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On November 1, 2012, BBB recognized a pattern of complaints from consumers regarding improper billing and collection practices. Consumers allege they receive bills from this company for magazines they currently have subscriptions for, implying it is time for renewal. However, consumers claim the subscriptions are not expired, nor did they originally order through this company. Consumers further allege the company's renewal advertisement states it has the lowest renewal fee, but consumers find that renewing directly through their magazine's publisher costs less. Consumers also claim the company charges a $20 processing fee to cancel renewals.
On November 5, 2012, BBB notified the company of the complaint pattern. To date, the company has not responded to BBB's request to address the pattern.
On March 30, 2015, the Oregon State Attorney General filed a complaint against Henry Cricket Group LLC, Maximillian Inc, Liberty Publishers Service Inc, Orbital Publishing Service Inc, Associated Publishers Network Inc, United Publishers Network, Adept Management Inc, Customer Access Services Inc, Consolidated Publishers Exchange Inc, Magazine Clearing Exchange Inc, Subscription House Agency Inc, Magazine Link Inc, Publishers Payment Processing Inc, Anchor Publishing Group Inc, Clarity Group Inc, Wineoceros Wine Club Inc, CPC Solutions Inc, Reality Kats LLC, Hoyal & Associates Inc, Laura Lovrien, Colleen M. Kaylor, Shannon R. Bacon, Lydia J. Pugsley, Noel Parducci, Linda Babb, William Strickler, Rachel Worchester, Jeffrey Hotal and other defendants presently unknown.
The complaint alleged violations of the Unlawful Trade Practices Act, financial abuse, simulated invoices and civil racketeering.
On or after January 1, 2010, the defendants allegedly solicited Oregon consumers to buy magazines or newspapers through mass direct mail marketing campaigns. Consumers were instructed to send money to the defendants in the form of personal checks, money orders and credit card payments. Consumer payments and subscription orders were processed at their offices, and proceeds were invested in real estate and in personal property.
The defendants allegedly engaged in direct mail and telephone marketing to consumers and sent mail solicitations to Oregon consumers, which implied material misrepresentations such as:
• Authorization by magazine and newspaper publishers to sell subscriptions or renewals to consumers;
• Solicitations were created and sent by the publisher listed on the face thereof or by authorized agents for those publishers;
• The prices offered were the “lowest prices” available from the publisher;
• Consumers had existing subscriptions to the publication listed on the face of the solicitations;
• Existing subscriptions would expire at or near the response date set out in the solicitation;
• And other misrepresentations.
On June 23, 2015, the Oregon State Attorney General entered into an assurance of voluntary compliance with Henry Cricket Group LLC, Maximillian Inc, Liberty Publishers Service Inc, Orbital Publishing Group Inc, Express Publishers Service Inc, Associated Publishers Network Inc, United Publishers Network, Adept Management Inc, Customer Access Services Inc, Consolidated Publishers Exchange Inc, Magazine Clearing Exchange Inc, Subscription House Agency Inc, Magazine Link Inc, Publishers Payment Processing Inc, Anchor Publishing Group Inc, Clarity Group Inc, Wineoceros Wine Club Inc, CPC Solutions Inc, Reality Kats LLC, Hoyal & Associates Inc, Laura Lovrien, Colleen M. Kaylor, Shannon R. Bacon, Lydia J. Pugsley, Noel Parducci, Linda Babb, William Strickler, Rachel Worcester, Jeffrey Hoyal and Dennis Simpson.
According to the agreement, which is not an admission of guilt, the respondents are prohibited from engaging in the newspaper or magazine subscription business, and from using U.S. mail, the internet, telephones or private couriers to engage in the activity prohibited by this agreement.
The respondents are ordered to pay no more than $500,000 into a restitution fund that will be provided to eligible Oregon consumers who either overpaid for subscriptions or did not receive the publications they purchased; seniors will also receive refunds for subscriptions longer than three years. The respondents are further ordered to pay $3 million into the Consumer Protection and Education Revolving Account to be used as Oregon law may provide.
This settlement followed a joint investigation with New York, Florida, Texas, Missouri, Wisconsin and Nevada.
Oregon consumers who believe they are eligible for restitution are encouraged to contact the Oregon Department of Justice consumer complaint hotline at (877) 877-9392 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on this action, please contact Oregon Department of Justice at (503) 378-4400 or visit www.doj.state.or.us.
The following describes a pending government action that has been formally brought by a government agency but has not yet been resolved. We are providing a summary of the governments allegations, which have not yet been proven.
On April 27, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission filed a Complaint for Injunctive and Equitable Relief against defendants Publisher’s Payment Processing (PPP), Adept, Anchor, Associated, Atlas, Clarity Group, CPE, Crown, CAS, Express, HCG Inc., HCG LLC, H&A, Liberty, MCE, Magazine Link, Maximillian, North West Data, PPP Magazines, Publishers Payment NY, Publishers Payment OR, Reality Kats, Specialties, Subscription House, United, and Wineoceros.
It is alleged that defendants have operated as a common enterprise by conducting business through an interrelated network of companies that have common ownership, officers, managers, employees and office locations.
It is alleged that PPP is engaged in a nationwide campaign that relies on soliciting newspaper renewals and new subscriptions from consumers. Through mass mailings that look like subscription notices, PPP allegedly represents that they are authorized by the publishers to obtain and renew subscriptions. It is alleged that many publishers of newspapers have not authorized PPP to solicit subscriptions or renewals or to accept payments from consumers for subscription renewals. Many publishers have allegedly refused to accept orders from PPP and have attempted to stop PPP’s unauthorized solicitations. In addition, PPP has allegedly received numerous cease and desist letters from publishers directing them to stop taking unauthorized subscription orders for more than 375 newspapers.
It is further alleged that PPP violates numerous sections of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act.
The FTC is seeking to freeze PPP’s assets, immediate access, and appointment of a receiver. The FTC is also seeking relief to redress injury to consumers resulting from alleged violation of the FTC Act.
For more information, contact the Federal Trade Commission at (202) 326-2222 or visit www.ftc.gov/.
This business is in an industry that may require professional licensing, bonding or registration. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.
Ms. Laura Lovrien, President
Ms. Jane Buehl, Branch Manager
Principal: Ms. Laura Lovrien, President
Magazines - Subscription AgentsMagazine SalesMagazine Sales by Mail
Alternate Business Names
A C P A
Allied Publishing Services
American Consumer Publishers Association
American Consumer Publishing Association Inc
American Consumer Publishing Inc
Associated Publishers Services
Billing Services of America
Bradford Publishing Service
C B C
C B S
Circulation Billing Services
G P S
Global Publication Service
Global Publishers Center
Global Publishers Service
L P S
Lake Shore Publishers Service
Liberty Publishers Group Inc
Liberty Publishers Service Inc
M B S
M D S
M P S
Magazine Billing Network
Magazine Billing Services
Magazine Distribution Service
Magazine Payment Services
Magazine Subscriber Services
Magazine Subscriptions Center
National Magazine Services
Orbital Publishing Group Inc
P P E S Publisher Periodical Service
Periodical Billing Services
Platinum Subscription Service
Publication Service Networks
Publisher's Services Network
Publishers Access Services
Publishers Billing Association
Publishers Billing Emporium
Publishers Billing Exchange
Publishers Billing Services
Publishers Consolidated Subscription Services
Publishers Distribution Center
Publishers Education Services
Publishers Magazine Billing
Publishers Magazine Payment
Publishers Marketplace Services
Publishers Network Exchange
Publishers Payment Processing
Publishers Payment Services
Publishers Periodical Service
Publishers Processing Service
Publishers Services Exchange
Publishers Services Network
Raybor Management Inc
Readers Billing Services
Readers Payment Service
Seascape Publishers Network
Slo Call Center
Subscription Billing Service
Subscription Payment Exchange
Subscription Payment Services
United Publishers Network
United Publishers Services
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