Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I have been duped. Bamboozled. Taken for a ride. Hoodwinked. Conned. And I would like to share my experience with you, dear readers, in case you encounter something similar.

While I was gone to Springfield, a couple issues of Maxim magazine arrived for me in the mail. Addressed to me, with my name spelled correctly. I'm not a big fan of Maxim (airbrushed girls do nothing for me), and it was a mystery why the magazine would have been delivered to me.

A couple days later an issue of Men's Journal arrives. Curiouser and curiouser, my wife and I think. So she calls the magazine's subscription information and discover that we have been signed up for the subscription by a company called National Publishers Exchange. OK. So wife calls that number, and they inform us that we have been signed up by United Family Circulation, a company that my wife and I had never heard of.

But pumping United Family Circulation (linked to help the process) into Google produces a litany of company aliases and BBB complaints. It also provided some phone numbers, and after a few calls we finally discover what has happened.

In April, a kid came by our house claiming to be raising funds so his high school baseball team can go to some championship. He's selling magazines and books. The books are kind of expensive, but whatever, I remember having to debase myself hawking shitty Tom-Wat for Cub Scouts, so I feel bad for the kid. He's good. He says that they'll just donate the books to a children's hospital (awww) and all will be good. Sure, whatever. At the time, it seemed pretty inocuous, which is, it turns out, how all good scams work.

The kid basically took our money and ran. There were no books or children's hospital. Some asswipe probably made him go door to door selling that stuff. And the only way I knew is that a magazine subscription showed up.

In retrospect, warning bells should have been going off all over the place. This is why I fear I might become a good poker player, but never a great one: because I tend to take things at face value more than I should. I will say this, though - I can learn from my mistakes. Unfortuntely, I won't be buying things from door to door kid salespeople anymore. Or any door to door salespeople for that matter. Which really sucks for the kids out there hawking the Tom-Wat for their Scout Troops - but I was scared shitless that these little bastards had my account number, routing number, and address from my check.

Luckily, Bank of America were good sports about the whole thing and I have total account protection in case there was something bad, but I still feel like a dipshit.

I hope this helps some other Puppeteer avoid my fate.


Brandon said...

LOL, pwn'd!

Archbiddy said...

Hahah I saw you get pressured by a street photographer in London so I know you are not immune to yielding to stupid salespeople.

If somebody is trying to sell you something you don't need just say now, even if it is a cute little stupid kidlets. Actually I did the door-to-door thing a few times as a kid, but you know what? It's really stupid.