you, Brad, for your information.

    0 Votes
  • Lm
    L Moreno Dec 09, 2009

    BECAREFUL WITH WHAT YOU ANSWER I just finish talking to one of the reps from United Marketing group and told him that I did not agree to buy their service. And after reading this article I see where I made the mistake..." after listening to their offer I thought it was interesting but I would not buy anything unless I read some information about it, then he told me he would send me some information right there agreeing to receive the information was taken as agreeing to buy their membership".those are the exact words from their rep.

    0 Votes
  • Ca
    Captain Obvious Aug 28, 2009

    Just read your report, Captain Obvious! You don't give your customers much credit for not being idiots. Of course there are going to be certain conditions to receive the gas certificates. The Travel and Entertainment club mainly gives free dinners based on 2 for 1 too, even though it is accurately described as offering "up to $1000" in free entertainment. People are used to having to meet certain requirements to redeem freebies like these. If you are lying to your customers about what they will get, that is one thing, but you seem to be complaining that the company does what it promises with the clubs, but it takes an extra month to get the gas rebate and the customer may throw away the membership kit or not bother to call in to cancel before the 30 days are up. So what?! You point out that the company even offers a refund. If I cancel an annual membership three months into it all I expect to get refunded is my remaining nine months, regardless if I have bothered to use the dining discounts or redeem the gas rebates or whatever the freebie is. It is like joining a gym for a 1 year membership, deciding three months later you don't ever go so you want to cancel, then being upset that you only get a 9 month refund. Duh!

    0 Votes

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