AG Cooper gets Charlotte magazine seller to pay refunds, change ways
Release date: 9/27/2006
Raleigh: A Charlotte-based company that sells magazine door-to-door nationwide will pay refunds to dissatisfied consumers and change the way it does business under an agreement announced today by Attorney General Roy Cooper.
“This company used sob stories to pitch subscriptions, but the magazines people paid for never arrived in their mailboxes,” said Cooper. “Now we’re delivering refunds and making the company treat future customers fairly.”
Under terms of the settlement agreement, Trinity Public Relations of Charlotte and formerly of Tampa, Florida, must pay refunds to all consumers who have complained to Cooper’s office or the Better Business Bureau. Eligible consumers who file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office, the BBB or Trinity within the next 90 days is also entitled to a full refund from the company.
Consumers who purchased subscriptions from Trinity did not receive their magazines within 120 days as promised are encouraged to contact Cooper’s Consumer Protection Division at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM tollfree within North Carolina. Consumers can also visit www.ncdoj.com to download a complaint form.
Today’s agreement also requires Trinity to provide consumers with receipts that spell out details about their subscription, including how long it will take for consumers to get their magazines, Trinity’s refund policy and how to contact sales agents and their supervisors.
In addition, Trinity sales agents are barred from playing on consumers’ sympathies to sell magazines by claiming to be ill, disabled or in financial need. Trinity may not claim that its sales benefits charity, or that its agents are competing for college scholarships. Terms of the agreement apply to Trinity Public Relations, LLC, Trinity Public Relations, Inc., and the company’s officers, James A. Davis and Lourdes J. Davis.
Cooper began looking into Trinity in December of 2005 following complaints from consumers who purchased subscriptions from the company’s agents but never got their magazines. Trinity previously gave consumers receipts that told them to call the company if they their magazines didn’t arrive within 120 days. Consumers who tried to contact the company reported that Trinity wasn’t accessible to handle refund requests and made excuses and false promises. Some consumers also complained that Trinity agents claimed that proceeds on their sales would go to charity or help them overcome personal hardships.
A total of 43 consumers complained to the Attorney General’s Office. Another 97 complained to the BBB in Charlotte, which helped Cooper’s office with the case. Trinity’s offices are located at 4525 Plaza Road, Unit G-4 in Charlotte.
NC Department of Justice y 9001 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-9001 y (919) 716-6400
“Be wary of door-to-door sellers who try to pressure you,” Cooper cautioned consumers. “Check out the company with my office before you spend your hard-earned money.”###