DENVER (CBS4) – Many Coloradoans have been billed hundreds of dollars for publications they never signed up for. 4 On Your Side Money Saver Suzanne McCarroll talked to victims who say the endless harassment from bill collectors can get hostile.
Some telemarketers don’t bother waiting for people to sign up for a subscription. They often sign people up without their knowledge — and then the magazines and the bills start coming.
Cathy Balliu is a farmer. She raises goats and she trains border collies. Se subscribes to magazines that match her lifestyle. Her only kids are her goats, so when she started getting parenting magazines in the mail, she was surprised. And that wasn’t all she was receiving.
“I was getting “Us” … it’s all about Kardashians, which I can’t tell them apart,” Balliu said.
Then she got harassing calls from bill collectors.
“I said I never subscribed to them. ‘Oh, yes you did.’ ‘I didn’t, why would I?’ … They wanted $500,” she said.
“We want to warn consumers to beware of anyone calling them or approaching them trying to sell them magazines that they’re not familiar with,” Megan Herrera from the Better Business Bureau said.
Herrera says thousands of Coloradans are victims of magazine scams and the marketers keep changing their tactics..
“Someone is calling them pretending to be the publisher that they already work with trying to lower their payments, but they end up paying more,” Herrera said.
Balliu still is getting unwanted news of the Kardashians. Her magazines and her bogus bills are all still going in the trash.
The BBB says never buy from a door-to-door salesman or over the phone. Try to avoid buying from a third party at all. Also, check magazine company ratings with the BBB. Most get “F”s. It’s always safer to subscribe directly from the publisher.