So I was checking my bank act. today and noticed a $20 charge from Parenting Magazine. I don't like Parenting Magazine, I've never subscribed to it, and my DH doesn't either. I called him at work and asked him about the charge. He freaked out b/c a) it destroyed our very tenuous budget for the summer (we're $600 a month short for the summer, but will be fine again come August...it's just a summer thing) b) we never subscribed to this magazine!
So, I called the 800 number associated with the charge (thank you BOA for listing these numbers w/ the charges). They said they got my information from MOTHERHOOD! They asked if I'd recently been there and been asked if I want the two free issues. I said yes, I had and that I refused. I asked that they please cancel the subscription and please refund me the money. They said no problem, and the money will be back in a week (in the mean time, that's half a week's worth of gas that we're going to be short).
I then call Motherhood. After this crazy 3 min. long schpeel about how great their products are from some British recording, I get to the menu. You know, press 1 for ___________, press 2 for _______, etc. There wasn't any option for, "I'm pi$$ed off b/c you gave out my credit information" so I had to press "0" for the "general catch all I want to talk to a living breathing person."
Then, I get a message that all their reps are busy. No biggie, I'll hold for 2 hours if I have to to find out how in the HEDES they are legally able to give out MY PERSONAL FINANCIAL CREDIT INFORMATION. Nope. "Call back later" they say.
I found a number for Motherhood's corporate office and spoke w/ a person whose entire job is dealing w/ issues regarding the parenting magazine "promo" they have going on. How sad is it when they have an entire job dedicated to this??? Anyway, she is going to investigate to make sure that all the stores know if a person says no, it means no. She couldn't, however, answer my question: how is it legal for them to give out my information WITHOUT a signature from me? She did say that when you agree to the promo, if you don't cancel the subscription within the time frame (2 months) then they (Parenting) will charge you how ever you paid for your Motherhood purchase (if paid for w/ a debit or credit card, with cash you get a bill). So my question still stands: how can they give Parenting magazine my financial (debit card) information w/o my signature? I couldn't even get a real apology from the lady I talked to. She said she was sorry that protocol wasn't followed, but not that my financial information was given out w/o my permission.
For those that don't know, Motherhood is a maternity apparel store. I've never liked their return policies, so I shop there as little as possible, but their sales are really good and affordable if you're not wanting to spend hundreds of dollars on clothing you'll wear for 6-12 months. Also, my husband says that we did get the 2 free issues, but he didn't know about the little hitch on getting charged for them and thought they'd stop after the 2 months, or we'd get a bill and he'd just call and tell them thanks but no thanks. He doesn't know how wicked Motherhood can be, and just took over the finances in our home so is we've been in a bit of a "transitional" phase. Still, I never agreed to the two free issues so some employee messed up. But still...HOW can they sell/give out my debit card information????
I am still seething, hours later, and feel horribly violated. Some of my online forum buddies are encouraging me and DH to pursue a legal suit against the company if only to stop them from doing this to any other people. We're getting our $20 back, so I feel iffy in doing this...but they're right: this company is HUGE! The mother company oversees THREE of the biggest maternity apparel stores in the country...how many other people are being ripped off or having their FINANCIAL information sold?
No, it's terrifying.