BBB warns of door-to-door sales schemes

by: Stephanie Coueignoux Updated:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

The Better Business Bureau wants to warn you about a door-to-door scam on the rise.

A salesman from Carolina Magazine Group knocked on her door and his pitch was perfect, said Andrea who did not want to release her last name.

“(He said he was) released from jail, trying to support his children and that tugged on my heartstrings so I bought a magazine," Andrea said.

She paid $72 for a phony subscription to Reader's Digest.

 “They just try to read you and see what's going to work for you to get you to sign up for these subscriptions," said Tom Bartholomy with the Charlotte Better Business Bureau.

In the past three years, the Charlotte Better Business Bureau has had 88 complaints against door-to-door sales companies including Carolina Magazine Group. The reason why magazines are so popular with scammers is because subscriptions usually don’t begin until several months after a customer purchases them, officials said.

In Mecklenburg County, a door-to-door salesperson is required to apply for and carry proof they're allowed to sell to you.
“If they can't show it to you, just close your door," Bartholomy said.

Andrea didn't realize asking for proof was an option.

Andrea said she bought legitimate subscriptions from door-to-door salespeople before.

She filed a complaint against Carolina Magazine Group with the BBB this month.

The Charlotte-based company has an F rating.
 
Channel 9 tried to call the company but the number listed was disconnected. Its address is a P.O. Box.

Better Business Bureau of Charlotte: Door-to-Door sales companies that have complaints filed against them-

  • Generations Making Differences, Charlotte: F rating, 22 complaints
  • Walker Youth, Ft Mill, S.C.: B rating, 3 complaints
  • Carolina Magazine Group, Charlotte: F rating, 2 complaints of which one is pending
  • Another Choice Services, Monroe: Rating: NR out of business, 3 complaints