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View Full Version : Beware of teens selling magazines door to door!


JennaGlatzer
09-27-2006, 02:23 AM
Okay, not exactly related to the writing business, but kind of close.

In case anyone out there doesn't know this yet, do not buy magazines from the kids who come door-to-door selling subscriptions. They'll get into this whole very charming spiel about how they're earning "points" to buy books for college, and they're there to learn better communication skills and be inspired by people in the community. But they're there to sell magazine subscriptions (that may or may not ever arrive) at inflated prices, NOT for any charity or college fund, but as a for-profit venture in an extremely seedy industry.

You are not helping these "sweet" kids by buying into their lies. You're perpetuating the problem. So don't feel at all guilty about saying no, closing the door, and calling the police to ask if the crew has a permit to solicit in the area.

The kids who just came to my door (all adorable wide-eyed smiles when trying to hook me, and abusive and cursing when I politely turned them down) were from American Community Services, Inc., but there are many such organizations that function like gangs and ensnare kids into a truly horrible lifestyle.

Some links:

http://www.travelingsalescrews.info/

www.parentwatch.org/ (http://www.parentwatch.org/)

http://www.magcrew.com/

P.H.Delarran
09-27-2006, 02:47 AM
I'm glad to see this get some media coverage. I've been suspiscious of a few local door to door sellers in my area. I've seen shady looking cars trolling the neighborhhod while some kid goes door to door. Not just magazines, but candy as well. (some candy sellers are from legit organizations like local soccer teams).
Not always kids either. There's one that touts itsself as helping homeless people get off the streets, but upon asking further questions I realized those guys weren't much better than slaves. They actually go door to door selling their stuff as a requirement to get a bed and meal in a 'homeless' facility, (which also takes donations to support their 'cause' BTW) they sell for hours and hours a day but they get no wage or commission and there is no program in place to get them out of the cycle.

I learned to always ask who they are selling for.

LeslieB
09-27-2006, 03:50 AM
Jenna, don't be too hard on the kids. They might have been cursing because they weren't going to get fed that day. Those groups have a long track record of keeping kids practically in bondage, cramming them into tiny rooms at the end of the day, and refusing them food if the day's sales weren't good enough. Some have even gone as far as to take away kids' phones and wallets so they had no way to escape or contact their parents. I'm not saying that's always the case, but it happens often enough to be disturbing.

JennaGlatzer
09-27-2006, 03:53 AM
Leslie, yep, I know. That's what I was referring to about the "horrible lifestyle." The links I gave have some terrifying stories-- the magcrews.com one is all first-person tales, whereas the travelingsalescrews.info one has collected several news articles about this industry. Seriously scary stuff.

zarch
09-27-2006, 04:09 AM
I'm glad I've always said no. And in my area, they arrive in batches. Like two or three kids a day, two weeks straight. Then nothing for a month or two. Then another wave of high school-looking kids selling crap. Once, I almost bought a subscription. But I didn't.

Kate Thornton
09-27-2006, 04:18 AM
Always call the police. Our local cops found some of the children tied up in the van, others were being molested by the crew chiefs. None of them had eaten all day.

zarch
09-27-2006, 04:29 AM
Holy crap.

Peggy
09-27-2006, 04:47 AM
Always call the police. Our local cops found some of the children tied up in the van, others were being molested by the crew chiefs. None of them had eaten all day. !!!!! I had no idea it could be so bad. My normal reaction is to say "no" to door-to-door salespeople, no matter what they are selling. This just reinforces that that is the the right way to go.

KTC
09-27-2006, 04:52 AM
People who come to my door have about 3 seconds of my time. In that three seconds, I don't give them time to speak. I simply say, "I'm not interested."

While I'm shutting the door, I hear all sorts of interesting things. "You mean you don't want to save money on your...", "You don't like chocolate!", "You're not interested in keeping your family safe...", "You don't ski?", "You don't even know what I'm trying to...", "You don't vote?" The list goes on and on. Sometimes they storm off immediately. Sometimes they stand there indignantly for a few minutes first.

Do yourself a favour. Open the door just long enough to say you're not interested...magazines or otherwise. I can find whatever I'm looking for without people bringin' it to my door, thank you very much.

September skies
09-27-2006, 04:53 AM
I only buy from the neighborhood kids (very few) that I actually know live on my street.
But where I live, are a lot of undesireable people -- so I keep my gate locked. When I forget, I get so many solicitors - selling everything from strawberries to massages to used CDs with no covers.
But I've bought magazines in the past from kids from "down the street", some of them never arrived.
You just can't trust anyone anymore.

PattiTheWicked
09-27-2006, 07:06 AM
The only place I buy my magazine subscriptions is from the Girl Scouts. Every year, they do a huge magazine sales fundraiser -- along with cookie sales, it's the only organization-wide fundraiser they do. I renew my subscriptions each year to the same four magazines, and that's it. Never had a single problem getting one delivered either.

cree
09-27-2006, 08:20 AM
Get a Saint Bernard and tie it in your driveway.
Works wonders.

DeadlyAccurate
09-27-2006, 08:25 AM
Get a Saint Bernard and tie it in your driveway.
Works wonders.

Be sure to feed and water it on occasion, though.

AnneMarble
09-27-2006, 09:15 AM
The kids who just came to my door (all adorable wide-eyed smiles when trying to hook me, and abusive and cursing when I politely turned them down) were from American Community Services, Inc., but there are many such organizations that function like gangs and ensnare kids into a truly horrible lifestyle.
I was so glad to see this post. When I was in my early 20s (and looked younger), a young guy approached me in a shopping center and tried to sell me a magazine subscription. He chatted me up and gave me the spiel about how if he sold one more subscription, he would win a vacation. I was about to sign up (to get Omni magazine, which should tell you how long ago this was), but then, I started to think twice about the price, so I backed out. Suddenly, he got short-tempered and tense, and I just gave up and went to my car. I don't remember exactly what he said, just something lame like "Well I could sign you up to get a magazine you wouldn't like, like Sassy." Which didn't make any sense at all, but maybe he hadn't eaten all day. :(

Anyway, I learned from that. I quickly guessed there was no vacation. Later, when I saw a news story about how badly kids who sell magazines are abused, I wasn't surprised.

What really upsets me about this whole "industry" is that whenever you hear about these cases, you hear about the kids getting abused, or hurt in an accident (usually the fault of their so-called "supervisors"), or arrested. You never hear about the jerks who abuse them getting arrested. And in the cases where they really are selling subscriptions, what's with the magazines that allow this sort of thing? Surely they could refuse to allow themselves to be listed with these services.
:rant:

Scrawler
09-27-2006, 09:19 AM
Sort of related but maybe not?
What about those kids selling the oddly named chocolate bars outside of supermarkets? The dang things are $5.00 a piece or something and the kids appear to be under some pressure to sell sell sell.

"Travel. Make lots of money." I remember seeing those ads in the help wanteds.

AnneMarble
09-27-2006, 09:19 AM
Do yourself a favour. Open the door just long enough to say you're not interested...magazines or otherwise. I can find whatever I'm looking for without people bringin' it to my door, thank you very much.
I've gotten to the point where I can look through the peephole and guess what most of them are selling. ;) Oh, and speaking from personal experience, if you are wearing a Dracula T-shirt when you open the door to LDS missionaries, you will get some interesting looks, and then they will say some real nice prayers said for you. I guess they thought I really needed them.
:ROFL:

zarch
09-27-2006, 04:46 PM
Yeah, it's the trip thing..."if I sell a gazillion magazine subscriptions, I get to take a trip to Cancun" whatever. That never made sense to me. I understand why a teenager would want to go to Cancun. But I always wondered what sort of orginization would fund such a weird thing...instead of, say, scholarships? Books?

Speaking of missionaries. A few months ago, the doorbell rings, and I go look through the little peephole...I thought it was some JWs, and I almost turned around and hollered to my wife and sister, "It's just the J-Dubs," but I didn't...it's a good thing, too, because it turned out to be my cousins.

David Erlewine
09-27-2006, 05:00 PM
When the person on my doorstep is someone I don't recognize, and especially when said person is holding a clipboard, I just shake my head at them - through the storm door separating us - or at most mouth "not interested" and close the main door. Many years ago I was such a nice guy, to use the parlance of our times, listening to their spiel and then acting like it was a very hard decision for me to say no, even though the whole time I knew I wasn't going to buy anything. I just didn't want to seem rude and cut them off. Now, I view them like I view the telemarketers calling my home (yep, I report 'em to FCC since I'm on Do Not Call registry) or people on the street asking me for money. The less said the better.

eldragon
09-27-2006, 06:01 PM
I have given in to these types of salespersons on at least two occasions and regretted it. The first time was in Vegas and I never received any magazines - the second was here in MS.......I did receive the magazines but the price was three times higher than it should have been.

Both times I was alone and related to the young people at the door.

Knowing that they aren't in college and there is no trip to France for them to win : I would never fall for that now.

Is that the "rock n roll atmosphere" job you see listed in newspapers all across the country?

Susan Gable
09-27-2006, 06:04 PM
The local middle school here does a magazine drive fund raiser. I like to get my magazine subscriptions from those kids. :) It beats them selling overpriced giftwrap and cookies and stuff.

I know that Jenna is refering to a different sort of kids selling magazine subscriptions, but be aware some of your local schools may be doing this as well.

Susan G.

AnneMarble
09-27-2006, 06:05 PM
Katherine Dunn, author of the acclaimed Geek Love (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0375713344/absolutewrite), wrote about her experiences with a cult-like magazine-selling crew in her first novel, Attic (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0446391522/absolutewrite). (Warning: I haven't read either book, though I did want to read Geek Love. Also, everyone agreeds Geek Love is much better than her earlier novels, and that it's too gruesome for some readers.)

She also mentions her experiences in an interview here (http://www.stim.com/Stim-x/0796July/Verbal/dunninterview.html). She was going through this in the 1960s, so I'm sure it's worse now.

Ken Schneider
09-27-2006, 06:11 PM
I hadn't realized that there were scammers in the publishing industry. :>)

I don't buy mags, and if I do, I get them at the local bookstore. lucky me.

Thanks for the Info.

Ken

James D. Macdonald
09-27-2006, 06:18 PM
Is that the "rock n roll atmosphere" job you see listed in newspapers all across the country?

That would be it. (Don't get a job for its "rock 'n' roll atmosphere" unless it's with a genuine rock band. Get a job with benefits, a pension plan, regular hours, and paid vacation.)

Roger J Carlson
09-27-2006, 07:22 PM
Get a job with benefits, a pension plan, regular hours, and paid vacation.You mean like as a writer? :roll:

My wife is a first grade teacher and we have neices and nephews. We usually by our magazines, cookie dough, chocolate, or candles from one or both of these sources and turn down anyone that shows up at our door.

eldragon
09-27-2006, 07:33 PM
On a related note: my 9 year old daughters school is constantly sending home fundraisers : magazine sales, cookies, gift wrap ........you name it. I mean once a week!

The school is in a small county - probably there are more students than there are taxes to pay for everything - and they are having such a hard time making their monthly bills that they announce over the intercom to watch the thermostats because they cannot pay their electricity bill!

Instead of sending home packet after packet of value-less crap to sell - I wish they would just be honest and send home a letter asking for a check. I'd rather send a $500 check to the school every semester than have to deal with these stupid fundraisers every week.


Just venting.

rekirts
09-27-2006, 07:38 PM
The local middle school here does a magazine drive fund raiser. I like to get my magazine subscriptions from those kids. :) It beats them selling overpriced giftwrap and cookies and stuff.

I know that Jenna is refering to a different sort of kids selling magazine subscriptions, but be aware some of your local schools may be doing this as well.

Susan G.Yes, both highschools here have magazine fundraisers in the fall and I have, on occasion, subscribed to a couple of magazines through them without any problem. Usually it's through kids I know or whose parents I know. This is a small place, though, so most people are familiar with these fundraisers.

Gravity
09-27-2006, 07:53 PM
As someone who was in sales for over thirty years, I can truly say there's no dumber spiel for the door-to-door kids to give than "I'm trying to win a trip to France (or Cancun, or the Outer Hebrides, or whatever)." Because most people's first reaction to that is, "Why should I care if I help send your skinny butt to Acapulco (or Cozumel, or the Cape of Good Hope, or whatever)? I can't even afford to send my own family to Disney World!" The kids should at least go for the heartstrings: "I only need to sell one more magazine subscription, and they'll release my sister from the hospital (or the nursing home, or the white slavery ring, or whatever)."

As a marketing ploy, it's hopelessly bad. Must be working, though. Here in the Midwest, the scams have sprung up like kudzu.

underthecity
09-28-2006, 01:35 AM
I had no idea that such an empire existed.

I followed one of the links Jenna provided and read horror story after horror story about these kids who travel the country selling magazine subscriptions in what appears to be a cult-like slavery ring.

Isn't this kind of thing illegal? How can a company hire kids to do this and keep doing it for decades?

And I have to admit, I fell for it, too. In 1989, when I was 18 or 19, I was shopping alone at a popular mall. A cute girl came up to me and started flattering me, asking me about my favorite color and whatnot, and invited me to have a seat and talk with her. Of course, hormone-driven as I was, naturally I agreed. After the "get to know you" bs, she told me that she and a group others were selling magazine subscriptions so they could take a vacation. I looked over the magazine list, and of course I wasn't interested in any of them, but how was I going to say no to this friendly and cute girl? (Girls never talked to me voluntarily.)

Finally I agreed on two magazines (there was a reason I had to choose two, but I can't remember) and the price was something like $50 or $60! I had to go withdraw money from the ATM, and she went with me, standing nearby while I did it. Financially, this was really pushing it for me, as my part time job wasn't making me independently wealthy.

She promised she would send me a postcard from her trip. I paid her the cash, and she wrote NO PEST STRIP! on my receipt so I could show it to any other salesperson who came to me--that I was not to be "pestered" since I bought the subscription. Yes, I was a labeled "mark," both figuratively and literally.

Later, only one magazine came, and the customer service number was no help on getting the other (my guess is that she probably processed one and pocketed the money for the other). It was later that I questioned why the mall would allow them to do that. And I realized it was probably a scam, but I didn't know how it worked.

A couple years later, I was working in a bookstore in another mall. A friend was shopping that day and came into the store all excited with this story: "Hey, I was just walking along and this cute girl came up, and told me about a trip she could win if she sold these magazine subscriptions! Oh, and I gave her my address because she promised me to send me a postcard! We're gonna keep in touch!"

I sighed and told him what had happened to me. Later on, he said he never got a postcard from her. Just like I didn't either.

She was cute, though. Very outgoing, very persuasive.

Weird stuff. It'd make a great documentary.

allen

NancyMehl
09-28-2006, 01:57 AM
I'm a sucker for every kid in the neighborhood who is selling stuff for his school. I used to take my son around to sell things, so I have a soft spot.However, I only buy stuff from kids I know attend a local school.

There's a group that sends kids into neighborhoods to sell old candy or candles. Unfortunately, the group pockets most of the money. The sales pitch is usually geared to evoke some kind of guilt if you should say "no," and to be honest, most of the kids have a bad attitude.

At one time the pitch was, "If you buy something from me it will keep me off the streets." My mother, bless her heart, used to look them right in the eye and say, "Listen, buddy, it isn't my job to keep you off the streets. You need to take care of that yourself." Then she'd slam the door. After a while, they left her alone.

I'm afraid I'm not that direct, but I refuse to buy anything from that group. I figure if they quit making money, the kids will find something more worthwhile to do. I feel badly for the kids, but giving them money isn't going to help anyone.

I did run into the magazine scam once. Someone knocked on the door, and when I opened it, one of the scuzziest young women I've ever seen stood there. She was dressed like a go go dancer from the seventies, with the multi-colored hat and white boots. And her midriff was bare. Believe me, she didn't have the figure for it. Her gut hung out over her shorts. She told me that she was in a contest to win something like the "Miss American Teen" contest.

I got my husband to come and look at her. We said "no" and shut the door. I can't quite remember how long it took us to quit laughing.

Nancy

Aubrey
09-28-2006, 02:04 AM
I thought I was pretty hip to all scams. I know not to use PA, that "herbal enhancements" are bull, and that the nice Nigerian man won't give me a cent. But I guess there's always going to be a scam out there I haven't heard of.

I never answer the door unless it's someone I know, mostly because I'm shy and don't want to make awkward small talk as I turn the person down. But even if I did, I should hope the words "trying to earn/win a trip" and overpriced subscriptions for crappy magazines would tip me off. It's all so fishy, like the people selling bumper stickers at concerts for "charity" (no name given, of course).

I had no idea this was part of something so horrible, I just thought the sellers probably pocket the money. Thank goodness a cop lives across the street. Hopefully he's wise to this.

While we're talking about scams, what about other door to door selling buisnesses? The ones that come to mind is the one selling cards for prizes that you'd see on the back of kid's magazines (do they still have those?) and the student books, sold by students. The latter is a legit product, and a nice one, I'm just wondering if the sellers are being scammed and if they're actually students in other staes.

Gravity
09-28-2006, 02:17 AM
Growing up as a kid in the South in the mid-fifties, the hot door-to-door item then was Cloverine salve (picture a less-greasy, whitish Vaseline). Truth be told, the goop wasn't half bad. And thankfully so, as my grandmother seemed to buy the stuff in case lots, and wasn't shy about using it on me (as a boy I frequently got poison ivy/oak/sumac in such virulent doses I looked like a Hiroshima survivor). Haven't seen Cloverine around for years, though.

CaitlinK18
09-28-2006, 02:24 AM
I encountered the cousin of the magazine scam, the soap scam, this summer. I was pulling into my driveway after a long day of work and a guy with a satchel was on the street, staring at my house. Okay, weird, but whatever...I figured he was lost or something, since the bus stop is right up the street. I had the window of my car down because it was hot, and the guy made an about-face and came bounding down my driveway to corner me while I was still in the car.

He went through his spiel, which included "teaching kids to sell soap, not dope". Ha ha. Then he offered to wash my windshield for me, and I said sure because the car was filthy and I figured that even though I wasn't going to buy anything, hey, at least the car would be cleaner.

He washed, then told me the price: $20 for a bottle about the size of an economy Windex container. Uh huh. Like I'd pay that much, even if I wasn't a broke-*** writer with student loans. I gave him my standard excuse of "I don't have any cash on me."

"We take checks."

"No checks either. I...don't believe in them. Yeah. Identity theft. Scaaaary."

(Please note: normally I don't engage door-to-door God squads or salespeople, but he had me trapped in the driveway, out in the open.)

"But this soap is...[spiel]"

"Look, I'm sorry but I truly don't have any cash for this. Just a debit card, and unless you can process that..." (Mentally adding "And since you're a semi-overbearing man on foot, carrying nothing but a satchel of soap, I'm guessing not.")

He got snippy with me when I said no again.

"Well, then go to the ATM. I'll wait right here."

[Blink] "I've had a very long day. I'm not doing that just for your soap. I'm sorry."

"Fine, your loss!" [Flounce]

Now I look back and shudder at what he said about the kids. If he was that arrogant and predatory with a potential customer, what was he doing to his crew? I had no idea it was a scam of this magnitude. Fortunately I buy all my magazines online.

KimJo
09-28-2006, 02:58 AM
The schools in the town where I live (elementary, middle, and high) do fundraisers on occasion; so do the activities in which my daughters are involved. In all cases, the students/participants are told NOT to sell door-to-door, but only to go to the homes of people they know well and/or relatives.

astonwest
09-28-2006, 03:06 AM
Attempt to get the door-to-door magazine salespeople to enroll in one of the various MLM systems...that usually drives them away.

Gravity
09-28-2006, 03:19 AM
Or it could be even darker. The door-to-door guy and the MLM guy sign up for each other's scams, kind of like the whole matter/antimatter thingie, and the universe just blinks out. The mind reels, I tell ya...

mdin
09-28-2006, 04:07 AM
My wife is one of those people who buys anything a door-to-door salesman is selling, if I'm not home. Unfortunately, that included one of these situations. We now get Nick Jr magazine through the year 2009.

motormouth
09-28-2006, 10:17 AM
I had a friend who actually applied to get one of these jobs. He was so excited when he got it, too. And then they sent him to the other side of the country to go door to door. They got him a room somewhere, which they paid for and he had to pay them back, and he spent all day, every day, trying to sell door to door.

He didn't sell enough, and he ended up owing them for his room and plane ticket. Part-way through the summer, I was asking him to let me send him money so that he could come home. (They didn't abuse him or anything, it just seemed a bit cult-like).

My mom said that they sent him away so that he'd sell more, and that the kids who are selling here are probably from somewhere else, too.

jfreedan
09-28-2006, 01:03 PM
From what I've read on these pages, these "kids" you speak of are 18 years old or older.

Is this some kind of joke, like the Halloween candy scare from the 80s?

People are kidnapping LEGAL ADULTS, rooming them in hotels, and sending them out to sell magazine subscriptions? :p

Door-to-door salesman scams are nothing new, but I have feeling this is some kind of hoax.

It is kind of hard to kidnap people when you let them run around town you know. They certaintly aren't trying very hard.

Daughter of Faulkner
09-28-2006, 04:37 PM
Run don't walk away from them. An elderly, handicapped woman was raped after they left cursing me in my front yard. They were haulded off to jail, etc. But the damage was done. It was just awful to watch it on TV knowing they had JUST left my yard only 30 minutes to attacking her.
They will curse you to the bone once you cross them. And their driver (here ,usually in a white van) will load them up and you never see them again. Unless, of course, you read of what they left behind....pain and nothingness.

Thanks for posting JG!

AnneMarble
09-28-2006, 05:56 PM
From what I've read on these pages, these "kids" you speak of are 18 years old or older.

Is this some kind of joke, like the Halloween candy scare from the 80s?
I've never seen poisoned Halloween candy, but I have seen kids (both adults and teens) trying to sell magazine subscriptions. And so have many of the people posting here. Many of the posters had similar experiences, with kids saying they were one sale away from earning a free trip. These similarities are a little too coincidental to be unrelated, I'd think.

There are also plenty of real news items about magazine subscription crews, and have been for years. I remember hearing about a fatal van accident that occurred because the so-called adult supervising a crew told one of the kids to drive for a while. The kid had no license. There was a horrid accident with multiple deaths. As far as I remember, the kid got the longest jail term, and the jerks who ran this company go away with a lot. As usual. And there are similar stories out there (scores of fatal van accidents), as well as consumer warnings from real organizations that have a stake in getting the facts right.

People are kidnapping LEGAL ADULTS, rooming them in hotels, and sending them out to sell magazine subscriptions? :p

Door-to-door salesman scams are nothing new, but I have feeling this is some kind of hoax.

It is kind of hard to kidnap people when you let them run around town you know. They certaintly aren't trying very hard.
I don't think anyone is saying they are literally kidnaped, and then forced to sell magazine subscriptions. They probably join because they think it's a real job or because they are desperate. No doubt a lot of them are runaways with nowhere to go. Also, if what happened to author Katherine Dunn is any indication, the kids are usually made to work far away from home, making it harder to get away.

Also, you can be a legal adult and still get scr*wed. (Just read the rest of the Bewares Board to learn the many ways that's possible.) I know that when I was 18, if someone tossed me into California without money or a ticket home, I would have been in trouble. It's hard to travel thousands of miles back home under those circumstances. Especially if you're under fear of getting arrested if you go to the cops. (The kids who work in these crews are often subject to arrest. After all, they are usually selling without a proper license, and they may be breaking other laws as well.)

It sounds like many are run like cults -- although from what I have read, I think the supervisers sound more like abusive pimps. If adults can get lured into a cult that persuades them to give all their money to a religious leader, then why can't young adults be lured into a magazine subscription sales crew?

soloset
09-28-2006, 08:47 PM
Door-to-door salesman scams are nothing new, but I have feeling this is some kind of hoax.

It is kind of hard to kidnap people when you let them run around town you know. They certaintly aren't trying very hard.

Combining abuse with kindness after isolating the victim from outside support is an effective way of controlling people, especially young and inexperienced ones.

And to anybody who says, "I'd just run away," or "That wouldn't work on me", well, all I can say is I'm glad you've never had to face the experience.

jfreedan
09-28-2006, 09:42 PM
I've never seen poisoned Halloween candy, but I have seen kids (both adults and teens) trying to sell magazine subscriptions. And so have many of the people posting here. Many of the posters had similar experiences, with kids saying they were one sale away from earning a free trip. These similarities are a little too coincidental to be unrelated, I'd think.


People selling magazines does not = raving bands of kidnappers abducting adults and forcing them to sell magazine subscriptions.

All it means is that there is door-to-door salesman. That's nothing new.

And some of the 'reports' on these websites are unverifiable statements submitted by anonymous posters to the website. The accuracy is questionable. The news reports are mostly about single offenses commited by lone individuals, not raving gangs who abduct adults off the street and force them to sell magazines.

If you look real hard, you can find news reports about everything from gas pumpers to lawyers murdering, assaulting and raping people. Does that mean there is some kind of epidemic of lawyers and doctors turning to violent crime?

No, it means this world has violent people in it, and a lot of them have a job. Obviously the lower paying jobs are going to have more violent people in them, because there is a reason they "cant find any other job" and it has to do with the kind of person they are. When even McDonalds won't hire you, there is a reason for that and I honestly don't have a hell of a lot of sympathy for these people because they put themselves exactly where they are.
.

Sane people do not work for free.
Sane people would walk away from non-paying jobs and go down to a Day Labor office.
And the only reason a sane person would not do that is if they thought there was some big payoff they were going to get as part of a scam.

And nobody can go weeks without food in the US unless they are purposely starving themselves, because if you hang by a street corner with a sad face for an hour or two, someone is gonna stop their car and give you 100$. I watch it happen all the time, literally, not to mention the available food programs we have that you can get access to even if you're not homeless.


There are also plenty of real news items about magazine subscription crews, and have been for years. I remember hearing about a fatal van accident that occurred because the so-called adult supervising a crew told one of the kids to drive for a while. The kid had no license. There was a horrid accident with multiple deaths. As far as I remember, the kid got the longest jail term, and the jerks who ran this company go away with a lot. As usual. And there are similar stories out there (scores of fatal van accidents), as well as consumer warnings from real organizations that have a stake in getting the facts right.


I don't doubt there are scam artists.
I don't doubt people get scammed.

What I doubt is the purported 'innocence' of the legal adults who claim they were kidnapped and forced into magazine subscription bondage. Most people would walk away from these so-called kidnappers, even if they claimed the person owed them money? "Who cares," says the rational person, "they have to find me first."


I don't think anyone is saying they are literally kidnaped, and then forced to sell magazine subscriptions. They probably join because they think it's a real job or because they are desperate. No doubt a lot of them are runaways with nowhere to go. Also, if what happened to author Katherine Dunn is any indication, the kids are usually made to work far away from home, making it harder to get away.


Tied up inside a van or held in a hotel without your contact lenses but allowed to make phone calls to home...yeah, some have claimed actual kidnapping, and it just sets off my BS meter.

If someone is going to commit the federal offense of kidnapping someone to make money off them, it's going to be for prostitution, not selling Time magazine subscriptions.

A few instances of scam artist raping someone I can accept as being a reality, because that is typical criminal behavior (most of them probably arent even real magazine salesman, and just used the line to get the door open the same way a robber might pretend to buy goods at a 7-11).

That this is a common practice for door-to-door magazine subscribers, I'm not so willing to believe, because if it was you could be certain the FBI would be all over it.

Also, you can be a legal adult and still get scr*wed. (Just read the rest of the Bewares Board to learn the many ways that's possible.) I know that when I was 18, if someone tossed me into California without money or a ticket home, I would have been in trouble. It's hard to travel thousands of miles back home under those circumstances. Especially if you're under fear of getting arrested if you go to the cops. (The kids who work in these crews are often subject to arrest. After all, they are usually selling without a proper license, and they may be breaking other laws as well.)


You can be a legal adult and still be screwed, but you can't be kidnapped if you're running around town all day with plenty of opportunities to escape.

And it really doesn't matter what State you're in-- you're not in a whole different country, you are in the USA. There are both public and private shelters for people to get food and board at if they need a place to stay. I've stayed in some before. It's really not as scary as you seem to believe. Living on your own and fending for yourself is apart of being an adult.

And why would the police arrest you if you claim you've been kidnapped? Whistleblowing is encouraged by law enforcement-- they aren't going to arrest the guy who unknowingly commited a crime if the person blows the whistle on the whole operation.

Last I knew, over-charging people for Martha Stewart Living is not a jailable offense and kidnapping is.


It sounds like many are run like cults -- although from what I have read, I think the supervisers sound more like abusive pimps. If adults can get lured into a cult that persuades them to give all their money to a religious leader, then why can't young adults be lured into a magazine subscription sales crew?

Some of them may be cults, but I think most of this is just some people pretending they haven't done anything wrong when they get caught as apart of a scam, and looking for a way out.

Playing the "omg the devil made me do it, I'm a victim too!" card is the oldest excuse in the book.

So, I don't think these cases are really kidnaps or even cult slavery. It's just a bunch of very stupid people getting duped by slightly more intelligent, but still pretty dang stupid people.

As with most unskilled laborers, a minority of them are violent criminal-type people; most of them are probably just ignorant college students who think they can make some quick bucks without doing a lot of work.

Scam artists prey upon two types of people:

A) Compassionate people (ie "Please donate to the United Hezbollah Children's Fund!")
B ) Greedy people (ie "Hey dude, I can hook you up with some cheap cable!")

From what I've heard so far (Free Vacations, Plane Tickets, Living in a hotel, Travel, Quick Money), they are preying on greedy people who don't have a whole lot of common sense.

When I was about 17, I had someone send me a random email from my (now non-existent) personal website saying they had seen my picture and wanted to hire me to audition for a leading role in Power Rangers (I'm not making this up. This is true). I knew it was total BS, but I replied anyway just to see how far down the rabbit hole goes, and once I learned the guy was basically trying to solicit me for prostitution, I sent his info to the FBI.

It's not hard to avoid obvious scams if you're not greedy and can look at a situation with a clear head.


And to anybody who says, "I'd just run away," or "That wouldn't work on me", well, all I can say is I'm glad you've never had to face the experience.

No, it really wouldn't work on me because I spent five years of my life as an Infantryman in the US Army, and one year of that was deployed in OIF.

You want to talk about a stressful enviroment where your superiors can get away with being abusive or one where you might be jailed if you try to leave, try being lower-enlisted in the military.

Joe Blow Scam Artist can't compare to an ego-inflated Sgt. who takes out his crappy marriage on everyone beneath him.

In the Army, you don't have a hell of a lot you can do if someone is mis-using their authority over you.
In the civilian world, you can quit and walk away, because you're not legally bound to take their crap.
You can even get a lawyer and suit them too.

I can say with absolute certainty that cult tactics will not work on me, and that my mind is my own. That I've managed to avoid falling for every scam thrown my way, and have never had any kind of debt is proof of that.

Also, being that I was in the military, I have a good idea what kind of people cult tactics do work on, and while some of them may be able to flash college degrees around, they really aren't quite that sharp to begin with. The number one factor they all have in common is being extremely gullible, and I've watched them do a lot of really retarded things (ex. "Go kick that cardboard box and see if there's a bomb in it." or my favorite, "Drive real fast over that razor-sharp C-wire in a John Dear Gator and you can clear it easy.").

Maybe I'm a little insensitive now, but when people do obviously stupid things, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for them.

maddythemad
09-28-2006, 10:06 PM
When even McDonalds won't hire you, there is a reason for that and I honestly don't have a hell of a lot of sympathy for these people because they put themselves exactly where they are.

This is a very narrow-minded view. There are many reasons why people can't find jobs (yes, even at McDonalds) other than "they are violent."

Hmm, want me to name a few?

Maybe they a) don't speak English, b) have problems with housing/rent that keep them moving around a lot, or c) have some sort of mental illness (a lot of the homeless people you see in big cities do in fact have minor-to-severe illnesses that keep them from holding down jobs.) I'm sure there are many more reasons.

Look, I'm not trying to start an argument here (I'm really not!) but I have to admit that your post made me angry.

Roger J Carlson
09-28-2006, 10:38 PM
I can say with absolute certainty that cult tactics will not work on me, and that my mind is my own. That I've managed to avoid falling for every scam thrown my way, and have never had any kind of debt is proof of that.Actually, as a military man, you've had cult tactics used successfully on you. It's called Basic Training. Its purpose is to take normal selfish individuals and mold them into men and women who will sacrifice their lives for their comrads. This is not a bad thing. It is a good and honorable thing. But it takes cult-like brainwashing to achieve.

Charismatic leaders can get people to do outrageous things. Remember Waco. Remember Jonestown. Remember the Holocaust. These things happen and just dismissing them as myths doesn't make them any less real.

jfreedan
09-28-2006, 11:15 PM
Actually, as a military man, you've had cult tactics used successfully on you. It's called Basic Training. Its purpose is to take normal selfish individuals and mold them into men and women who will sacrifice their lives for their comrads. This is not a bad thing. It is a good and honorable thing. But it takes cult-like brainwashing to achieve.

Charismatic leaders can get people to do outrageous things. Remember Waco. Remember Jonestown. Remember the Holocaust. These things happen and just dismissing them as myths doesn't make them any less real.

Actually, it did not work on me, because if the brainwashing had, I would have happily re-enlisted into the Army. I never lost my ability to question the situations I was in and I never readily believed a leader was competant just because they had rank. I learned when to say "yes" and I learned when (and more importantly, how to) talk a leader out of sending me to perform unneccessarily dangerous tasks which could be more efficiently done in other ways.

I learned to not crumble under pressure, rather than give in to it.

I'm aware of the history of cult behavior (although the Holocaust is somewhat an exception, because that was a little more complex than "Hitler told me to do it!", for Anti-Semitism was built up in Germany for decades).

But if you look closely at cults (everything from Jonestown to Scientology) , they only work on people who are promised something by the cult in exchange for the sacrifice of identity. Be it utopia or glory, it's really all the same. They think there is a reward of some sort and that is why they give up independence.

There are many reasons why people can't find jobs (yes, even at McDonalds) other than "they are violent."

Hmm, want me to name a few?

Maybe they a) don't speak English, b) have problems with housing/rent that keep them moving around a lot, or c) have some sort of mental illness (a lot of the homeless people you see in big cities do in fact have minor-to-severe illnesses that keep them from holding down jobs.) I'm sure there are many more reasons.

I was responding to the "they can't find any other job than selling magazines door-to-door". If you're using that arguement, there is a huge problem there.

Besides, if you don't speak English, I can't imagine you'd expect to be a very good salesman in the US. Let's face facts here, if I go to Japan without knowing Japanese, I cannot expect to be able to get hired for a 99.9% of jobs because I don't speak the native language. That's not something to pity someone for, and it IS entirely their own fault for going to a country they should know darn well they can't get a decent job in.

Crazy people also don't tend to make very good salespersons either, and we do have special programs for taking care of them. Whether they choose to use them or not is their own deal, and irregardless of how nuts they claim they are, if they turn down these programs, it's their own fault.

And again, there is always day labor where you get paid in cash at the end of the day. A lot of homeless people do it.

Sometimes I wonder if it isn't that people cannot find a job, but that they cannot find a job they are willing to do.

Roger J Carlson
09-28-2006, 11:27 PM
So your whole argument boils down to: It wouldn't work on me so it must not exist and if it does, those people (kids) must be weak or stupid or evil themselves and they deserve whatever they get.

soloset
09-28-2006, 11:33 PM
No, it really wouldn't work on me because I spent five years of my life as an Infantryman in the US Army, and one year of that was deployed in OIF.

So, essentially, tactics like this won't work on you because you're not a naive, hungry teenager, so they wouldn't work on a naive, hungry teenager?

Also, being that I was in the military, I have a good idea what kind of people cult tactics do work on, and while some of them may be able to flash college degrees around, they really aren't quite that sharp to begin with. The number one factor they all have in common is being extremely gullible, and I've watched them do a lot of really retarded things (ex. "Go kick that cardboard box and see if there's a bomb in it." or my favorite, "Drive real fast over that razor-sharp C-wire in a John Dear Gator and you can clear it easy.").

I take quite a bit of offense at the your description of the "kind of people" cult tactics work on. The only things a manipulative person needs to control someone who depends on them are isolation (either physical or simply from the victim's usual support network) and the ability to dish out abuse and love in the right proportions.

Maybe I'm a little insensitive now, but when people do obviously stupid things, I don't have a whole lot of sympathy for them.

And it's easy to feel like this on the other side of the fence. I've felt like that too; why, oh, WHY didn't you exercise due diligence before sending off that check? And then I remember that "obviously stupid" is a lot more obvious when you've got experience, and not so obvious when you're starting out. And that ANYBODY can end up in a situation like this if they're made to feel worthless enough or if they desire approval enough.

ETA: And what Roger said. Did I mention I hate being the slowest poster in the world?

jfreedan
09-29-2006, 12:02 AM
Hey, I'm not a politically correct person.
I'm just an honest person, and I call it like I see it.


I take quite a bit of offense at the your description of the "kind of people" cult tactics work on. The only things a manipulative person needs to control someone who depends on them are isolation (either physical or simply from the victim's usual support network) and the ability to dish out abuse and love in the right proportions.


You can take offense, because I truly believe someone who runs around believing nothing horrible can happen to them is liable to walk into these scams, and is pretty much the only kind of person who does. I have never met someone who truly carefully thought about a scam and did not see it for it was. I've known plenty of people who "had a bad feeling, but I thought I'd take a chance and see how it goes".

Junk mailers send out millions of mail fully knowing the minority of gullible suckers are going to fall for the scams, allowing them to recoup the money they spent. You can't sit here and convince me that while the majority of people don't even bother opening this stuff up, there is a minority of very sharp people who fall for this mess. Sharp people don't give a time of day to junk.

People are not born into this world at the age of 18, never knowing anything about the world. Humans don't dwell inside a vacuum until they turn a certain age. That is a stupid, stupid myth. You've been alive for 18 years, you've been exposed to all kinds of information stipulating everything from "Smoking causes cancer" to "Don't drink and drive", yet people do it anyway because they believe nothing bad is going to happen to them, or they have this idea they can stop the dangerous behavior right before something bad happens to them.

They ignore the warning signs, and they reap what they sow.
That may not be politically correct, but it is reality.
I live in reality, not Care Bear Land.

And isolation from "support group" is PART of the whole dang problem. The fact these people NEED a support group to have a purpose in life is part of the reason they are such an easy mark for con artists. Support groups are nice and useful, but too many people have built their identities based on a group enviroment.

If you CHOOSE to give your independence away to other people, I do not feel sorry for you if they abuse it. That doesn't mean I approve of what criminals do, I disapprove of them too, but I find it difficult to feel sorry for people that cause their own misfortune.

Person who was minding their own business, obeying the law is killed by a drunk driver. I feel sorry for the innocent bystander-- I have no sympathy for the drunk driver.

Accepting a plane ticket and a hotel room from a complete stranger you met on the street is a huge no-no. You might as well be driving drunk, it is just as careless a thing to do.

soloset
09-29-2006, 12:22 AM
Hey, I'm not a politically correct person.
I'm just an honest person, and I call it like it is.

You know, "politically correct" is not the opposite of "honest", and "honest" is not the opposite of "compassionate".

One doesn't have to live in "Care Bear Land" to understand that not everyone is mentally or emotionally equipped -- not even after eighteen years of life -- to combat experienced predators. And that it doesn't make you a bad or stupid or weak person if you've walked into something like this.

And, by the way, since you seem to have conflated the two, "being scammed" in the sense of paying money is a quite a bit different from being sucked into a cult or a gang. Some of the emotional principles are similar, but they're not the same thing.

If you CHOOSE to give your independence away to other people, I do not feel sorry for you if they abuse it. That doesn't mean I approve of what criminals do, I disapprove of them too, but I find it difficult to feel sorry for people that cause their own misfortune.

Okay. As I said earlier, I'm glad you've never been in the position to face this sort of thing. And I'm glad there are people who do feel sorry for those who make mistakes (sometimes even committing the horrible sin of being too trusting) and who are abused because of it.

Atomic Bear
09-29-2006, 02:31 AM
A friend of mine told me a story about her young next-door neighbor who came from a poor family in Berkeley CA. She was part of some door-to-door scheme that had them visiting the wealthy neighborhoods. There were promised a trip to Great America theme park. They never got the trip and the organizers ran off with the money. These were young kids, 10-12. I can only imagine the impact the experience had on there young lives.

I have a hard time believing such terrible people can even live their lives with out feeling shame for doing such awful things. Maybe they need to teach ethics in school?

DeadlyAccurate
09-29-2006, 03:24 AM
Actually, jfreedan, some of the people most likely to fall into a cult or cult-like organization are the ones who are intelligent and think, "That could never happen to me." They also tend to be the ones who have a harder time breaking free.

You do yourself a disservice to think it can never happen to you. As long as you think it could potentially happen to you, you're much more likely to be on your guard against it.

And remember, an eighteen-year-old may have eighteen years on this planet, but for the vast majority of them, they were kids. In fact, they may never have been on their own before or had the opportunity to learn about the world around them.

paprikapink
09-29-2006, 04:19 AM
What a blessed relief to know that this could never happen to jfreedan. That was my main concern, but now I can relax. The world is okay! As jf patiently explains, if he (or she) can see through it, any fool can.

jfreedan
09-29-2006, 08:58 AM
Actually, jfreedan, some of the people most likely to fall into a cult or cult-like organization are the ones who are intelligent and think, "That could never happen to me." They also tend to be the ones who have a harder time breaking free.

You do yourself a disservice to think it can never happen to you. As long as you think it could potentially happen to you, you're much more likely to be on your guard against it.


You don't seem to get it.

It's not that I think it "could never happen to me, just because I say so."

It's because I know when something seems too good to be true, it almost always is. It's a very old proverb, everyone here knows it, it doesn't matter where you grew up, there's a version in every language.

When I encounter something that seems too good to be true, I either ignore it on the spot or I investigate it until I have a firm grasp of it so I can make a good judgment.

You are trying to convince me that not everyone is capable of holding back their excitement and carefully evaluating the situation they are in? Sorry, I don't buy into that, because if that was true then that would mean these people are destined to die at a very early age.

If I'm out looking for a job and I see an ad that says "Make <enter any absurd amount of money here> a week from your home! Call to get free package!" I don't fall for it because I know it's a scam, irregardless of how tempting it is to make thousands of dollars working at home. I look at the situation using very simple logic anyone is capable of:

1) If they are paying people thousands of dolllars a month, then why are they advertising on construction paper in laundry mats and telephone poles? These aren't typical places for reputable companies to hire employees.

2) Logically, they probably aren't paying people anything. It's more logical that they are selling people little "kits" to use, like a franchiser would. It is therefore a scam.

Here's another scam I avoided a couple weeks ago,

I have a couple arcade machines I put on craigslist to sell. I got a lot of emails, some of them bogus. One of these bogus mails was a guy claiming he represented some millionaire who was trying to find games for his private collection and would pay thousands for my machines-- much more than I was asking in my ad.

He said all he needed to know was where to send the check and what my address was so he could send someone to go pick the machines up.

This was obviously a scam. Being paid thousands of dollars for something I only wanted about 500 for is tempting, but I'm not going to fall for it because simple everyman evaluation tells me it is bogus:

1) Why would he offer to pay thousands of dollars more than my asking price? People usually try to get the price lower, not higher, and millionaires are no different.

2) If I was a millionaire, I wouldn't be buying non-working arcade machines from the other side of the country.

3) I don't take checks from random people. I only take cash. Checks bounce and checks can be stolen.

So I avoided that scam by using a little bit of logic anyone is capable of, or should be capable of. I can't imagine a person will survive in this world very long if they aren't capable of realizing there is millions of people out there who want to do them harm.


And remember, an eighteen-year-old may have eighteen years on this planet, but for the vast majority of them, they were kids. In fact, they may never have been on their own before or had the opportunity to learn about the world around them.

Again, human beings do not live in a vacuum. Unless the person in question was chaperoned by their parent holding their hand every second of their day, NO, they should have enough experience in life to avoid putting themselves into obviously bad situations. We are bombarded with media constantly, be it from parents, friends, family, TV, books, the internet or even videogames. A lot of this media is the exchange of "horror stories" of all kinds of bad things which have happened to other people. These stories are not just entertainment and gossip, they are teaching you to be weary of such things happening to you in the future.

A stranger offering you candy is an obviously bad situation.
A stranger wanting you to fly around the country to work a low-paying job is an obviously bad situation.

Whether they think before they act is the real question, and that unfortunately has nothing to do with being "inexperience", and everything about making the conscious decision to ignore your better judgment and "go for it" because you're too focused on immediant gratification.

Again, there is a ridiculous amount of people who smoke despite being told again and again that smoking WILL give them cancer. They ignore the warnings because they are more interested in the immediant gratification smoking gives (which is almost always about fitting in with a group).

And I would not be surprised in the slightest bit if there is a pattern of behavior there, and smoking is probably not the only obviously stupid activity they engage themselves in. I'm not going to pat someone on the back and comfort them if they intentionally do stupid things and get hurt. I'm not going to kick them when they are down either, but I'm certaintly going to tell them to stop doing stupid things, because that is what they need to hear.

Even though my words are likely falling on deaf ears.

soloset
09-29-2006, 09:47 AM
You're still confusing "being scammed" with "being sucked into a cult". And I'm not sure how cigarette smoking figures into this at all.

I think you've made your particular views on this subject very clear, though. Good for you.

DeadlyAccurate
09-29-2006, 09:49 AM
1) Why would he offer to pay thousands of dollars more than my asking price? People usually try to get the price lower, not higher, and millionaires are no different.

2) If I was a millionaire, I wouldn't be buying non-working arcade machines from the other side of the country.

3) I don't take checks from random people. I only take cash. Checks bounce and checks can be stolen.


The way that scam usually works is that he writes you a check for X amount over what you ask for and then has you send him the difference, either in cash or a money order. His check bounces, and you're out the amount you gave him.

jfreedan
09-29-2006, 10:29 AM
A cult is a type of scam.

I'm Agnostic, so if I continue this discussion I'm likely going to begin truly offending people with an explanation of why I believe a cult is a scam, and that isn't really what I want to do.

My point was that I do not believe there is epidemic of door-to-door salesman kidnapping and raping children in the US, the same way I dismiss the idea violent videogames brainwashes a person to be an unremorseful, psychopathic individual.

I do believe there are criminals out there preying on gullible people. I do believe that competant scam artists have a science they tend to follow, choose their marks well, and that is why they are successful. I do believe the best way to avoid being scammed is to be aware of your surroundings.

And I do believe there is people in this world who repeatedly ignore their better judgment for very poor reasons. People who smoke tobacco (or worse) are a primary example of what I'm talking about. That is why I raised the issue, even though I'm sure I've offended some people, but the sad reality is smoking is an action that has absolutely no positive benefit whatsoever for a person, yet legions engage in the activity fully knowing it will give them a very painful type of cancer someday.

If people wish to do something they know they shouldn't be doing, I'm not going to feel sorry for them. My sorrow is for innocent people who tried to avoid trouble, not those who go completely out of their way to become a victim.

Roger J Carlson
09-29-2006, 06:17 PM
My point was that I do not believe there is epidemic of door-to-door salesman kidnapping and raping children in the US, the same way I dismiss the idea violent videogames brainwashes a person to be an unremorseful, psychopathic individual.And your evidence for this is what? That it couldn't happen to you so it must be the fault of the victims? Even if they're vulnerable teenagers?

Do you HAVE a teenager? I had one and I can tell you that my sensible daughter went insane when she turned 15 and didn't come out of it until she was 18. Teenagers DO NOT think the way adults do and can be easily manipulated. I've seen it. I know.

If you're going to be making sweeping statements, you ought to have better evidence than: "door-to-door scams don't exist because video games don't cause psychopathic behavior."

Kate Thornton
09-29-2006, 10:08 PM
I repeat - we had this problem *in my neighborhood* and it was *me* who called the cops.

The kids - they looked to be about 15 years old - were *tied up* in the van - 4 of them. Two were on my street, going door to door selling magazines with the "trip to Paris" as their spiel.

There was another van in the neighborhood next to ours. We're not an affluent neighborhood, and have a high percentage of immigrant families who live here, but there's usually someone home in most houses all day.

The tied-up children said they had been molested. All the kids claimed not to have eaten all day (it was about 3pm) One boy said he lived "back east" and that they all slept in the van at night.

The police took a statement from me. The children seemed desperate & dazed.

Children do not have the capability to make sound judgements - these children were runaways who had been preyed upon. They did not deserve what happened to them and they did not have the judgement/ability to get out of the situation.

PS - I too have been in the Army - 22+ years. I like to think I could avoid a situation like this one, but frankly back when I joined the Army it was at a time when I needed a job and the means to an education and it sounded good to me. It was a real learning experience.

Branwyn
10-01-2006, 10:23 PM
I had a similar experience. The young, wide eyed kid was very complimentary and laughing--until I told her there was no way I was spending $70. on a magazine subscription. She then turned into this viscious, insulting animal. She caught me and my husband off guard--we were outside BBQing.

I don't remember what organization it was, but it had to do with points for a scholarship or something like that.

Prawn
10-05-2006, 06:27 PM
If you need a magazine subscription, I'd suggest EBAY. You can always get very cheap subscriptions there. For example, I bought a 1 year subscription to the econonmist, a weekly magazine from England that usually costs 117 per year, for thirty some-odd. I got a subscription to Men's Health, one year for 1.99. Just check to make sure there is free delivery so you know the price you are bidding is all that you will pay.

kborsden
10-06-2006, 03:14 PM
no...i dont think we have this problem in wales.
we do, however, have gypsies and pikies coming door-to-door attempting to repair your roof and such. you know all they're doing is climbing up there and braking a few panels. they then use your neighbours panels and continue so along the street. i had a damned pikie once trying to tell me my front door was broken. "practically hanging of its hinges," he said. that was over six months ago and my door still opens and closes as it should.
i have never been one for door-to-door, it's like those bloody encyclopedia salesmen, or double glazing. i just can't be doing with it. mostly i knock on the window and shake my head as they come up the path.
the jahova's witnesses aren't all too bad, unless they're trying to save my eternal soul again. i usualy open the door to these folks and can have many a satirical laugh at their banter. last time was to hand me a leaflet for a great blessing of the liberty stadium here in swansea. it was to be a mass get together of jw's from all over the world to bless the flock of god. i'll tell you, i had a bloody good laugh internally at this. but as i said, i usually don't bother.