Telephone solicitors talk senior into $14,000 in magazine subscriptions

Magazinesforweb Telephone solicitors talk senior into $14,000 in magazine subscriptions

A few of the magazines a senior citizen subscribed to over the phone.

Hard-sell telephone solicitors can be expensive as well as annoying, as a Missouri woman’s family recently found out.

The woman, 82, spent more than $14,000 on magazine subscriptions with at least 15 different telemarketers. Many of the subscriptions were for magazines she had no interest in reading, such as glamour magazines or titles on golf or bass fishing. Some solicitors talked her into extending subscriptions until 2024.

After her family got wind of what was happening, they tried to get refunds with limited success. They contacted the BBB for assistance.

The BBB gets dozens of complaints about telephone solicitations for magazines. Several companies – from Colorado, Montana, New York – have more than 100 complaints and one has more than 500. Door-to-door magazine salespeople also generate a lot of complaints.

The elderly may be particularly vulnerable to such sales pitches. They’re often lonely, so they may be more willing to listen to a solicitor’s pitch. And they may be easily confused.

Families can curtail the problem by placing their elderly relatives’ phone numbers on do-not-call lists and by suggesting that they just hang up if they are contacted by people trying to sell them things over the phone. More tips are available in a release from the St. Louis BBB.

Read more at this link.

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About Jerri Stroud

Jerri Stroud is editor for the BBB Serving Eastern Missouri & Southern Illinois. She joined the BBB in 2008 after a long career as a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.