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The Scam that Can Come to Your Door
Now that you're living on your own, you will be faced with many new situations. If someone comes knocking at your door offering you a great deal on magazines, it might be a scam. They might overcharge you, or take your money and never send you your magazines. What's more, you may be exposing yourself to identity theft. Although there are some legitimate magazine sales companies out there, keep these things in mind to avoid being scammed out of your money:
- If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Watch out for magazine subscription deals that include the words "free," "prepaid" and "special." An impulse purchase could leave you with years of monthly payments for magazines you may not want or could buy for less elsewhere.
- Be wary of these sales techniques:
- Trying to get you to commit to subscriptions for as long as possible—sometimes as long as four years.
- Offering a magazine subscription for only the cost of a processing fee. You will probably find out too late that the processing fee is more than the cost of a normal subscription to that magazine.
- Charging full publisher's price or more for the subscription, when the publisher is offering multi-year or promotional discounts.
- Quoting prices per week even though some of the magazines they offer you may only be published monthly.
- Providing multiple names (often generic names) for the same company.
- Presenting him or herself as something other than a salesperson, or who isn't forthcoming with the name of the company he's working for.
- Using emotional appeals while selling door-to-door. For example, the person selling magazine subscriptions using the appeal that your sale will help him/her get a college scholarship or other such rewards.
- Be wary of salespeople withholding information. Do not go through with a magazine subscription purchase if the salesperson doesn't tell you how much it costs before asking you to provide some form of payment. You shouldn't have to ask what the cost is; they should tell you upfront.
- Ask questions. Get answers that the salesperson is willing to back up in writing. If the salesperson doesn't want to answer these questions, he or she doesn't deserve your business:
- How long will your subscription last?
- How you will be billed and when?
- Which magazines will you be receiving and when?
- How much is the cost of each subscription and the total price?
- Are you able to cancel and what are your cancellation rights?
- How does the price you are supposed to pay compare to what you would pay with a normal subscription?
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