Phoenix company part of nationwide magazine scamPosted: Updated:
MESA - There is a warning tonight about deceptive door-to-door sales crews that is putting Valley residents on alert.
Nationwide, the Better Business Bureau is seeing a spike in scams involving door-to-door magazine sales.
Basically, you pay for a subscription but the magazine never arrives.
It happened to one Valley woman, and it turns out, one of the company's named in the warning is located right here in Phoenix.
It may have happened to you, a knock at the door followed by a salesman asking if you're interested in a magazine subscription.
Your money, the salesman promises, will go to a good cause.
"I felt like I was doing a good thing for someone else ya know," Renee Ross said.
The scenario played out for Ross after a door-to-door magazine salesman came to her Mesa apartment.
She bought the pitch, but the Better Business Bureau said you shouldn't.
"System wide the Better Business Bureau has received over 1000 complaints from various companies around the United States."
One of those companies, Prestige Sales, is based right here in Phoenix.
"We have one locally that has received about 39 complaints from consumers in Texas, Maryland and California so it's happening everywhere," the Better Business Bureau said.
Here's how the scam works. A salesperson claiming to be a neighborhood youth shows up at your door selling magazine subscriptions.
The salespeople say they're raising money for charity or a trip or even for our troops in Iraq.
"At first he was very nice and invited himself in once I told him I really don't want the magazine he started getting really pushy and felt like he wasn't gonna leave until I subscribe to a magazine," Ross said.
Ross eventually gave in and wrote a check for $65 for a 12-month subscription.
"I want my money back, I never wanted the magazines, I never wanted the magazine in the first place," she said.
For weeks 3 On Your Side tried to track down Prestige Sales, but were never were able to find the guys who run the company.
As for Ross, her coffee table still sits empty. Six months later she has yet to receive a copy of that magazine she was pressured in to ordering.
"I just don't understand how they can do that to people straight to their face and then turn around and take their money," Ross said.
The Federal Trade Commission's three-day "cooling off rule" gives a customer three days to cancel a purchase more than $25 that is made in their home.
By law, the company must give customers a refund within ten days of receiving a cancellation notice.
The one thing to note about the representative's sales pitch, Ross said they didn't have a lot of mainstream magazines so she was suspicious about this to begin with.