On June 9, Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson filed a lawsuit against Your Magazine Service, Inc., a Minnesota corporation, and the corporation’s owner, Wayne R. Dahl, Jr., alleging that the company used deceptive sales tactics to sign up customers for magazine subscriptions.
According to the suit, the company would call individuals who had purchased magazine subscription packages from another company, pose as the customer’s current magazine provider using the name “Your Magazine Service,” and then claim to offer customers a credit on their account. The goal of the call was to try to enroll the customer in additional magazine packages, which could cost up to $998.
A press release from Swanson’s office asserts that many of the people targeted were senior citizens. The statement gave an example of an eighty-seven year old blind woman whom the company signed up for subscription packages, even after she told the company she would not be able to read them. The press release also quotes a 2011 e-mail Dahl wrote to a vendor from which he had purchased call lists and in which he discusses the type of consumer he was targeting: “ … at least 50% of them are 68 yrs old or older!!!! If one of them ever contact an AG [attorney general] lord knows they’re definitely gonna want blood for selling vulnerable elderly people, or there is a great chance of it.”
The lawsuit seeks civil penalties, restitution, and injunctive relief. The press release notes that Dahl moved from Minnesota to Florida six months ago, after the Attorney General’s office served the company with a Civil Investigative Demand.
The Minnesota Attorney General’s office has a webpage devoted to magazine subscription solicitations, advising consumers to be wary of buying magazine subscription packages over the phone from telemarketers.