The Better Business warns consumers that a magazine subscription company operating with a Memphis address is mailing notices stating the company is automatically renewing their magazine subscriptions and debiting their bank accounts. Global Subscription Services has an F rating with th BBB.
Global Subscription Services lists its business address as 111 S Highland Street, #102, Memphis, Tenn. However, the BBB has confirmed that address is a rented mailbox at a UPS Store.
BBB complaints have been filed against Global Subscription Services by consumers from all over the country – from New York to California and Alaska. The BBB has received 28 complaints on the company since April. According to complainants, the renewal notice contains bank account information that the consumers say they didn’t provide. Some complaints allege that funds have already been debited from their accounts without their permission.
An Arlington, Ind., man reported that Global Subscription Services processed an automated debit from his bank account without his permission. “I have never done business with this company, nor have I ever authorized or given them my banking information,” he told the BBB. “They stated that they processed an automated renewal on a magazine that I have not subscribed to in over 4 years.” When he contacted the magazine publisher directly he was told that they do not have a contract with Global Subscription Services and would not accept renewal requests from them.
A couple from Somerville, Tenn., also had unauthorized funds drafted from their bank account. “They illegally debited our bank account with $49 on 6/21/11 without any authorization from us to do so,” they told the BBB. “We had already mailed our check directly to the magazine for renewal.” They also contacted the magazine publisher directly and were advised that Global Subscription Services is not authorized to sell subscriptions for them.
According to a man from Olathe, Kan., the company debited his account for $14.95 without his permission. He told the BBB, “The company alleges my personal authorization is on file. I have not granted them authorization. I have not lived at the address they show on the banking record for five years.”
And a Greenville, S.C. woman asked, “I am also very curious how this company obtained my bank account information without my having given it to them.”
The Better Business Bureau contacted the company to find out how consumers were put into the automatic renewal program and how the company obtained banking information that consumers did not provide. In Global Subscription Services stated that some consumers were “inadvertently” enrolled in their automatic renewal program, but didn’t elaborate on how or why. They also did not address the question about how they obtained the banking information.
“This is a good example of why consumers need to scrutinize bills and account statements,” said Pam King, president/CEO of the BBB serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming. “Someone who isn’t paying close attention might think the statement is legitimate and pay it without question.”
The BBB reminds consumers to be vigilant when paying bills and invoices.
- Check your bank and credit card statements. Make sure all charges and drafts were authorized by you.
- Don’t wait for your bank or credit card statement to come in the mail. If you have electronic access, check accounts frequently.
- Don’t automatically pay bills and invoices that arrive in your mailbox. Verify their legitimacy first.