The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

July 28, 2012

Trash that interloper’s invoice

RICHFIELD — Do you have any magazine subscriptions? Do you promptly pay your bills? If the answer is yes to both questions, you could become a victim of paying bogus invoices.

Mrs. Miller, 89, of Richfield, is a longtime subscriber to several magazines, including National Geographic for more than 30 years.

She’s always sent her payments directly to the magazines.

But for some time, she’s been getting a lot of “notices of renewal” that look an awful lot like invoices. They are for magazines she receives — as well as for ones she doesn’t get — and they are all from a company called Publishers Billing Association, also known as Publisher’s Billing Agency, which has received an F rating with the Better Business Bureau.

The legitimacy of Publishers Billing Association is not the main concern. The fact is, if you pay their notices, you are paying them to pay your subscription.

For example, Mrs. Miller’s notice for three years of Woman’s Day states a total due of $59.95. A quick call to Woman’s Day revealed that at most, the typical yearly subscription is $15. Multiply by three and that’s $45.

The amount Publishers Billing sends to Woman’s Day will be enough to keep a customer’s subscription going — and enough to avoid raising any red flags, allowing it to keep operating. The rest it skims off for itself.

For more details, see Sunday’s edition of The Daily Item.

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