Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a lawsuit against Your Magazine Service Inc., a Minnesota corporation, for using deceptive sales tactics, the Attorney General's office announced.
Many of the victims were seniors, the lawsuit claimed.
“The company charged people hundreds of dollars for magazine packages after falsely telling them it was just calling to provide a billing credit on an existing account,” Attorney General Swanson said.
The company used the generic name, “Your Magazine Service,” to call consumers and is accused of posing as the customer's existing magazine provider to offer them a phony “credit” that would save them money when it could actually end up costing them almost $1,000 after they agreed to enroll in magazine packages.
The company’s owner, Wayne R. Dahl, Jr., is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit along with the company.
Dahl moved to Florida from Eden Prairie, Minnesota about six months ago, after the Attorney General’s Office served the company with a Civil Investigative Demand.
Swanson shared a quote from an email from Dahl:
“…at least 50% of them are 68 yrs old or older!!!! If one of them ever contact an AG [attorney general] lord knows theyre definitely gonna want blood for selling vulnerable elderly people, or there is a great chance of it.”
She also claimed that at least 20 of the company’s telemarketers were previously convicted of crimes of dishonesty, including one telemarketer who signed consumers up for over 300 magazine packages was convicted of theft five times.
Attorney General's Advice for telemarketers
The Attorney General’s Office warns consumers to be vigilant if they receive telemarketing calls from magazine companies. Many magazine telemarketers use ploys, such as a promise of a discount, prize, gift, or free magazines, to unknowingly sign people up for magazines they don’t want. The Office provides these tips to consumers:
- Be on guard if someone calls you from a magazine company, even if they claim they’re not trying to sell you anything.
- Magazine telemarketers often charge grossly inflated prices for magazines you could buy directly from the publisher at a dramatically lower rate.
- If you’re not interested, hang up the phone.