Consumer Complaints and Reviews
Company names: Professional Business Publications, Progressive Business Publications, International Credit Recovery. What to do if collections calls you: The best way to handle the scam is to call 1-800-220-5000. DON'T PRESS #2 - PRESS #6 so you can speak to a live person. Seems that the same person always answers the phone - her name is Nicky. She was very nice and immediately canceled my 'subscription' (the one I didn't sign up for) - and I was told she would contact the credit company to tell them to stop collections. I'm assuming Chris from collections sits right next to her.
The Scam: Apparently they "Professional Business Publications" called me 6 months ago to offer me a free trial service. I don't recall this call and subsequently never received any publications from them to 'try' and never received any invoices. I got a call from International Credit Recovery (who is also part of the same organization) to tell me I owed $288. I asked the person "Chris **" to send me an invoice - which he did. He then proceeded to call me 4 times that day. He said I needed to either give him a credit card number or overnight a check. DO NOT DO THIS! THIS IS A FRAUDULENT COMPANY WHO HAS BEEN REPORTED TO NUMEROUS AGENCIES. In 2009 the USDA even sent out a companywide letter letting employees know about this fraudulent company and not to give any personal information or pay anything. This is a scam and if your efforts don't work to cancel - I would report them to your company's legal department.
Avoid at all costs. They reported my company to a collections agency, claiming that one of our employees "agreed" to a 30-day free trial of a subscription no one wants, then "failed to properly cancel" within the 30 days. So now we're being harassed by "International Credit," 607-748-4686 - Katie, for $250. "Katie" told me I should scold my employee, for doing something "they should not have done." It's a beautiful world.
I received a call late one afternoon from a salesperson (Chris) selling Administrative Professional Update. Truthfully, I just wanted him off the phone so I agreed to my "NO-RISK" order of Administrative Professional Update. I was told that if I enjoyed the magazine, a subscription was "just two-ninety-nine". Assuming this was a small Admin Professional magazine, I assumed this meant $2.99. When I received my confirmation email the next day, I saw the price of "$299.00" and emailed immediately to cancel.
Two weeks later I received FIVE email newsletters overnight from Progressive Business Publications or Progressive Business Education. After Googling the name and finding all of these reviews, I became concerned and called the 800 number referenced in several reviews (1-800-220-5000). The menu options have changed and you can no longer press #6. Option #2 is the cancellation department, but you must leave a voice mail or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. I emailed email@example.com and received an email back from Nikki within (literally) 2 minutes stating that my account was cancelled with a zero balance. TL:DR: email firstname.lastname@example.org right away and cancel!
I got a call from a salesperson from Progressive Business Publications. They were very persistent about accepting free trial which we can cancel by returning the first invoice and marked "Please cancel," which we did, but after several month maybe 3 to 4 months we receive a bill from them with no phone number or email address so we ignored it. On 10-20-16 we get a call from a collection agency from New York City requesting payment of $299.00 which WE refused to pay. I DON'T recommend anyone to accept their trial offer due to the high number of complaints on this website.
Be careful... they cover their tracks. I got a call from a salesperson from Progressive Business Publications on May 04, 2016. She was very pleasant and I accepted the trial subscription just to get off the phone. I was told that if I chose to cancel, I could indicate on my invoice, when received, that I wanted to cancel and mail it back. She did confirm my birthday and immediately sent an email confirmation titled "The information you requested". In the email I was told I would receive a username and password via email within 24 hours. The email had no phone number or email address for the salesperson that I spoke to. I did subsequently receive a few e-newsletters. I did not ever receive the username and password via email.
On June 08, 2016, with no other contact information, I replied to the original email (to a generic mailbox) requesting to cancel. I then googled a phone number. I called 1-800-220-5000 and hit option #6. I spoke to Nicki. She was very nice and confirmed that my subscription had been canceled already so they must have cancelled in response to my email. An hour later, I got the invoice for $299... and wouldn't you know it... my birth date appeared on the invoice as proof that I agreed to the subscription. It also included a username and password and indicated that I received a written confirmation on May 04, 2016. Although I found the sales process to be a little pushy, I am pleased that I was able to cancel so easily. However, I will be back to comment if I get another invoice.
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One of our employees was contacted and the company represented themselves as a new, local business and wondered if he would like a complimentary book. If he liked it, he could call and they would sign him up for a subscription. He never received a book, so he forgot about it. Now he's received an invoice and phone calls. I've played phone tag with the number of the person he gave me but made no live contact. I left a message requesting our account be zeroed out and informing them that we had received nothing.
On another review, I saw a different customer service number of 800-220-5000 option 6. I called it and spoke with Melissa, who was very pleasant and cancelled out our account and zeroed the invoice with no problems. She invited me to call back if we had any more issues or if the complimentary book ever showed up. So a bad situation with a dishonest company with hundreds of complaints against it, but a good experience with Melissa who was pleasant and professional to remedy it. If you are the victim of this scam, I recommend calling the number given here to get it resolved.
Got a call today that hit our Foundation up for $249. Sure smacks of a scam-type approach. I DID NOT solicit a membership, I DID agree to read your gratis bulletins. By not responding on a certain date you "hit" our Foundation up for $249 via a collection agency. Nice gesture by a non-profit group. If we wanted the publication we would have officially subscribed to it, and not having to be forced to pay for it. This one is going to the Better Business Bureau and to sister foundations.
My husband was called by one of their telemarketers while he was driving and told he would be sent a sample publication as a FREE trial and the terms and conditions would be sent to him via e-mail. He never received the terms and conditions and we have been mailed an invoice for $430 that he never agreed to which is now being sent to collections. One of the tactics that the telemarketing companies are using to get people to answer the phone is showing a local phone number on the caller IDs, which is also what happened in this case, further assuring me this is a scam.
After calling their customer service center, I was first told there was nothing they could do but then asked to speak with a supervisor, since it is apparent this has happened to many more people and they were able to cease collections and cancel the account. There may be people that will benefit from their publications but until they change their business practices, I will never do business with a company like this!
I started receiving publications in the mail at my workplace in July of 2015. It was under my name (Wrong title) and the company's old name (We had gotten acquired months prior). We received a Bill for $430.00 stating that I had given "Written Verification" stating it was the 3rd notice. I had never heard of this company before.
I contacted Customer service, but got no callback. I emailed them as well as the HR (the only other contact on their page). I finally called one of their branches who got me in contact with an editor there. The lady was very nice and gave me the info for their Accounts Receivable. Once I called that lady and described what happened she immediately stated, "Did someone transfer you to me?" I said "No I was given your contact information for this." She then stated, "Well, just curious, who gave you my number. You need to talk to Customer service since you're collections." I told her I wasn't collections and that no one would call me back. She then seemed frustrated and took my account number and canceled the subscription.
After that experience I don't think we would ever do business with them intentionally.
Former employee of company and felt like I was forcing publications on people who did not want it. In the script it does mention it is a free trial and can cancel, but most publications were over $300 and would receive an invoice. It was a quick blurb put in the script and many didn't realize they would be charged. The manager was not professional in any way and yelled at the employees when not reaching goals. Also, the technology was so outdated the computers were at least 10-15 yrs old and employees had to push record on the tape recorder when verifying customer information. The tapes would then just get tossed in a bin at the end of the day.
I was ridiculed by my managers and felt as though I was being sexually harassed. I was told to meet my manager alone in his office and if I were to tell anyone I would be fired. I did not meet him in his office and felt uncomfortable. He let me go a week later. I have done other call center jobs but nothing like this and I even called labor and compliance and they said I should just find a new job. The script was so rushed no wonder people didn't hear about the bill if they didn't cancel. And they also told us to tell them if we did not hear from them about cancelling we would give a one time courtesy call as a reminder. I never did that, nor am I aware of any other employees making such calls.
I was disrespected as a loyal employer so I am sure after reading these complaints other companies are not happy with the explanation of the FREE TRIAL OFFER.. We were rushed into saying that to make a sale. I worked for another company and it was nothing like that... Representatives were monitored by team leaders and could pull up recordings for any corrective criticism... It was all recorded on computers, not cassette tapes that were never listened too. I was horrified by losing my job... I never heard a boss swear or belittle employees in such a distasteful manner.
I received an invoice for $299 for an annual subscription that I did not request. They had my name and birthdate, they also claimed to have an "Original Order Date & Written Confirmation" supposedly sent from me. I know I never would have requested their services so right away I was concerned. I googled the company and the comments I read on this site were more than just a little bothersome so I was fully prepared for a battle when I called the number I found.
Although I am unhappy with the attempt they made to get $299 from me, I was pleasantly pleased when I called the number and told them I never requested their subscription. The CSR was very nice and "zeroed" out my invoice. For those of you who are having issues, call 800-220-5000 and push #6. The name of the lady I talked to is Nikki. Good luck all!!
I was contacted by International Credit Collection Bureau on behalf of Progressive Business Publication. I was accused of lying about ordering some publication called Environmental Compliance. The woman who called was very rude and threatened to ruin our company credit by reporting delinquency on this account if I did not pay the account. I asked for your name and phone number but she just hung-up on me. This is a scam to get you to pay!!!
PB Compliance called my place of employment concerning free information on HR, frequently. I finally got tired of phones calls and told them to send me information and I will look it over and let them know at my convenience. Next thing I know I received a bill for $230.00 on publications that I had not received and kept unsubscribing from the e-mails they kept sending. Now they have a collection agent trying to strong-arm for payment. If PB Compliance calls hang up and do not talk to them because once you tell them to send you information they automatically "bind you" in a contract you know nothing about. And do not give any personal information on yourself, with this information they process this and you are automatically subscribed to their publications without your knowledge or consent.
I was contacted by someone from Progressive Business Publications and asked to sample a trial subscription to a business journal. I agreed to sample it. I was informed that if I wanted to cancel the trial subscription just let them know and it would be cancelled. I contacted them and told them I wanted to cancel. The business journal/newsletter stopped. Several weeks later I get phone calls from International Credit Recovery to pay a $250-$299 overdue subscription fee. THE WHOLE THING MUST BE SOME KIND OF SCAM!! They should not be allowed to do business like this - consumer affairs or some other watchdog agency needs to shut their business practice down!! Anyone who reads this - Stay away from Progressive Business Publications.
I was contacted via phone, asked if I wanted a free publication. I said, "Sure." Started getting invoices. Ignored them, because I was told this was free and figured the invoices were for additional services or something. My fault, I GUESS, for not reading invoices more carefully, but there was absolutely no indication in the phone conversation with the salesperson that this would need to be cancelled by some certain time in order to not be charged. If there was some messaging regarding that, I would have not agreed to the subscription at all. Received final invoice for approximately $250. Hassled to pay it. Said, "I thought this was free." Argued. Didn't get anywhere. Paid it. Just got another newsletter today and asked to cancel. Hopefully, that will be the end of this nonsense.
Don't talk to anyone from Progressive Business Publications or CFO & Controller Alert!!! I'm an office manager who doesn't have many freedom so I know that I don't accept anything permanent or that costs $$ over the phone EVER!!! Only my Pres & VP have the authority to do any such thing. The only time I gave my date of birth out to anyone in recently, was to someone saying they were sending a free 2015 calendar out. Free calendar works for me.
Next thing I know, there is a bill here for $299 saying that I, by name and day of birth, verbally verified a contract for 23 issues/12 months of a publication that we never ordered or would ever want!!! We only do digital publications here... and only have 3 (free). I had my president follow the instructions posted here by "** of Orem, UT on Jan. 27, 2015," today, after sending the bill & details to our lawyer. I'm also hoping, as ** that we have been removed. The woman I spoke to was quite argumentative with my Pres. They need to be put out of business!!! Good Luck!!
I use to work for PBP in Altoona. And I feel bad for the people I "sold" the subscription to. Altoona doesn't offer many job opportunities, so when I applied for this job I was under the impression that this was useful information. While employed, the Branch Manager would belittle me in front of other coworkers. Threatened my job countless times for not making "sales". Told us it was our fault that you people who receive our phone calls don't answer. We are treated like cattle. Slaves. And they hold that job over our heads knowing that it was a last resort for employment. I highly advise no one subscribes to their publications. For if you do know that the people that are employed at that company is highly degraded and belittled on a daily basis. And by subscribing, you support that.
Collection agent has called me on behalf of the ** at Progressive Publications saying I owe them for something I have had to cancel every single time they send me an invoice for years now. Went down this same heated road in 2009 with the Progressive ** to the point that my controller was on the verge of getting out corporate lawyer involved due to the harassment. At that time, I was supposed to be PURGED from their system, but next thing you know, they are back at it again year or so later. Now they want $180.00 through a collections agent to purge me out of the system again. So I am not sure why this company is still allowed to be in business with these practices, but it's probably ran by a Progressive Liberal. They suck!
If anyone ever contacts you from Progressive Business Publications or International Credit Recovery Inc.... hang up the phone and ignore them. They are a scam that sells completely useless information for a host of different topics. The information is useless because it isn't relevant to the real world. I was called about receiving an environmental email and was told I could cancel it within so much time without charge. I have been fighting with these losers ever since. They do not cancel as they say they will. They also slam you with additional publications which you never even asked for. They are very aggressive and ICR would not know the third party debt collections practices act if it bit them on the forehead. Hang up and ignore these morons and do not sign up for anything. They are horrible.
I was called and asked if I wanted a free publication and because it is free they would need to confirm my "birth month." They did this and next thing I know they have send me an INVOICE for $299.00. I called their Customer Service area: 1-800-220-5000 and they did cancel it for me. I listened to all their options and they must have problems, as one option is if you are an "employee or former employee" contacting the payroll department. They must have high turnover due to people calling to yell at them. I did NOT press #2 to cancel as I wanted to TALK to someone. I pressed #6. She said she canceled the subscription. I hope it worked.
First of all, I am grateful for all the reviews found on Consumer Affairs. I too had the same experience - Nonprofit Board Report calls me in the middle of a workday in July, asks if I want a free newsletter, I said yes. Few weeks or month later, we get invoices that we just throw away because it's free, right? I get a phone call from the company a little while after that, asking how I liked the subscription. I said we didn't read it or want it and we are a small non-profit and we're not interested in paying for a subscription. Fast forward a few months later (January), a phone call from a collection agency arrives saying we owe $250 because we didn't cancel the subscription. One (1) email with directions on how to cancel were apparently emailed to me in July. How unethical to scam on non-profits, especially small ones like ours where $250 is a big deal.
Just received a call from their collections department saying we owed $249 for a subscription to the NON-PROFIT BOARD REPORT. I recall getting a call and after repeatedly saying I did not want their service, they said they were mailing it just so I could see it. Apparently I was supposed to cancel within 30 days, but I wasn't aware of that. They are SCAMMERS.
I have also received an invoice for a subscription that was never ordered in the amount of $299. I have tried to call but only get voice mail, I was able to get the name of the "Customer service manager", his name is Matt ** , if anyone attempts to call, press 9 then enter ** , that will ring his extension, but good luck getting him to answer.
I have called them and faxed them to stop sending me faxes and they continue, the fax says that bill W talked to me..... which is untrue. I have never spoke with anyone from this company - other than to tell them to stop faxing me.
International Credit Agency calling about overdue $265, but will settle for $110, if paid today. All about a supervisor subscription to a newsletter I did not know I was even getting. They claimed I agreed to receive it by giving my birth date which of course anyone can get off the internet free :) They have been calling me several times a week. A new person each time suggesting it has escalated and if it came to trial I would be liable personally. I am very stressed about this because I never agreed to such a thing. So I am going to call them for the 4th time and do what one of the reviews here suggested cancel after choosing option to make a payment.
Salesperson caught me on the phone in the middle of doing 18 different things offering a "sample" for a Keep Up To Date on Payroll newsletter. I hurriedly answered questions to get them off the phone, and was given the impression that the information that I'd be receiving would be at no charge. Six months later, I'm now receiving multiple calls a day from International Credit Recovery claiming that I owe $230 for a newsletter that I never agreed to pay for. We've never received an invoice prior to ICR contacting us, or an actual "newsletter" to be honest. Now, I'm stuck dealing with an overly aggressive ICR and their repeated phone calls for a debt that our company does not owe.
I find it very interesting that BBB states the following on ICR, Inc:
"BBB has received hundreds of complaints from consumers on International Credit Recovery related to collection efforts for Progressive Business Publications located in Malvern, Pa. Consumers have advised BBB that they have not ordered any publications from Progressive Business Publications and therefore they do not owe any debt to International Credit Recovery. BBB reached out to the business regarding the pattern in the complaints. The business did not acknowledge the pattern. BBB requested information from International Credit Recovery that would verify that International Credit Recovery and Progressive Business Publications are not partners. BBB has also requested current registration and licensing information for International Credit Recovery along with the current owner's name and business address. At this time International Credit Recovery has not provided any of the BBB requested information."
I received several phone calls and a pretty useless newsletter in the mail from Progressive Business Publications. The telemarketer told me they would send our organization copies of a newsletter for a free trial. I told them that it was fine to send free copies. I do not recall anyone saying that I had to call and cancel or else I would be charged for a subscription. I remember several calls and the telemarketer being aggressive and just telling him to send the trial copies to get him to stop calling me. Several months later I believe the controller at our organization showed me an invoice for a newsletter subscription. He asked if I ordered it and I said no, I didn't order or agree to order anything. So I assume he disposed of the invoice. That was the only invoice we ever received and I never received any emails. This week I received a call from a "collection agency" telling me that we ignored several invoices and emails regarding our subscription and it was handed over to this collection agency.
I told the woman what happened and said, "so basically I was scammed into agreeing to something I didn't want to agree to?" She said that the company did use aggressive telemarketing and unfortunately there was nothing she could do now, and we owe them $240 or this will become a lean on our organization or something along those lines. She made it sound very serious and said if I paid her right now they wouldn't have to take any further action against us. I told her I had to speak to my director and would call back. I told my boss and he understood that it was a scam and said that he didn't think it was a real collection agency. He said we aren't paying them and to either tell them off if they call again or to ignore them. So they called that day and the woman asked if I was ready to pay. I said I talked to my boss and I believe that what she is doing is fraud. She raised her voice and yelled at me saying "This is NOT fraud. You AGREED to pay for this product." And I hung up on her.
Today I called the 1-800 number at PBP and left a message saying I would like to cancel any type of "contract" they believe I signed up for and that I believe what they are doing is criminal activity and to never call us again or I will report them to the authorities and they will be speaking to our lawyer. I feel like they are going to keep calling and my plan is to continue to tell them they can speak to our lawyer and hang up. I don't know what else to do. I feel like if they behave like this they are just asking to be handed over to an attorney. Our organization is very small and we raise money for children. I don't know how these people sleep at night. But I'm not going to have an argument over the phone with someone who is obviously scamming me. If they have a legitimate legal complaint, they can send us their issue in writing and speak to our lawyer. I am concerned that they may do something to my credit report. Has anyone actually had an experience of them doing something to a credit report? I will call the Malvern Police, the FTC, and the FBI if that happens. I feel like I'm being targeted and blackmailed by scammers in my own backyard and it's very disturbing.
I received an invoice today coming from our accounts payable and was so surprised that I owe $295 subscription that I never sign and remembered agreed upon. They said it is a fourth notice. The problem is I don't even received the 1st notice nor sign for this to begin with.
They are nothing but tricksters. Was told about a free publication, for which my email ID was collected. Within few months got a call from a collection agency demanding money for subscription of service. It is my opinion that this publication needs to brought to justice by all of us collectively.
Called my business. Said they would send free subscription to "The NONPROFIT BOARD REPORT". Then 1 month later I get an invoice for $249.00. Says it's their 2nd notice and payment is overdue. They never sent the first invoice and the subscription was free. No telephone number to call to speak with a company representative - given only PO Box as an address. I am sending a cancel my subscription letter to their company and go from there.
Progressive Business Publications Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Progressive Business Publications
- Company Type:
- 370 Technology Dr
- Postal Code:
- United States