September 18, 2018

Subscriber couldn’t get magazine, but at least received refund

Consumer Forum

Let’s go back in our Consumer Forum files to June 1986, when we received a letter from Kathy Jones of Lubec.

Mrs. Jones wrote to us that in October 1985 she had purchased a magazine subscription from a young salesman who told her that he was earning points by doing this in order to go on to college. The business was named National Circulating Co., Inc. of Gettysburg, Pa. Mrs. Jones gave the salesman a check in the amount of $14.97.

The salesman, Vincent Yates, gave her a receipt which stated there would be a 90-day delay in delivery. When the 90-day period passed and Jones had not received the first issue of the magazine subscription by the end of January 1986, she wrote to the company giving them all the information on the purchase and requested that the subscription start.

Jones waited patiently but her letter to National Circulating Co. did not initiate a response. lt was at this point that she contacted Northeast COMBAT.

Our first step was to contact Mrs. Jones requesting that she send us a copy of both the front and back of her canceled check, along with a copy of the receipt so we could represent her more effectively when we contacted the company.

On July 10 we received the documentation that we requested from Kathy Jones. As a result, a letter went out of our office to National Circulating Co. relating the problem that she was having receiving the magazine subscription. We wrote, “Enclosed you will find copies of both Kathy Jones’ receipt and her canceled check. As you can see, the check was cashed by your company in payment for six issues of Homemaker Magazine.

“We would appreciate you starting to send Mrs. Jones’ issues due her with the next issue of your magazine. If this magazine has been discontinued then a full refund of $14.97 is due Mrs. Jones within 30 days.”

On July 28 a letter came into our office from Don Hyman, general manager of National Circulating Co. Hyman wrote, “We wish to acknowledge receipt of your correspondence dated July 15 regarding a magazine subscription in favor of Kathy Jones of Lubec, Maine.

“The publication originally ordered by Mrs. Jones has ceased publication and is not available. We have made notification to many thousands of subscribers, offering alternative selections in place of the defunct Homemaker Magazine. All of our orders are filed numerically and it is quite a task to go through them individually to find those for only one magazine.

“We have enclosed a photocopy of our check No. 139730 in the amount of $14.97 that is being mailed to Mrs. Jones as of this date.

“We truly regret any inconvenience this may have caused your office. If we may be of further assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact this writer.”

A copy of the check that they had sent to Jones was enclosed.

To bring this case to a close, we wrote to Jones telling her that we had received correspondence from National Circulating Co. informing us that a check in the amount of $14.97 had been sent to her. We ended this letter by saying, “Northeast COMBAT is pleased we could be of service to you.”

Consumer Forum is a collaborative effort of the Bangor Daily News and Northeast COMBAT. Send your questions to Consumer Forum, Bangor Daily News, 491 Main St., Bangor 04401. COMBAT is a membership organization with basic dues of $10 per year. For membership information and a free copy of the COMBAT newsletter, write to the above address.

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