BBB issues warning on third-party subscription renewal notices

2013-08-28T15:30:00Z 2013-08-28T20:52:13Z BBB issues warning on third-party subscription renewal noticesBy Angela Pittenger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
August 28, 2013 3:30 pm  • 

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona is alerting consumers to what it calls a “subscription renewal scam” run by Associated Publishers Network.

Consumers around the country, including two from Tucson, told the BBB they received renewal notices from APN for publications they currently subscribe to. After mailing renewal checks to APN, their subscriptions ended and they were told by the newspapers or magazines that the publications have no working relationship with APN.

Those who contacted APN to get a refund told the BBB that most calls and emails were not acknowledged. Consumers who were able to speak to a representative were still unable to get a refund.

The New York Times has filed a complaint with the BBB, stating Associated Publishers Network is not associated or authorized to solicit renewals or subscriptions.

The Wall Street Journal issued its own fraud alerts in response to complaints. It says APN claims to do business on behalf of the Journal using various names — United Publisher’s Clearing House, National Magazine Services, Orbital Publishing and Publisher’s Billing Exchange. All of these companies share the same address with Associated Publishers Network, 850 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson, Nev., or a post office box in Oregon, the BBB says.

Consumers should check the payment address of subscription solicitors, avoid third-party billers and not provide questionable agents with financial information, the BBB says.

Those who feel they have received a fraudulent renewal invoice should file a complaint with BBB and report it to the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Contact reporter Angela Pittenger at 573-4137 or apitteng@azstarnet.com

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