Business

Door-to-door sellers warning | Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division

Guess who is back in town?  It’s the door-to-door magazine sellers from out of state who appear on doorsteps claiming outrageously priced subscriptions will help fund “second chance” opportunities for inner city youth.  The Washington Attorney General’s Office has issued warnings about such visitors before, and is again alerting consumers to beware of these solicitors and think twice before buying their magazines.

The Attorney General’s Office has received numerous complaints from victimized consumers who paid $50 to $784 for magazine subscriptions purchased from door-to-door sellers.  Consumers say they were touched by the solicitors’ stories and believed their purchases would be for a good cause. Solicitors claim to be earning money for college, working toward a better job, receiving points for a free trip, or contributing proceeds to help homeless youth.

Many of these solicitors claim to work for “business or job training” companies that send young adults door to door to give them a “fresh start” on life.  In a recent complaint to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, one seller claimed to represent a company called “Strictly Business.” The consumer did his own checking and found the company was based in Texas. It had a Better Business Bureau rating of “F” for failing to respond to complaints and failing to deliver magazines.

Consumers should always check out a charity with the Secretary of State prior to making a donation. A state search engine listing registered charities is available at www.secstate.wa.gov/charities.

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