ALBANY, N.Y. (March 31, 2015) Texas and four other states are suing companies they say sell magazine and newspaper subscriptions at inflated prices and without the permission of the publishers.
“These companies engaged in deceptive practices that not only negatively impacted the people who unsuspectingly sent them money, they also damaged the business reputations of the newspapers and magazines whose names the companies co-opted,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said.
“The people of Texas must have confidence that the companies they do business with are operating in good faith and within the scope of the law, and my office is committed to stopping those who seek to game the system for their own illicit benefit.”
Texas filed an enforcement action Tuesday against three Oregon-based corporations that the state says mailed millions of unsolicited postcards and letters to consumers across the country offering to renew subscriptions, even though they have no affiliation with or permission from the publications.
Some Texas consumers ended up paying 100 to 200 percent more for renewals that they would have if they had renewed through an authorized sales agent, the Attorney General’s Office said.
Defendants mailed bogus renewal offers to subscribers of a number of Texas publications, including the Austin American-Statesman, Austin Business Journal, Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Houston Business Journal, Houston Chronicle, San Antonio Express-News, Texas Fish & Game, Texas Monthly and Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine. Renewal offers were also sent to a number of subscribers of national publications, including The American Spectator Magazine, Barron’s Magazine, Catholic Digest, Consumer Reports, Forbes, Harper’s Magazine, Mother Earth News, National Enquirer Magazine, National Geographic, National Review Magazine, The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Science News, Southern Living, The Economist, The Word Among Us, Time Magazine, TV Guide, U.S. News & World Report, Utne Reader and The Wall Street Journal.