BBB Consumer Alert: Global Subscription Services Making Unauthorized Debits from Consumers’ Bank Accounts
- Global Subscription Services has automatically renewed consumers’ magazine subscriptions without permission and made unauthorized debits from consumers’ bank accounts
- BBB has received 28 complaints in four months from consumers all over the country
- Consumers report that they did not give their banking information to the company and don’t know how they obtained that information
August 31, 2011, Memphis, TN – The BBB of the Mid-South is warning consumers about a magazine subscription company operating with a Memphis address. Consumers have reported that Global Subscription Services mailed them notices stating that the company is automatically renewing their magazine subscriptions and debiting their bank accounts. Global Subscription Services has an F rating with the BBB.
Global Subscription Services lists its business address as 111 S Highland Street, #102, Memphis TN. However, the BBB has confirmed that address to be a rented mailbox at a UPS Store.
BBB complaints have been filed against Global Subscription Services by consumers from all over the country – from New York to California to Alaska. The BBB has received 28 complaints on the company since April. According to complainants, the renewal notice contains bank account information that the consumers say they didn’t provide. Some complaints allege that funds have already been debited from their accounts without their permission.
An Arlington TN man reported that Global Subscription Services processed an automated debit from his bank account without his permission. “I have never done business with this company, nor have I ever authorized or given them my banking information,” he told the BBB. “They stated that they processed an automated renewal on a magazine that I have not subscribed to in over 4 years.” When he contacted the magazine publisher directly he was told that they do not have a contract with Global Subscription Services and would not accept renewal requests from them.
A couple from Somerville TN also had unauthorized funds drafted from their bank account. “They illegally debited our bank account with $49.00 on 6/21/11 without any authorization from us to do so,” they told the BBB. “We had already mailed our check directly to the magazine for renewal.” They also contacted the magazine publisher directly and were advised that Global Subscription Services is not authorized to sell subscriptions for them.
According to a man from Olathe, KS, the company debited his account for $14.95 without his permission. He told the BBB, “The company alleges my personal authorization is on file. I have not granted them authorization. I have not lived at the address they show on the banking record for 5 years.”
And a Greenville SC woman asked, “I am also very curious how this company obtained my bank account information without my having given it to them.”
The Better Business Bureau contacted the company to find out how consumers were put into the automatic renewal program and how the company obtained banking information that consumers did not provide. In a response to the BBB, Global Subscription Services stated that some consumers were “inadvertently” enrolled in their automatic renewal program, but didn’t say how or why. They also did not address the question about how they obtained the banking information.
“This is a good example of why consumers need to scrutinize bills and account statements,” said Randy Hutchinson, BBB President. “Someone who isn’t paying close attention might think the statement is legitimate and pay it without question.”
The BBB of the Mid-South reminds consumers to be vigilant when paying bills and invoices.
- Check your bank and credit card statements. Make sure all the charges and drafts were authorized by you.
- Don’t wait for your bank or credit card statement to come in the mail. If you have electronic access, check them more frequently.
- Don’t automatically pay bills and invoices that arrive in your mailbox. Verify their legitimacy first.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a BBB spokesperson, contact Nancy Crawford at 901.757.8627 or 901.213.7809.