BBB Advises Consumers to Beware of Door-to-Door Magazine Sellers

June 01, 2012
Better Business Bureau serving Eastern North Carolina receives complaints each year from consumers who have unknowingly purchased multi-year magazine subscriptions. Unscrupulous telemarketers often trick consumers into paying hundreds of dollars for multi-year subscriptions to magazines they do not want or cannot afford. BBB warns that deceptive door-to-door magazine sales crews are hitting the pavement and looking to earn a quick buck this summer.

BBB recommends the following on how to handle door-to-door magazine sellers:

Listen carefully and be aware of high pressure sales tactics. Some unscrupulous door-to-door sellers will put pressure on you to close the deal at that moment and even make special offers to entice you. Find a way to end the conversation quickly to avoid long, high pressure sales pitches.

Verify the individual and the company. If you are interested in buying from a door-to-door seller, get everything in writing including price, warranty and all conditions. Tell the salesperson you will review the information and get back to him or her. Ask for contact information and look the company up yourself to verify this person is an employee. Also, take the time to check out the company’s Business Review at

Know your rights. The Federal Trade Commission’s Three-Day Cooling-Off Rule gives the customer three days to cancel purchases over $25 that are made in their home or at a location that is not the seller’s permanent place of business. Along with a receipt, salespeople should also include a completed cancellation form that customers can send to the company to cancel the agreement. By law, the company must give customers a refund within 10 days of receiving the cancellation notice.

Victims of fraudulent magazine sales should file a complaint at Victims can also contact their local law enforcement and state Attorney General offices.