Burlington Resident Warns Of Possible Book-Selling Scheme

12:24 AM, Feb 20, 2013   |    comments
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Burlington, NC -- A WFMY News 2 viewer is warning others about a possible scheme happening in his neighborhood.

Steve Cann told WFMY News 2 last week a young man came to his door in Burlington selling books.

The man said he could buy sets of books from PS Circulation to be delivered to local charities.

"All the credibility was there. He had this beautiful catalog and part numbers, and so I started writing out and picking a couple things. He said, 'you can write me a check or cash'. So, I went inside, got the cash," said Cann.

Cann shelled out $130 on books that he was told would go to Big Brothers Big Sisters and Allied Churches of Alamance County.

He also gave the ambitious salesman a $10 tip.

After Cann got his receipt and sent the salesman on his way, he decided to check out the Better Business Bureau's website. When he did, he found 100 complaints against the company and proceeded to request a refund via certified mail.

He knows his request was received, but he doesn't know who received it.

When Cann typed his serial number into the company's website, it says the page doesn't exist. Also, the phone number the salesman gave him doesn't work.

"I don't know if I'm waiting for a check to show up, or if I'm just waiting," said Cann.

There are nearly 20 stories, from customers just like Cann, on the BBB's website -- customers who thought they were helping a charity and now believe, they got it wrong.

While the BBB can't say whether PS Circulation is a legitimate company, they can say, it's not registered as a charity.

Moreover, the BBB gave the company an "F" Reliability Rating.

"The main thing is to make sure to buy with your head, and not your heart. Don't just go with the fact that, 'oh, they're a student, let me help them out'. Think it through," said Michael Henson, dispute resolution specialist with the Better Business Bureau.

Henson had some advice for people who find themselves in similar situations.

He said first, ask the salesman for any pamphlets or other printed materials. Then ask him or her to come back later, so you can do your research. You should aslo check the Reliability Report with the BBB.

Also, a lot of communities require licensing for door-to-door sales, so call police to see if the company or organization is licensed to sell in your neighborhood.

Henson said you should never use cash. You should only pay with a check or credit card to protect yourself.

He added that the Federal Trade Commission has a three-day cooling off period. When you buy anything within your home, you are entitled to three business days to cancel that sale. So, make sure you know exactly how to get your money back.

WFMY News 2 tried to contact PS Circulation.

The company's website doesn't have a phone number or a contact person listed, but we emailed them on Monday. No one has responded.

WFMY News 2

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