Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Avoid Associated Publishers Network

Although my main interest is obnoxious logos, I occasionally note obnoxious scams.

I recently got an offer to subscribe to Forbes from “Associated Publishers Network” in Henderson, NV.  The “best” rate they offered was $129.95, far more than Forbes’ regular rate.

These sorts of operations have no connection to the magazines themselves and send out offers to whatever mailing lists they can purchase.

Their credit card processor is “unitedpubex.com.”  Avoid anything that requires paying through them as well.

32 comments:

CaT said...

hi!
i was just googling unitedpubex because i got a renewal notice from them for my time magazine subscription (which is due to expire in 2013!!). I did not trust it because of that.

just curious; how do you know it is a scam? did you inform the magazine?
and how on earth did they get my information?

thanks for posting this!

Anonymous said...

I have tons of magazine subscriptions and often get these notices from this company wanting almost 6 times what i currently pay for my subscriptions. They prey on people hoping to catch someone off guard thinking its their "RENEWAL" notice. They have over 600 complaints with the BBB in NV where they have an office.

Anonymous said...

I got a mailer from them, as well, offering The New Yorker for a seems too good to be true rate. I tried calling the number listed, and it just rings forever. Scam.

Anonymous said...

I HAVE BEEN GETING MANY MAGIZINES , OF WHITCH I NEVER AUTHORIZED. I am turning this over to the District Atorney,s Office. and my Bank, which is , Chase Bank, unless you return all funds which you have withdrawn from my business acct.Return reply within 24 hours or action willtake place there after. Russell Armstrong raecoelectric@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

it's almost impossible to canx their renewal service. they don't answer emails and you will be waiting on the phone forever.

Randall Bytwerk said...

Hi CaT.

Magazines often publish notes that let readers know that they will get offers such as this.

What happens is that they buy lots of addresses (easy to do). They have no idea if a particular recipient actually subscribes to the magazine or not — but given the outrageous amount they charge, if an occasional person falls for the scam, they are fine.

They can then send the usual subscription amount (much less than what they collect) to the magazine, so you may, repeat may, actually get the magazines.

DJ said...

I also got the New Yorker mailer and thought the price too good to be true. So I started investigating - didn't find any information about the company anywhere. And the payment website definitely makes it seem like a total scam. So I submitted a complaint to the BBB. This is the response which I received from the Associated Publishers Network representative, to which I have responded yet again.

"Dear Better Business Bureau:

Thank you for your recent letter regarding the above referenced.

Magazine publishers have created the agency sale system for the sale of subscriptions. The publisher contracts with clearinghouses. Under these contracts, the clearinghouse is authorized to sell subscriptions. The clearing house then permits thousands of third parties, such as Associated Publishers Network, to sell subscriptions, which are then "cleared" through the clearinghouse. These third parties have no direct contract with the publisher and their identities are unknown to the publisher.

Offers are sent out periodically and are marketing pieces only. We merely send out offers as stated plainly on each offer and no one is obligated to respond."

I just hope more people submit complaints and fewer people accept their higher renewal rates (although, as I said, for the New Yorker it was actually lower). If it is a legitimate business than it should clearly identify itself and its business model on its website.

Denitza

Randall Bytwerk said...

Keep me informed as to what they say next. Some magazines include notices letting people know about the existence of such shady outfits.

Note the careful way in which they word it. Basically, anyone can do what they do, I think. If you pay me $500 for a New Yorker subscription, I can pass along $50 to the magazine and keep the rest. You get a subscription, I get $450. That's an exaggeration, of course, but illustrates the principle.

And of course their mailings are designed to look like a bill, even though they have the right language.

Anonymous said...

Just got a "Renewal Notice/New Order" notice for The New Yorker, a magazine to which I've never subscribed.
Their quoted cost is $99.95 for 2 years (94 issues).
That seems to actually be cheaper than at the New Yorker's website, which charges:
$69.99 a year (47 issues) with automatic renewal.

Why is snail mail spam not illegal? So wasteful. I'd much rather have my scams e-mailed to me.

Anonymous said...

I received on May 1, 2012 an offer to renew my Time Magazine subscription for $69.95. I was suspicious since I had just renewed it on February 20, 2012 for $44.95. I Googled Associated Publishers Network to see if there was any legitimacy. Obviously not.

Frank said...

I just arrived here from Google, having hoped to commiserate with others' submissions to the BBB. This blog is the next best thing, so you get my comment!

The convoluted wording ("Your subscription to...is automatic with receipt of your payment") cost me a good couple minutes of confusion, so I'm pissed.

nancy mullin said...

also just got a time resubscription notice--something seemed wrong-- glad i checked this site--thanx for the scam tip!!

Anonymous said...

I also got a notice for a renewal of my Times subscription, but for an outrageous amount. I tried to call the toll free number but there was never a response. SCAM! SCAM! SCAM! They even state "you're receiving one of the lowest available rate we can offer for your regular subscription" HA! I hope this saves someone some heartache.

Anonymous said...

Ho Hum. I've just received an offer from "Associated Publishers Network" (googling them led me to this blog), non-functional URL www.unitedpubex.com, offering me a one year, 20 issues, to Fortune for $89.95. Thing is, also in my mailbox was an offer from Fortune, itself offering me a year, 20 issues, for $20.

So, Associated Publishers would stand to pocket $70 if I ordered through them!!

Anonymous said...

I've just received an offer from Associated Publishers Network (I came upon this blog by googling them; their URL, www.unitedpubex.com, doesn't seem to work) for a one year, 20 issue subscription to Fortune, for $89.95. But I also have in my mailbox an offer from Fortune, itself, for a one year, 20 issue subscription for $20.00!

If I'd ordered from Associated Publishers, they would have realized a $70.00 gain at my expense!

Anonymous said...

I've just received an offer from Associated Publishers Network (I came upon this blog by googling them; their URL, www.unitedpubex.com, doesn't seem to work) for a one year, 20 issue subscription to Fortune, for $89.95. But I also have in my mailbox an offer from Fortune, itself, for a one year, 20 issue subscription for $20.00!

If I'd ordered from Associated Publishers, they would have realized a $70.00 gain at my expense!

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I paid $10.00 per year for fortune magazine.
I received an offer from Associated Publishers Network for $89.95.
Doesn't it look like a scam?

Avoid this company!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I received a Wall Street Journal renewal notice on behalf of my former supervisor from this APN group. I remembered cancelling the supervisor's subscription with Dow Jones direct when she left the department. I thought it was suspicious, so I called APN to ask them to take her name off the list. Was on hold for 15 minutes and got a message saying they are experiencing high call volume and to call again later. Tried the next day and got the same treatment. While holding, I Googled the phone number and the company and lo and behold, a scam group. I tossed the bill away. No need to bother trying to call them. You won't get a live person. They jokers are getting slick. They are counting on people not to pay close attention to renewal notices and assume it is a bill and the subscriber pays it.

Anonymous said...

Iresponded to an APN offer to renew TIME for $69.95 in April '12; TIME never received it, and continued to bill me for $81 for renewal. I finally paid the legitimate TIME renewal. Now, Sept. '12, I have just received another TIME "Renewal Notice" from APN for another $69.95. How do I report this obvious scam to the BBB? Frank

Anonymous said...

I received a notice of renewal of time for $69.95 for one year (56 issues). I did call and got a customer services rep. She asked for my control number. I gave it to her, she located it, then I asked her to remove me from any and all future mailings. She said she removed it so time will tell if it was successful.

Anonymous said...

Associated Publishers Network ripped my elderly mother off.

Inside the masthead of Time magazine - in very fine print - its states they do, on occasion, sell their mailing list "to reputable companies" so ultimately Time magazine is on the hook for this 1.

APN in Henderson Nevada sent her two separate notices over a 6 month period, in which she sent them 2 checks totaling over 70 dollars for renewal of Time magazine.

We just discovered this because Time just sent a renewal notice so we contacted them letting them know she's already paid for 2 years advance. They have no record of her paying for 2yesrs in advance.

Magazine publishers sublet their billing and renewal stew of the companies so I could understand how she might of thought these assholes were legitimate.

However what they don't realize is that my mother is Han an income at 600 dollars a month and I've been helping my mother up until recently when I myself have had issues that prevent me from pay for things for her that I usually do.

My father who is her ex husband stopped paying his legally required alimony about 9 months ago which is heinous in itself however this cam is the most hilarious thing I've ever seen perpetrated on someone touches my wonderful mother.

Upon realizing what occurred I contacted State Attorney General of California and Arizona and then I contacted the Federal Trade Commission. Of course none of these entities can do anything to assist my mother personally - they just record what occurred and put it in a f****** database so there's more work for me to do because I just can't stand my mother being scammed and I will not allow it to be done without my doing something about it.

Anonymous said...

Associated Publishers Network ripped my elderly mother off.

Inside the masthead of Time magazine - in very fine print - its states they do, on occasion, sell their mailing list "to reputable companies" so ultimately Time magazine is on the hook for this 1.

APN in Henderson Nevada sent her to separate notice is over 6 months. In which she sent them 2 checks totaling over 70 dollars for renewal of Time magazine. We just discovered this because Time just sent a renewal notice and they have no record of her paying for her renewal she actually paid for 2 years.

Magazine publishers sublet their billing and renewal stew of the companies so I could understand how she might of thought these assholes were legitimate.

Upon realizing this I immediately contacted the attorneys general of California and Nevada and the Federal Trade Commission and placed complaints. Of course they can't do anything personally to assist my mother except put the info in a f****** database.

However I am NOT done. I will not allow my mother to be ripped off like this and I will see that justice is served to my mother and her money returned.

Time magazine sold her info to an unscrupulous vendor and they are on the f****** hook.

Kira McPhereson said...

Associated Publishers Network ripped my elderly mother off.

Inside the masthead of Time magazine - in very fine print - its states they do, on occasion, sell their mailing list "to reputable companies" so ultimately Time magazine is on the hook for this 1.

APN in Henderson Nevada sent her to separate notice is over 6 months. In which she sent them 2 checks totaling over 70 dollars for renewal of Time magazine. We just discovered this because Time just sent a renewal notice and they have no record of her paying for her renewal she actually paid for 2 years.

Magazine publishers sublet their billing and renewal stew of the companies so I could understand how she might of thought these assholes were legitimate.

Upon realizing this I immediately contacted the attorneys general of California and Nevada and the Federal Trade Commission and placed complaints. Of course they can't do anything personally to assist my mother except put the info in a f****** database.

However I am NOT done. I will not allow my mother to be ripped off like this and I will see that justice is served to my mother and her money returned.

Time magazine sold her info to an unscrupulous vendor and they are on the f****** hook.

Kira McPhereson said...

Associated Publishers Network ripped my elderly mother off.

Inside the masthead of Time magazine - in very fine print - its states they do, on occasion, sell their mailing list "to reputable companies" so ultimately Time magazine is on the hook for this 1.

APN in Henderson Nevada sent her to separate notice is over 6 months. In which she sent them 2 checks totaling over 70 dollars for renewal of Time magazine. We just discovered this because Time just sent a renewal notice and they have no record of her paying for her renewal she actually paid for 2 years.

Magazine publishers sublet their billing and renewal stew of the companies so I could understand how she might of thought these assholes were legitimate.

Upon realizing this I immediately contacted the attorneys general of California and Nevada and the Federal Trade Commission and placed complaints. Of course they can't do anything personally to assist my mother except put the info in a f****** database.

However I am NOT done. I will not allow my mother to be ripped off like this and I will see that justice is served to my mother and her money returned.

Time magazine sold her info to an unscrupulous vendor and they are on the f****** hook.

Anonymous said...

I just called and waited to get an actual person. I received a renewal notice for a year subscription to the wall street journal for six hundred dollars. The woman on the phone told me that THE WALL STREET JOURNAL authorized them to make the offer. I then asked directly if they are a scam and she was instantly offended and started going on the defensive. She repeated that they were authorized and that they were BBB accredited. Play it safe and always renew through the actual publishers.

Anonymous said...

This company is a total scam. They sent me a renewal notice for Time magazine. Then Time magazine reviewed my prescription automatically. DON'T SEND THEM ANY MONEY!!!

Anonymous said...

Definately some sort of scam going on.

The Wall Street Journal is aware and has warned subscribers.

I continue to get "Renewal Notices" from Associated Publishers Network for my WSJ subscription when my subscription is NOT due and the WSJ did not send it.

Last time I forwarded this to the US Postal Inspector. I suggest others do the same.

Don't know much more but this sure seems like Mail Fraud to me. Can't understand why Associated Publisher's Network has not been shut down.

Anonymous said...

Associated Publishers Network is a fraud. Just one of the many names they use.

Be sure to read these articles.
The bigger question, "why hasn't the government shut these guys down???"

http://www.trackandfieldnews.com/index.php/special-articles/999

http://www.scambook.com/report/view/223732/Associated-Publishers-Network-Complaint-223732-for-$439.80

http://www.ripoffreport.com/associated-publisher/book-magazine-publishers/henderson-nevada-a0ce0.htm

Anonymous said...

I received a renewal notice for the Wall Street Journal for $600, which was considerably higher than what I've been paying. When I called the Wsj directly they told me that they hadn't sent the notice and that it was a FRAUD. Do not do business with Associated Publishers Network!
(Www.unitedpubex.com 18664377897)
Vbka

BestMakeup said...

They are a scam and even their "customer service reps" know this when you call to "out" them! The publishers involved in this have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with what APN is doing. Publishers are losing money and customers because of this because APN is NEVER actually renewing them...they just take the persons money and disappear - the subscriber is left with nothing - least of all another year or two of their favorite publications! So please don't think the publishers are involved - they are being ripped off also! I don't understand how this APN is allowed to still be in business! What a scam!

Anonymous said...

Here's the situation:

The United States Post Office has a rule on their books which states scammers like this must use a 30 point TYPE size that states:
THIS IS NOT A BILL at the top of these fake renewal notices.
The United States Post Office WILL NOT ENFORCE their own rules because they are BROKE... and this scammer company and the 100 other scam names they use spend BIG BUCKS on MAILINGS EVERY YEAR. THIS IS REVENUE t United States Post Office needs. It literally amounts to MILLIONS OF DOLLARS. So you can thank our 'friendly' post office and their inspectors that KNOW ABOUT this scam but continue to LET IT HAPPEN.
These scammers are happier than a pig in S-H-I -! because the Post Office needs their money. Don't believe me, thank me later.

And that's story...

vince t. said...

Just another voice to add to the APN scam. They sent me a renewal notice for a subscription to Time but when I checked the label on my magazine it indicated I had 2 more years remaining on my subscription. So, before anything, check the magazine label for the actual date of renewal.