Contact 2: Magazine Sales

ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Warm weather is perfect for door to door sales of all types. But is it wise to buy magazines this way?   Consumers have lost anywhere from 50 dollars to 250 dollars.  And the BBB says some of the people peddling books and magazines could be part of an organized network. They knock on your door and present a convincing sales pitch.  Chris Thetford of the BBB describes the pitch and what to avoid.  

‘If somebody comes to your door, and they present some sort of story like they`re trying to get their life back together they`re trying to finance a trip somewhere, for church group, youth group something like that you need to step back .’

Young adults are ideal for this type of sales. They could be from different cities.  They may not know one another.  But they are part of a team taken to select neighborhoods to sell magazines.  An alert from the BBB points to 50 complaints received about a company called “all for one.   Consumers tells the BBB they never see the magazines.   Kara Kennedy of  O`Fallon Missouri says she was at a gas station when a young man approached her.  He said he worked for Interstate Subscription Services.

‘He was like; I was wondering if you could help me out with a scholarship.   I was like trying to win a scholarship myself and I was like of course. I asked what is it, and he was like just order some magazines.’

Kara Kennedy ordered a subscription for her 18month old nephew.   

‘I didn`t think they were coming.  They actually just came in this weekend.  I ordered them in April.  And it`s July.’        
Kara hopes the remaining 11 issues arrive on time. But she says the cost is worse than the wait.  She gave the young man 65 dollars cash.  That`s a lot more than the price quoted on the order form inside the magazine.

‘Its twelve, ninety eight for 12 magazines.’  

Kara is living on a student’s income.  65 dollars is a lot of money to her. And she says she feels ripped off.   But according to Thetford you can stop a scam before it starts.

‘If you are interested in the purchase tell them to come back the next day, so you can check out the group to make sure you are actually getting what you are  bargaining to get.    If they don`t want to come back the next day that`s a good red flag.  That`s something you`ll want to avoid.’

Remember you’re not obligated to deal with someone selling door to door.  Don’t get taken in by sad stories and pleas for help. And ask to see a copy of a permit to solicit business.  Most municipalities require such permits.  If you have a consumer issue call us at 1800 782-2222 volunteers take calls Monday through Thursday from 11am till 1pm.  

Click on Better Business Bureau for more information on consumer tips.