AG Cooper shuts the door on Charlotte magazine sellers
Release date: 5/3/2007
Trinity Public Relations to stop doing business in NC and refund money
Raleigh: A Charlotte-based company that sells magazines door-to-door nationwide will stop doing business in North Carolina, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
“These door-to-door sellers agreed to change their ways but we continued to hear from people who weren’t getting their magazines or their money back,” said Cooper. “Now we’re shutting the door so they can’t do business here.”
Wake County Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan today signed a consent judgment between Cooper and Trinity Public Relations of Charlotte and its owners James A. Davis and Lourdes J. Davis. The Davises are now permanently barred from owning or operating any business in North Carolina that sells magazines. Trinity must also cancel contracts with consumers who complained to Cooper’s office and refund their money.
The Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division has received 70 consumer complaints against Trinity since 2005. Another 111 consumers complained to the Better Business Bureau in Charlotte, which helped with the case. Cooper’s office has already resolved 178 of those complaints, getting refunds for consumers who requested them.
Today’s judgment resolves the complaint Cooper filed against Trinity in January 2006 after the company violated its earlier agreement with Attorney General’s office. Cooper’s office first began looking into Trinity in December of 2005 following complaints from consumers across the country who purchased subscriptions from the company but never got their magazines.
Consumers complained that Trinity sales agents tried to play on their sympathies by claiming to be ill, disabled or in financial need. Some even claimed that the proceeds would go to a local charity or school fundraiser. When the magazines didn’t arrive, people who contacted the company said that Trinity made excuses and false promises.
“Beware of companies that use sob stories to get you to open your wallet,” Cooper cautioned consumers. “Check them out with my office before you hand over your hard-earned money.”
The Attorney General’s office offered the following tips for consumers about door-to-door magazine sales:
Only buy magazines sold door-to-door from someone you know and trust. If the seller claims that money will go to a school or other worthy group, ask to see a letter of endorsement from that organization.
Before you pay, make sure you know the total cost and when you will receive your magazines.
Check out the company with the Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-877-5-NO SCAM
Get a receipt that includes refund and contact information, and get promises or guarantees in writing.
In North Carolina, you have three days to cancel certain purchases such as door-to-door sales even after you sign a contract and pay. To cancel your order, notify the company in writing by midnight on the third business day following the purchase.