On Your Side Alert: Warning about door to door magazine sales - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

On Your Side Alert: Warning about door to door magazine sales

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

A viewer calls 12 after she believes she's a victim of a door-to-door magazine sales scam. We investigated and discovered the company in question has hundreds of complaints against it and an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB.

The viewer says a teenager showed up to her door claiming he was selling the magazines to earn his way through school. The story worked, but after paying the money those magazines never came. After trying to contact the company with no success, she called 12.

The business in question is Millennium Sales, Inc., based in New Jersey. We checked with the BBB, it says consumers have filed numerous complaints. They range from delivery and advertising issues, to billing and collection problems. 

"They have 322 complaints that have been accumulated over the last three years. The have 123 in the past year," said Barbara Homiller with the Richmond BBB.

Here's a couple of tips: never make a rushed decision or pay in cash and always research the company.

"One of the hallmarks of a scam is very aggressive sales practices. And when you think about it, someone showing up to your door without an appointment, unannounced, and trying to sell you something is pretty aggressive right there," Homiller says.

We contacted the New Jersey based company. It didn't respond to specific allegations, but in a statement says in part, "In regards to the Better Business Bureau, we answer every complaint that comes into this office and fax the results back to the BBB."

"There have been consumer problems and why do business with a company that is not taking good care of their customers. There are so many good legitimate companies out there, do business with those guys," Homiller says.

The BBB says the person showing up to your door could also be a victim, most of the times they are students who've joined traveling sales crews with false promises of making lots of money. "The conditions are sometimes quite rugged for these kids. There have been reports, not in our area, but there have been reports of abuse of the kids," Homiller explains. 

We have not received any reports of Millennium abusing its workers but the BBB says it does happen with other companies. If you suspect your child is a victim, the BBB recommends contacting organizations like Parentwatch.org.

"Children who are caught up in a crew like that, can actually go online and send an email asking for help because it is not always easy to get out of one of these crews," Homiller tells us.

The BBB offers plenty of tips on its website about protecting yourself but its key piece of advice to consumers, if someone shows up to your home uninvited trying to sale you something, shut the door. We checked, the BBB says Millennium Sales, Inc., is in the process of answering complaints that were previously unanswered.

Helpful links:

http://www.parentwatch.org/

http://www.bbb.org/new-jersey/business-reviews/magazines-distributors/millennium-sales-inc-in-west-berlin-nj-90009226/

http://www.bbb.org/us/bbb-news/?magazine

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