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Consumer Complaints

Publishing Concepts, LP

Phone: (214) 530-0335Fax: (972) 774-3284

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BBB began including the text of consumer complaints and business responses in BBB Business Reviews on 07/01/2013 for complaints filed on 01/01/2013 and thereafter. This includes all complaints that meet our reporting guidelines and that are filed electronically. We also report on the resolution of the complaint, as determined by BBB.

Customer Complaints Summary

30 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 14 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues2
Billing / Collection Issues5
Delivery Issues15
Problems with Product / Service8
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints30

Additional Complaint Information

BBB has identified a pattern of complaints concerning the failure to deliver products that had been purchased by consumers in a timely manner. Publishing Concepts has provided a response to BBB as to the steps they are taking to eliminate this pattern both in June, 2015 and again in January, 2016. As of August 2, 2016, BBB has identified that during this monitoring period for the past 12 months, Publishing Concepts is still receiving the same types of complaints. BBB has closed this inquiry as a failure to eliminate the underlying cause to a pattern of complaints.

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (30)
08/12/2016Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

Lack of delivery of purchased directory despite stated delivery dates.
Order # 8693103 of an Upper Iowa University alumni directory. Item was ordered April 12, 2015, with promised delivery by end of May, 2016. When product did not arrive I contacted Publishing Concepts. I was informed at that time that the directory would be delivered by the end of June, 2016. When the product did not arrive I placed many calls, with the recording informing me after two announcements that call volume was high and to call back later. I believed them, would hang up, and would attempt to call again at another time with the same message being stated. My daughter called on August 3, 2016, to see if she could help with this issue. She listened to the same recordings, but did not hang up. Two more announcements later a representative responded. He indicated the product still had not shipped, and offered as the reason a recent merger of companies and their being overwhelmed in being able to fill orders. There is no expected ship date, but he stated the directory should ship later this summer. My daughter gave him her email, which is also used for this complaint, to assist in trying to follow up with this issue, and for them to notify her if and when this directory ever does ship.

After reviewing all this with her, I have decided I don't want the directory, that it will never be printed, and I want a full refund of my money.

Desired Settlement
I am requesting a full refund of the $109.95 mailed to me at the address provided in this complaint.

Final Consumer Response
Received a call from Vicki at this company stating they would be refunding the entire amount of $109.95. They have also promised to still send the alumni directory despite the refund, with an expected shipping date of sometime in October. I received the refund check in the mail on August 9, 2016. It will be interesting to see if they really do send the directory!

07/27/2016Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details

This was supposed to be a purchase of a year book history for my alma mater. It was a scam for magazine sales.
I was contacted by a postcard stating that my alma mater Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco CA was preparing a history from its founding in 1905. I was interested in its past but no price was quoted at the time. The cost turned out to be outrageous and automatically withdrawn from my checking account in three payments. It also turned out to be a sales scam for magazines which was pushed on me until I finally said NO More. The product was purchased in June of this year around the 25th. The second payment is scheduled to come out on July 29th. I feel as a 76 year old woman I was targeted and taken advantage of.

Desired Settlement
I would like a refund of the $59.97 taken in June and stop any further withdrawals from my account which is due in one week.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ****
Contact Phone: XXXXXXXXXX
Contact Email: *****
A supervisor reviewed the call /recording between Ms. ****** and our agent. On 6/21/16 at approximately 12 noon (cst) Ms. ****** spoke with one of our agents, the interaction was pleasant and fun. Ms. ******'s information / data was updated for her alma mater (Immaculate Conception Academy in San Francisco CA) data base. Once the update was complete the agent offered her some product options in which she chose the printed format of the alumni directory. With that option a magazine subscription is also available which includes 3 free months. Ms. ****** declined the offer. The agent politely replied "I'm sure there's at least one you'd like to try that you've never tried before" . In reference to the magazine offer, Ms. ****** replied "no I don't have the time". The agent said " alright no problem ma'am".Then the agent reconfirmed the total along with the delivery projection. Again it was a pleasant exchange. Today I spoke with Ms. ****** and apologized for her concerns and personally assured her that a full refund (119.94) is being processed and will be placed back on the given credit card. It should be available within a couple of days. Moreover, her order has been gifted. She mentioned that she may have misunderstood the agent. She advised me that she will be contacting the BBB to report that she's happy and satisfied with the resolution.

Consumer Response
This is to inform your Bureau that the above case XXXXXXXX was remedied at more than a fair manner, with a refund and an offer of receiving the item free of cost. Mr. ******* , who was may contact, was very helpful and very polite. The matter has been taken care of. ***** ******

07/06/2016Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

Misrepresentation of Timing of Delivery of Products Ordered and Lack of Customer Service and Communication.
Hi, I had ordered a Purdue University Directory, which included apparel items and a travel bag. The original order was placed on 12/8/2015, with the apparel items and travel bag with a delivery date of May 2016. I repeatedly tried to e-mail Publishing Concepts at the end of that month to receive an update on the timing of the delivery with no response (even though I knew the message was received and read by the company).

I finally was contacted by a lady name Vicki Sue, and she stated that the new delivery date would be June 10th. I called the company this morning, 6/10, and spoke with a man, who now stated that the apparel items and bag would be sent at the end of July 2016, with a delivery in August. He states that these are specially designed items just for this project.

Because of previous complaints about this company on the BBB website, I am beginning to wonder if this is a scam. I find it hard to believe that they cannot have a T-shirt, Sweatshirt and Travel Bag designed and completed in under 6 months from the time of the order on 12/8/15.

Thank you,

Desired Settlement
As I do not have any faith in their ability to deliver the promised items, I would like to have my money refunded.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: **** ****** President
Contact Phone: XXX XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *******
We have been connected with Mr. **********. We apologized for the delay with the shipment and provided him a refund. Mr. ********** expressed his appreciation for our actions and indicated that he would contact the BBB to let you know the issue has been resolved to his satisfaction.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I am currently satisfied with the company's response, however, if the purchased items are not delivered, per their confirmation, by the end of August, I reserve the right to re-open the complaint.

02/15/2016Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

Item Never Received/Unable to Contact Customer Service
On April 3, 2015 I purchased a copy of the 4 Percent book from PCI. It was supposed to ship in January 2016. The relevant information are:
Order Date: 4/3/2015
Personal ID Number: XXXXXXXX
Sales Associate: ***** V-874
The item has not arrived, nor has there been any followup from the company. Every call I make to them goes to an answering machine.
At this point, it's clear that I've been ripped off. I want a full refund.

Desired Settlement
I want a full refund of the $109.90 I paid to PCI in April 2015.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ****
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
At Publishing Concepts we publish Alumni Association Directories, Military Registry and partner with Universities, Colleges, Fraternities, Sororities and The National Eagle Scout Association. We have been in business for 97 years and these projects normally are anywhere from 10-13 month projects.
We have partnered with the National Eagle Scout Association. The 4% Directories are a limited edition product that is only published once every 5-7 years. We have worked with NESA every year on a different yearly publication for the NESA Yearbook since 2013. The last NESA 4% Directory was published in 2008. The NESA Directory cannot be bought online or at a bookstore and is manufactured once during the project towards mid to end of the project, we only print what has been pre-reserved with payment. The 4% is 3 million Eagles nationwide who want to participate in a series of 4 Directories. The West, Southern, Central Directories have been delivered and the NESA Northeast is due to be delivered the last week of February and early March. The original estimated delivery date was late January 2016 as was stated during Mr. ********'s initial call. This project began January 23, 2015. A QA is on the National Eagle Scout Association website along with all our contact information. I have called Mr. ******** to advise him that we are issuing a refund today in the amount of $109.90 check # XXXXX to be delivered tomorrow via UPS tracking number # 1ZE7AXXXXXXXXXXXXX. I was unable to connect with him and did leave a detailed message requesting a return call. Our phone lines have been extremely busy since the holidays, however, all calls are recorded and our system captures the number that dialed into us so that we can research issues. We currently show the initial call but no other calls or messages were received from Mr. ********. The initial number that we have for Mr. ******** is no longer a working number XXX-XXX-XXXX. We are now researching if any calls have been captured from the XXX XXX-XXXX number listed in his complaint and have found 2 calls on April 3, 2015 however. All calls to the Client Experience Department are returned within 24 hours and as a normal practice the same day. However, I believe that Mr. ******** may have been calling an incorrect number but cannot be positive until I speak with him. We are gifting the Directory to Mr. ******** as a goodwill gesture and will be thoroughly investigating this matter because this issue does not mirror our policy or business practice.

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I received the refund check from the business and consider this matter resolved. I see no reason for the lengthy business history nor do I believe that their phone numbers all automatically go to an answering machine due to high call volumes. It is not necessary to gift me the book as I very much doubt it would arrive anyway. The refund was sufficient to resolve this.

02/12/2016Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

Ordered hard copy directory for Eagle Scouts, plus t-shirt, sweatshirt, and CD-Rom. Charged for full amount, but never received any items.
Order Date:3/21/2015
Amount charged: $319.85
Item: National Eagle Scout Directory
Sales Associate: Curtis V-851

Delivery date promised: august 2015

Desired Settlement
Seeking refund for full amount $319.85.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: Deborah D***, VP Culture
Contact Phone: ************
Contact Email: dd***
My name is Deborah D*** and I partner on the Client Services Team here at Publishing Concepts.
On January 29th, we received an email inquiry from Mr. P****** in client services and this issue was assigned to Client Services associate the same day. Unfortunately, it wasn't until 2.1.16 that this associate addressed the issue but by that time the 1.29.16 BBB complaint from Mr. P****** had already been placed and we received on 1.30.16.
On 2.1.16 all outstanding product was shipped by UPS to Mr. P******. A handwritten apology note was included as well.
The apparel was originally scheduled to ship at the end of October but was shipped out to everyone in January. The directory and the CD were originally scheduled to ship at the end of November but were shipped out mid to late January.
At no time was there the possibility that we would not send the product to Mr. P******. Our wrong was in failing to communicate properly to the Eagle Scout membership (the 4%) of NESA
I have spoken to Mr. P******, apologized and a refund has been processed to send to Mr. P******. We have chosen to refund the entire amount paid ($319.90) for the less than satisfactory experience had by Mr. P******.
The logoed travel bags are shipping out on 2.15.16 and Mr. P****** will receive his at that time.
We are improving our communication processes to alleviate the concern and frustration that members feel when the product is shipped later than expected.
Thank you,
Deborah D***

Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
I accept and appreciate the response by the business.

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06/23/2016Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details

This company had taken money from my bank account twice and I haven't received anything nor submitted the information they needed yet!
I received a call from this company saying they were creating a Memorial Edition for all veterans whom they collected money from. They asked for photos and experiences explained, with each photo to place in this book. Of course, I thought it was a great deal, they said it was $185.90 for this. I gave her my debit card information. Since then, I haven't had a chance to submit the photos or anything and they not only took the money from my bank account but did it again! I am 85 years old and live on a fixed income and have MD, and for someone to take advantage of people our age is despicable!

Desired Settlement
All I wish at this point is a refund. I want nothing to do with what they are representing because I believe it's a scam.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ****, VP
Contact Phone: XXXXXXXXXX
Contact Email: *****
Thank you for the opportunity to respond.
Mr. ****** called PCI on 5.26.2016. He responded to all information requested and when asked if he would like to pre-reserve a copy of the directory he did say that he would like to but opted for a lower priced package due to his wife's health issues.
He did ask that this credit card purchase not be charged until the 1st of April. The data update specialist agreed to postdate until then.
When researching the double-charge issue due to a phone call from his daughter Terri on June 9th, 2016, we discovered that our postdate department mistakenly charged twice for the order which was only supposed to be one charge for $185.80 total for the directory and apparel ordered by Mr. ******.
Our Sr. Client Experience Specialist Vicki ***, received said call from daughter Terri and on June 9th, 2016 Vicki *** apologized and immediately refunded all monies paid for the directory and apparel as well as the additional funds that were taken by mistake. Vicki *** let Terri know that we were gifting the directory to her father to apologize for the frustration and concern that we caused him.
Terri was very appreciative for the immediate refund and for the gifting of the directory.
Thank you,
PS: We are still conducting an investigation as to how the mistake happened in our post date department.
Thank you for your patience.

05/09/2016Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

Purchased an Alumni Directory through PCI for $109.90. The check was written on 2/29/16,and cashed on 3/8/16. To date, I have not received anything.
I purchased an Alumni Directory through PCI for $109.90. The check was written on 2/29/16, and cashed on 3/8/16. To date, I have not received anything confirming receipt of payment, not have I received the Alumni Directory in the mail. When I attempted to call PCI on 4/18/16, I was automatically given a recorded directive to leave a message. I did. I informed them that if I did not receive a return phone call in 24 hours (which is what the automated recording promised would happen) I will contact my financial institution and revoke payment on the order.
The Account number with PCI in question is: XXXXXX

I would much rather receive the directory that I paid for rather than revoking payment and ending up empty handed.

Desired Settlement
I want the directory which they received payment for more than a month ago. If they cannot produce the merchandise I paid for I will revoke payment.

Business Response
My name is ******* **** and I partner on the Client Experience Team here at Publishing Concepts.
We have reached out to Ms. ***** but first I would like to outline specifics of this order.
On August 24th, 2015, Ms. ***** did speak to one of our data update specialists to update her record and reserve a copy of the forthcoming directory for the Archbishop Carroll High School.
On that date, an attempt to charge the credit card failed so our representative marked the order to be invoiced.
We sent out invoices on 8.31.2015, 9.29.2015, 10.19.2015, 11.10.2015, 11.30.2015, 12.18.2015 and 1.8.2016. On March 7th, 2016 a check was received by PCI for a directory in the amount of $109.90.
On 4.18.16, a voicemail message was left on our client experience line between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. At 6:07, on that same day, Kimbell Sinclair (CE agent) returned the call to let Ms. ***** know that she would have the Directory no later than the end of May.
The Directory actually shipped from our Vendor on 4.19.2016 and as is our process, we normally give a 2 - 4 week mail time slot due to USPS Media Mail delivery expectations.
On April 25th, 2016, Vicki Sue ******* reached out to Ms. *****, by telephone, but could not connect. She actually had another directory shipped that same day, (2-day air) by UPS. The UPS Tracking number is 1ZE7AXXXXXXXXXXXXX. We were notified that delivery was made last Wednesday 4.27.16.
I have tried to call Ms. ***** again today but her phone is not accepting messages. I will be sending an email to confirm that all is as expected and that she received the 2nd directory sent by UPS.
Thank you,
******* ****

03/23/2016Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

Ordered a sweatshirt and jacket from a company using VFW as there sponsor. I had received numerous postcards stating the reason for contact was to update my veteran status with the VFW. This was done on 8/25/2015. I was informed that due to the hand embroidery work it would take up to 2 months. My account was debited $229.00 but I haven't received any product and I haven't been successful in gaining communications with ALUMNI DIRECTORY. The subsidiary company of PC,LP

Desired Settlement
I want full refund of $229.00 and some sort of confirmation that the Texas VFW is aware the Alumni Directory is using their name to conduct bad business practices.

Business Response
Good Afternoon,

My name is ******* **** and I partner on the Client Services team here at Publishing Concepts.

After receiving Mr. ******'s BBB complaint on February 19th, 2016, I asked Ms. Vicki Sue Claytor, Sr. Client Experience Specialist to listen to the recorded call, from August 25, 2015, and then to contact Mr. ****** by phone.

Prior to contacting Mr. ******, Vicki Sue sent over several observations about the recorded conversation between Mr. ****** and our Data Update Specialist. During the call, Mr. ****** mentioned several times that he could not hear what was being said and asked the specialist to repeat herself. He also stated a few times that he had difficulty hearing what she was saying.

On March 7th, 2016 Vicki Sue returned the call, in the privacy of a small conference room so that we could ensure that Mr. ****** could hear our findings.

Here is the following transcript from Vicki Sue's call to Mr. ******:

1. Vicki Sue apologized for the frustration and concern that we had caused Mr. ******.
2. Vicki Sue explained to Mr. ****** that the apparel was not hand embroidered (nor did the update agent indicated that it was) and that the actual original delivery date is scheduled for May, 2016. She also reviewed the nature of the apparel to be received and confirmed that he ordered a T-shirt and Sweatshirt combination not a jacket (which we don't offer) and sweatshirt.
3. The directory delivery has always been scheduled for August of 2016 and it is on track to be on time and this was told to Mr. ****** on the original call from 8.25.15.
4. Vicki Sue offered him an immediate refund but Mr. ****** declined but Vicki Sue also confirmed that even after receiving the on-time scheduled items, if he was not satisfied, we would still offer a full refund at that time.
5. Mr. ****** thanked Vicki Sue and offered to remove the complaint from the BBB and we thanked him for offering to do so and hope that he will.

It was our pleasure to speak to Mr. ******. He was patient, kind, and gracious.

03/17/2016Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details

I placed an order for apparel, airplane voucher, and alumni directories in August of 2015. It is now March of 2016 and nothing has been shipped.
I interracted with this company in good faith that my money was going towards the Alumni Association. I placed an order in August of 2015 for college apparel, airline vouchers, and college directories, and have not heard anything from the company, or received anything I ordered, and it is now March of 2016.

Desired Settlement
I request a refund of $219.90.

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ****, VP
Contact Phone: 972.728.3678
Contact Email: *****
We received this complaint from BBB on 3.9.2016. Coincidentally, we received a phone call from Ms. ********* on the day before and that call was returned on 3.8.2016 after 4:00 p.m.

Ms. ********* updated her information on 8.1.2015 and after updating information placed an order for the Pride Package for Boise State University which includes a Directory, USB, T-shirt and Sweatshirt. The airline voucher is a free gift with order. No monies were paid for the airline voucher.

Once on the phone with Ms. *********, Vicki Sue reviewed the delivery dates for each item not received.

1. Directory: Always scheduled to ship this summer, 2016. End of June / July - the directory will ship.

2. USB: Because Ms. ********* ordered the Book/USB directory combination, those go out at the same time, packaged together and that will ship Mid July / August, 2016

3. Apparel: In the confirmation email that Ms. ********* received, the date of delivery was not correct (December 2015). But she was told correctly, by the agent in that recorded call that it would be six months before apparel would ship out.

This apparel always scheduled to ship at the end of February and this has been delayed to ship out end of March with delivery to buyers sometime in April / 1st part of May, 2016.

4. Airline Voucher: After an order is placed, a notice goes to the Airline Voucher department. This was done immediately on 8.1.2015 and on 8.3.2015 a postcard was sent to Ms. ********* to verify her address electronically for the certificate to be mailed to that address. We require this because of the dollar value associated with the certificate.

According to our records, Ms. ********* did not verify her address electronically so a voucher was never sent. A voucher has been sent, today, by email to Ms. ********* from Client Services.

When Vicki Sue spoke to Ms. ********* yesterday, she did not mention that she had filed a complaint with the BBB but we are hoping that our conversation yesterday put her mind at ease.

Even though she requests a refund in the complaint to the BBB, yesterday she declined our offer to refund her monies paid. As always, once product is received and someone is not pleased, we will immediately refund.

Please let me know if you require further information.

11/24/2015Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details

I was contacted by the "Alumni Directory Department" for the Texas Exes (supposedly) Alumni Association. I was provided information regarding a variety of products that were available for purchase (e.g., "Hardbound Book, Travel Bag, T-shirt, Sweatshirt"). I informed the salesperson that I would "think about" purchasing these items, but made absolutely no commitment to this company. I never, ever agreed to buy these items, and I never responded to any further calls by this salesperson. About two weeks later, I received two "Account Statement(s)" ordering me to pay 173.04 and 118.97 (for products that I absolutely did not ever agree to buy). I have called the number they provided on the statements (X-XXX-XXX-XXXX) and left messages asking someone to call me back in regards to these fraudulent bills. The recording that I always end up getting states that someone will "call me back within 24 hours," and I have left all of the pertinent information for them (i.e., name, account #, telephone #). It has been well over 24 hours, and I have still not received a call. This is extremely annoying, and I hate having to waste my time dealing with such deceitful practices.
Account_Number: XXXXXX

Desired Settlement
I want someone from the company to call me and explain why they are performing such fraudulent business practices. I want these "bills" to be removed. I never agreed to any such purchases, and I know that they are trying to scare me in to paying these bogus bills (because they intend to try and send/sell fraudulent bills to a collection agency). I want these practices corrected!

Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ******* ****, V.P.
Contact Phone: 972.728.3678
Contact Email: *****
Thank you for the opportunity to record response to Mr. ********.
On September 25th, 2015, Mr. ******** did speak to one of our representatives to update his information for the forthcoming University of Texas Alumni Directory.
Mr. ******** very kindly updated his information and did not request an invoice be sent to him. The representative did not bring up the subject of an invoice nor did she mention that she would send one. This was our mistake and we are truly sorry for the frustration and concern that this caused Mr. ********.
Mel ******** of our Client Services team did reach out to Mr. ******** on November 4th, 2015. He apologized for the error and gifted the directory and travel bag to Mr. ********.
In response, here is Mr. ********'s email back to Mel:
From: ****** ******** mailto:***********
Sent: Wednesday, November 04, XXXX X:XX PM
To: Mel *******
Subject: Re: Texas Exes Alumni Directory Project


I called and spoke with ***** at the Better Business Bureau, and she informed me that the proper way to retract/cancel a complain is to use the link that was emailed to me when I initially filed the complaint. Thus, I did as she advised, and I just submitted a full retraction of my BBB complaint against your company.

Here is a copy of what I wrote regarding the issue: "My name is ****** ********, and I would like to fully retract the complaint that I filed against "Publishing Concepts, LP." They made contact with me, and they were very professional in resolving my issues. I was very pleased with the manner in which they handled the matter, and I do not wish to pursue this claim any further. Please cancel the investigation, and please let it be know for the record that I no longer have any complaints regarding this company. Thank you very much. ****** ******** **** ** ******* St *** ***** ********* ** XXXXX."

Mel, thank you again for making contact with me. I sincerely appreciate your professionalism in dealing with my issues, and I am grateful for the kind gifts you have provided me. I look forward to dealing with your company in the future (in a less combative manner), and I now have a great deal of respect and admiration for you and your company. Communication is an essential tool, both in business and in the legal field, and you have provided magnificent communication and service to me. Semper Fi!
Best regards,
****** "***" ********

Thank you and please let us know how we may be of further assistance.

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