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theNRSscam blog was created to provide general magazine subscription scam information, consumer protection resources, specific information about National Readers Service, and suggestions for dealing with magazine subscription scams.

If you have found any company's business practices to be deceptive or fraudulent, I strongly encourage you to contact your local consumer protection office and file complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and Attorneys General. Feel free to link this site to any relevant discussion you encounter, help me keep my promise, and make the ability to keep doing this type of business more difficult!!

Thanks for visiting, D/

Check out who else is checking out National Readers Service:

> December 24, 2009: Pennsylvania Attorney General opens file on National Readers Service, Pittsburgh, PA

>NRS, Pittsburgh responds to the Attorney General
> December 30, 2009: Kansas Attorney General demands trial by jury against Publisher’s Renewal Service d/b/a National Readers Service, and Treasure Coast Renewals, et al. Check out the court documents at courthousenews.com

Check out something interesting:

> Rip Off Report complaint about International Marketing Association (a.k.a., National Readers Service, et al) .


Virginia Beach, VA “Revealer” blog posts

My thanks to this insider for such a "revealing" look at the details of a telemarketing scheme ...


These “Sales and Cancellation Processes with Scripts” are posted here verbatim as found on 5/22/10 at: www.magazinecompanyscam.blogspot.com

(site has since been deleted)

Sales Process

Your phone rings. You check your caller ID and the number is "blocked" or "unavailable" but your curious mind picks up anyway. The sales rep comes off very personable and casual; which is apart of their marketing plan. The point is to "build rapport". They are taught this during training.

"Hello Susan? Hi, this is bob from National Readers Service!" This is a sales call (the MUST tell you this is a sales call. It is a requirement by law so I was told) to inform you that you have been entered into the Dream of a Lifetime Sweepstakes so congratulations! Now, the sweepstakes is held every year for customers of Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover and you do still carry one of these cards, correct? (they ask this because they intend on charging you and you MUST have a credit/debit/prepay card)

NOTE: Sometime they ask for a different person because their info in there database is incorrect or that person isn't home. The sales reps are trained to sell it to you instead!

NOTE: your credit or bank card has nothing to do with the sweepstakes!

If you say no, they will rebuttal you to see if you have a debit or check card. If you say no, they say thank you and hang up.

Once you confirm you have one of these card they will continue to lure you in by telling you what you can win. "You are in the running for a brand new mustang convertible, $25, 000 in cash, or a trip for 4 to Australia! plus hundreds of other valuable prizes." [they will discontinue the call if you do not have a credit/debit card]

The rep then continues and explains that no purchase is necessary, however they talk so fast that all you hear are the prizes! After telling you the prizes, they start asking you a "survey" This survey is to pick out your magazines. They ask if you are in-between the ages of 18-20, 21-35, 36-60 or 60 and over (or something close to those brackets) The rule is that they can't sell to people under 18 or over 65. Again, legal restrictions. Also, age will help this rep determine which magazine will suit you better. They are not going to sell a Woman's Day magazine to an 18 year old female. They would more likely sell her Glamour or Cosmopolitan.

Next they go on by telling you that you also won free mags for the price of one. There are 3 magazines that are picked out based on your survey (age, marriage, hobbies, ect:) They then thank you for completing the survey and say they will give you a diamond watch and 3 free mags for the cost of one weekly magazine (either Rolling Stone, ESPN, or one other magazine which is the most expensive bi-weekly magazine. ) The cost for all this is just $4.99 a week which is guaranteed to not increase for a full 60 months!

This is where the trouble begins for the sales rep because once someone hears a price, they hang up. For the rest $4.99 doesn't sound that bad...

So once they rebut the customer as many times as needed (company policy is at least 3-5 rebuttals per call) the sales rep keeps the customer on the phone until their "supervisor" is available for the transfer. The sales rep will establish small talk with you to get you comfortable and conditioned to say yes because the next step is to get your personal information.

You are then transfered to the reps supervisor in which this person isn't their supervisor at all. They are what is called a "Closer." A closer's job is to close the deal. Secure it and make you want to buy it. They get you to "verify" all you personal information. What I don't like is that they mislead you into thinking that they already have your information in their system when really all they have is your name, address, and telephone which they get from some type of lead generator/merchant. So, after you "verified" all your info (reference numbers, business numbers, place of employment, email, social security numbers, ect) they then go into pricing of the magazines.

The price is $4.99 per week for 5 years or $1297.32. They break that into payments of either:

$68.28 x 19 months
$49.90 x 25 months
$39.93 / $39.31 x 34 months
$29.41 x 43 months

They mislead you by saying that you will only pay $68.28 for the first 19 months and the rest are payment free. So it sounds like one payment of $68 but really its once per month for the first 19 months. the remaining 3 and 1/2 years are payment free.

You then go through a recording where you repeat the terms. Here are some of the questions:

1. How much are you monthly payments?
2. How many monthly payments?
3. Do you understand these payments are consecutive? (some people don't know what consecutive means)
4. How many titles are you receiving?
5. Do you give us permission to process your order and at this time and initial payment will be processed?

The customer must give yes or no answers very loud and clear. The supervisor/closer tells the customer what to say in most cases (to say yes to all questions!) If the customer says no during the recording; the closer (supervisor) will stop the recording and rebuttal the customer until they say yes. These professionals are trained very well!

They go on to explain third party offers they one (like a gas card for example) for accepting a 15-day trial with UBA aka UBS (united benefits association/service).

So by the time the call is over they have a charge for $68.28 for magazines, 39.99 from UBS and another for 29.99 for identity theft package for example. The strange thing that the customer doesn't understand is their bank statement says that all these charges came from the same merchant number---meaning the same company charged them for all three services! So when the customer calls into customer service to cancel its a HUGE MESS and they are given the run around.

A welcome package is sent to the customers address (or is supposed to). This agreement goes over all the details the customer agreed to during the recording. i was told by a manager that the company doesn't always mail out these letters because it leads to cancellation. The company purposely DOESN'T mail it! All customer service members know that if a customer calls in and they tell you they received a letter--that is an automatic letter. (I will post a copy of one of the letters -- they are different depending on your state)

There is a release form located in the welcome package that the customer should fill out and mail back to the company. Once this is done they will mail you your $5 diamond watch. This welcome package takes 10 business days to arrive after the order is placed. The company only mails it once and will never resend it; even upon your request. (they don't want you to see this letter because it is totally contrary to what is said to you when you call in and cancel)

The watch takes 7-10 business days to arrive to you after you mail in the release form or call in and request them to mail it to you. You account is sent to periodical publishers to be entered with the publishers.

Cancellation Process and Scripts

You call customer service. The phone rings then its just a beep and then silence.

"Thank you for calling Customer service. All calls are monitored for quality assurance. My name is Jane. May I have the last name on the account?" They can locate account by name, address, credit card, phone number (they have caller ID by the way and your number shows up even if its blocked)zip code, and your account number. You want to either cancel, change magazines, or update account information. Some people call just to find out who is charging them because they have NO CLUE! Now, when you want to cancel the representative online has a script to follow and it goes like this:

Well I'm sorry to hear that you want to cancel but you may recall that when we called you to finalize your order, we explained the way that we guarantee your service is my making a financial commitment to the publishers. So, based on your good word to complete all the payments, we did process your order and we have already financially obligated ourselves to the publishers. We do ask that you honor your promise and complete all the payments. But keep in mind that the only reason why anyone would want to cancel is because they are either having a problem with their magazines or their finances. So is it safe to assume that this is a financial problem?"

That script is read to ALL customers, brand new or 3 years old. No matter how many times you call in you hear the same thing. The difference that YOU don't know is you are handled differently after this point depending on your account status. There are two types of accounts: a 5 day account and a permanent account.

5 day accounts are brand new into the system and there initial payment has yet to be processed. So lets look at it this way. You placed the order today. Your card was processed for $68.28 today. You call customer service to cancel but they say you have to call back in 24 - 48 hours because you account isn't in the system -- meaning data entry hasn't created an account for you in the customer service database. Now, that $68.28 should be a pending charge in your account. You call back two days later and now its in the system but its labeled a 5 day (in the order entry database)

The representative's job is to save or RESELL the account to you by misleading you into thinking you CAN'T cancel (without using those words because you really CAN) and 5 day accounts do not get transferred to supervisors because the rep can cancel those accounts. Reps doesn't have the authority and permissions in the database to cancel permanent account but I will get to that later. So this is what they say to 5 day accounts who accounts aren't really FINALIZED.

"Well, it looks like we need to make some adjustments for you that will bring your payments more inline with your budget! This is our refinance program. So, what I've done is extended your payments a little bit longer which lowers the amount that you send in to just $49.90 (or whatever is the lowest tier for your account... 68,49,39,29,19.99)Is there anything else that I can do for you today?"

That last line is very tricky. To a freshman in college that sounds like YOU CAN'T CANCEL. Which is the reason why so many parents call back irate!

Now, most people miss the fact that your payments were just EXTENDED from 18 payments to 42 (depending on the payment tier). So they feel bad and agree. Others still say no and so the rep continues.

"Well, the whole idea is just to get the titles into your home. Of course our goal is to keep you as a happy customer! So, at this point I am authorized to stretch out your payments. This will lower the amount you send in to just $39.31 per month. You'll still get the same service as before. This is just our way of saying thanks!"

If the customer agrees, the rep lowers the payments and records the update (will touch on that later) If not... they continue to BEAT UP the customer. (those are words from management actually)

"Well, I'm sorry that you've put us in this situation. Looks like the order was placed on ____ and at this point we obligated ourselves. We expect you to honor the commitment that you've made. I hope you understand that I'm really trying to work with you here.I can lower the payments down $29.41 per month. I can make those changes for you now.

Customer still wants to cancel--- Well, since you already made one payment of $68.28 what I will do is drop your payments down to 19.99 and you will only have 30 months!"

Customer still not happy--- "Okay, I will cancel out all remaining payments, but since you already made on payment of $68.28 you will receive two magazines for 1 full year each, okay? Which magazines do you want to keep."

If you agree to receiving 2 magazines for 1 year each then they sold you. They are successful because you are considered what they call a 1 pay. Representatives get FIRED if they don't get enough 1-pays each month.

So to sum it all up, they mislead you into thinking that you can't or shouldn't cancel and should uphold your original promise and be a person of your word. Most people fearful of credit damage or the company reporting this to credit breaus, they continue service.

***please note that this service is not an extension of credit and you CAN cancel at anytime with penalty****

In regards to you agreeing to that 1 payment, you actually didn't make that payment already. Its on hold. So when you say no to the one pay the account is cancelled and the hold is released. If the magazine company caused an overdraft, request a refund of the overdraft fee. That is in the script also but reps avoid saying it because the boss men (Darryl Decroix) wants to keep as much money as he can.

Another note: Sometime the credit card will decline and they will continue to process it until is approves (overdraft for the customer) but they don't care. The will try to lower payment for you and trick you into thinking you are screwed!

Permanent accounts are slightly different. The representative goes though the same script but stops at $39.31/$39.93 or rarely drops down to $29.41. (they are advised to avoid going that low to give the supervisor room to resell you)

Representative's last words---- "Well, all I have left to do is transfer you to a supervisor"


Sometimes they do or don't give their name because of the fear of being reported to external agencies. Their script is outdated so what is in front of them isn't used verbatim but its basically as follows:

"We finalized your order based on your good word to complete all the payments. The way our company operates is that we must make a financial commitment up front to the publishers that way you don't have to and therefore we expect you to complete all your payment and thats all there is to it."

[I scratched that out because they are not allowed to say that anymore because its not true... but supervisors say it anyway to mislead you and get a sale]

[the script used to say that they already PAID the publishers, but they can't say that anymore because they were getting into to much trouble. I heard the owner has been to court several times due to the way his business is operated]

The resell---

"However, as the representative you just spoke with did explain, we are happy to give you a discount and I can lower you payments down to $29.41 per month. That way it shouldn't stress your budget. But if you find that your situation gets tight after your next payment just call us back and we'll be able to assist you. Is there anything else I can do for you today?"

Customer's not satisfied--

I'm not going to get to much into details about the script from here but what they do is beat you up by asking question and giving you little room. They push you into a corner:

"When we called you to finalize you order we recorded the conversation to our tapefile system, do you remember that? Well, I do have all the information right here in front of me and again I don't want this to stress your budget. I'm happy to make adjustments to you payments if you would like... or I can leave the account as it is. Which one works best for you?"

They offer to give 30%, 50%, and 70% off the entire balance as well to get the account paid in full. Most customers think that is the only way out by paying it off with the discount. That is their ultimate goal, to get you to pay the big bucks.

The supervisor also offers an employee rate of 19.99 for 48 months. They say they give you a 25% discount also to make it sound good, but if you do the math... you can't pay 19.99 for the 5 year service. You will be paying longer than you would be receiving the service so its mandatory to give you the discount anyway.

Then the supervisor comes with this line:

"Well, obviously there is a difference between someone that intends to pay their bills but can't and someone that makes and agreement with no intention of keeping it. We are not asking you to do anything that you didn't agree to and we are still happy to assist you! Would you rather take advantage of the 50% discount and make a one time payment today of $615.00 or make lower monthly payments?"

Finally, they say" Well, I will cancel your order but we've made an investment to establish this account for you. We would rather give you a discount, let you keep all the magazines, and not cancel the order. But if you agree to make a one time payment today of (30% of your balance) just to cover our expenses/past due expenses, we will gladly leave your services equal to what you've paid, agreed?"

Now, that last script is titled "PRE-PAY OFFER." All they are getting you to do is pay off everything upfront. It is not a CANCELLATION policy. YOUR ACCOUNT CAN SIMPLY BE CANCELLED! They don't tell you this because a smart person will simply choose to not pay! Most people pay just to have everything stopped and doesn't even want the magazines. The company takes the money anyway. Its all about how much money is received. The supervisors are fired if they cancel out to many accounts and have a quota to maintain. Supervisors also receive 5% commission of those payments so they have an incentive to get you to pay.

The customer service department alone generates an average of $90,000 - $100,000 PER MONTH! There are several departments located in that building, all representing "different companies." One person represents 15 - 20 different companies. From my knowledge, this magazine scam generates over 1 million dollars per month combined with all the other departments.

Thanks for visiting theNRSscam blog. Hope something here is helpful.
Good luck to all of us!! D/
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About me & theNRSscam blog

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I'm no one special, my kid is just one of "the scammed", and I'm keeping the promise I made to National Readers Service. By the way, while I can attest to the truth of my own personal experience with National Readers Service as presented here, I cannot make the same guarantee for the other complaints and comments posted here or linked on this site. Also the suggestions offered here worked for me, the opinions I post are my own, but neither constitute legal advice. You'd have to consult a lawyer for that, of course. I hope you find something helpful here if you need it.