Readers Digest Scam

|  Posted: March 24, 2012  |  Categories: General Technical

Normally I don’t write non technical stuff in my blog, but becoming a victim of the scam by one of the reputable house hold magazine puts me in this position. I’m a great fan of Readers Digest, I love their magazine. But they killed everything and lost a fan by one simple scam.

I’m taking my valuable time to write this post in the interest I can save few innocent people from unethical companies like this. It’s a real shame a company like Reader Digest using their customer base, with some psychological tricks to get money out of.

From my experience this is how the scam looks like:

You will receive series of letter from Readers Digest well drafted and look very personal with your name addressed (example picture attached) in various places and you’ll feel as if you are one of the few chosen candidates. The credibility of the magazine and the price money will be lucrative enough for you to take part.

The bottom line of the process is to force to sell you something, that’s absolutely of no use or some dead stock they wanted to get rid off.

The process won’t be a simple reply card, they will ask you to do some funny things like sticking a golden sticker from somewhere in the letter to the envelope, they will force you to complete the process ASAP by putting pressure on the reply date (normally 7 days). They will provide 2 different envelopes one with “Yes” and one with “NO”. If you don’t want to purchase anything, you need to post your reply in ‘No’ envelope.

It’s basically the process to trap people somewhere down the line. They may be running this competition legally, but it’s all about psychological tricks to trap innocent customers.

I’m fairly confident I haven’t sent a ‘Yes’ reply back (but it’s hard to prove), but received a book this morning with a bill attached asking to pay ?18.98 (image attached). I called the provided number and got the impression the person is well trained to handle it. The shocking thing for me, there is no option for you to return the book, the guy said “You need to pay for it, since it’s already been ordered, only thing they can do is stop any further letters and orders“. I’m not sure how it will work with customer statutory rights, but I don’t have time to raise a fight against them. So I paid the money and asked them to cancel everything including the subscription. Hope this will help one or two.

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Author: Saravana Kumar

Saravana Kumar is the Founder and CTO of BizTalk360, an enterprise software that acts as an all-in-one solution for better administration, operation, support and monitoring of Microsoft BizTalk Server environments.

  • Silentnyts

    Thanks for sharing your story….I’m as disappointed as you since Readers Digest has a special place in my life…all these years I thought it was too good to be true when those bulky envelopes with promises of big money land on your doorstep but now you have proved that the sweepstakes are bogus…coming from RD this feels doubly hurtful…thanks anyway!!

  • treehugger

    I got cheated by RD in 2004. I wonder how they have been cheating for so long, without any legal action???

  • ReadersDigestScam

    No trying to be apologetic on RD’s behalf. Obviously they’ve proven to be parasites with their actions…but honestly, you fell for this without applying your due diligence? I just received one of those ‘woohoo you’re stinking rich now’ letters and the first thing i did was laughing…the next thing was to check the internet, googling for ‘Readers Digest Scam’ and finding dozens of articles like yours. Admittedly their letters do look genuine & sincere…But you responding to them at all without research? You were kinda asking for trouble…anyways, thanx for posting this…If nothing else it has reassured me in my first instincts.

  • Kilinganoa

    Thank you. I have filled in this form and then told that I have the winning number. When I wrote and send the number I never got any response but good that I did not order. They gave me a number: 08004796887. I went and post back all the magazines and a radio battery charger to the centre on the address. I got another letter today that I owe them $49.80. They told me this is the final reminder. I wonder what happen to hand written letters to them. I asked them not to bother me and I feel being harassed by them.

  • Sharon Welbourne

    I have had similar issues and glad to see it’s not just me.
    I told RD almost 2 yrs. ago to take me off of their mailing list and to just send the remainder of the subscription to my mother (she was the reason I was ordering from them and made that clear). After calling twice, I got some help when I stated that I was considering calling the police or my lawyer about their claims and one sales rep implying that I was losing my memory because I had just turned 50…yelling over me that RD never makes mistakes). They are still sending my mother the magazine after over an year of the subscription ending. I received one of their bill-like envelopes today (remember, I called twice to cancel and also redirected numerous mail offers back to their address for about 6-8 months after-writing on the envelopes to stop sending me mail). This envelope does not have their return address on it but it will be returned anyway.
    Pretty shabby outfit and I told them that I was concerned that they were trying to prey on senior citizens. I am not one, but to some minimally educated 20 some-things, 50 must seem ancient. I am hoping that they will be investigated.

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