The Great Magazine Heist
In The Essence of Skin Tone, I mentioned that we received some unsolicited magazines, and I sorta’ promised I would write about what happened. Because I got a certain offer letter last week (the picture above is a snippet of it), I figured it’s the perfect time to follow-up.
First off, notice the humor in this letter from Essence magazine, with their special offer of $1 per issue:
- “Dear Joey Espinosa, We know you. You’re the kind of woman who . . .” [emphasis added]
- “Because you’re an ESSENCE kind of woman, . . .” [emphasis added]
Thanks, Essence, for knowing me so well that you think I’m a black woman.
So, how did we get in this mess of receiving magazines and then bills for them? I don’t really know. I do think it’s odd that we never had this problem in the 12 years that we lived in Greenville. But in less than a year in Allendale, we received several unordered magazines and “gifts,” soon followed by bills for such items.
Each of the bills were “final notices,” which is funny because they were our first notices as well. And with one of these subscriptions I had to call twice to get it cancelled, after having received a second “final notice” and a threat that the debt would be turned over to a collection agency.
Want my completely unwarranted and unfounded thoughts on what was going on here? I think companies prey on Allendale residents as easy targets. A person might get on a list by having their name and address sold from one vendor to another, or as simple as having a change of address (which may be how we were targeted).
Then, the resident gets a bill for a meager $10, and figures he or she or someone in the family ordered it. Rather than deal with the hassle, they pay the bill.
Or, the resident ignores the bill completely (no phone numbers were on the bills, and I had to dig pretty hard through their websites to find contact information). Then, it gets turned over to a local collection agency, who then hounds the innocent person, perhaps damaging his or her credit rating in the process.
I’ll say it again. I think the Allendale community gets preyed on, both by outside folks and even local people who are looking after their own interests. Many residents here are not persistent enough to defend themselves, or they don’t know what steps to take. So they get accused and abused, all for the sake of money and power.
Disclaimer: For the sake of protecting myself against a slander suit, I am not saying that any of these magazines are being deceptive. More than likely, it’s a third-party subscription service that is involved.