Complaint / review text:
On March 15,2008 around 5pm I had a knock on my door. He introduced himself as Mark and seemed very polite. He told me he was doing a project for his Marketing/Communications major where he had to meet 50 people a day. He then went on about magazine subscriptions, if you picked out the ones you like, he would receive a certain amount of points for those magazines that would go towards winning a vacation, he said either anywhere in Mexico or Europe. I looked through the list of magazines and he asked if I had a boyfriend. I stated I was married and he asked if he was home. I said yes, and I went to go get my husband because I thought this was strange. Upon meeting my husband, he asked if he may come in to use counter space to write on. We agreed, but felt awkward.
I asked him how much the magazines cost for the subscription and he said for me to just tell him what ones I was interested in, and he would give me the price for them. He wouldn't let me see the price sheet (I should have wondered why then!). I told him I was interested in OK! Magazine, when really I didn't need it or have the money, but wanted to try to help him get the trip because having been the Europe myself, I thought it's an amazing experience everyone should get the chance to have. He told me I could pay cash or by check, and I opted for check so that if I decided to cancel, it would be easier for me to have proof of payment. He asked for my check number to write on the receipt, and my address, etc. I made the check out for $42 (the magazine was only costing me $30 but he forgot to tell me until writing the check that there is a $12 service fee).
Not wanting to seem cheap, I obliged and wrote the check for the Sunshine Subscription Agency for $42. He could tell I was uncertain about it, and he told me hey, if you want, you can help me out by letting me send the check away, and the company holds it for 10 days before cashing it. If you cancel by the 3rd business day of them receiving it, then you will get your money back. If I did this, he would still get points for the "sale" without my even buying the magazine. That seemed good to me and I agreed on doing that.
After he left, I read through the receipt and it says on the bottom in small print that there is no holding of the checks. Also on the back of the receipt it states that there is a $30 service fee if the check is cancelled, bounced, or account-closed. I then realized "cancelled" meant if I called and cancelled my order, so in essence I would still be paying $30 for something I didn't want in the first place. I then looked online and did a quick google search on the sunshine subscription agency and saw all of these rip off reports. I felt so angry and mad that he had done this to me and my husband. Before Mark Vetter left, he told me he had to stick a sticker 'bug off' on my apartment number so that others selling magazines wouldn't bother me, and it would show them he had already been to my apartment. He also added his name to my check as well as a 3 digit number, and another 9 or 10 digit number and I forget now why he said he needed to put that on there.
Well, when I told my husband he circled the apartment complexes looking for him and found him. He told Mark he wanted the check back, that I felt uneasy about it since it states that there is a $30 service fee for cancelling checks. He said that's only if I put stop payment on that check, but it isn't, as it also states stop payment penalties as a separate action. He then argued with my husband about how he wouldn't get any points towards the trip, and my husband said that I deal with the money in the house, and he needs the check back now. He ripped the check in half and gave to my husband.
Upon returning home, I looked at the check and the "for" section had been altered. I had written OK! Magazine subscription in the for section... Well in dark black ink Mark Vetter scribbled out the OK! Part. Which leads me to believe what others are saying on here... That they did receive magazines, but it was not the one they had ordered. I believe he was planning on changing what my subscription was as he blotted out the OK section on the For part of my check. I'm relieved that we caught him in time, but I worry about the other residents in my apartment complex falling for this, and others in the Columbia, Irmo, SC area, so I am writing this in hopes you all have a chance to see it before you fall for it!
Columbia, South Carolina