Publishers Clearing House
Overall Satisfaction Rating
1.69/5
  • 5 stars
    11
  • 4 stars
    4
  • 3 stars
    4
  • 2 stars
    12
  • 1 star
    74
Based on 105 ratings submitted in the last year
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Publishers Clearing House

ConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand

Founded in 1953, Publishers Clearing House is a multi-channel direct marketer of value-based consumer products and magazines. The company calls attention to its products by providing consumers entry for chance to win sweepstakes prizes. No purchase or payment is ever necessary to enter or win. Since 1967 the company has awarded over $228 million in prizes and awards. Consumers seeking direct assistance can contact PCH's customer service division, toll free, at (800) 645 9242.

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Last updated: Nov. 16, 2017

1644 Publishers Clearing House Consumer Reviews and Complaints

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Nov. 16, 2017

All you get is tokens no cash. And I got a call last year said I won a prize. Patrol was on their way but I had to go to Walmart and send 2500 cash for processing fees before they arrived. What a joke.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 15, 2017

Playing the PCH games for a long time and never win a thing especially the low income and people below low income so they can stop struggling and the rich or above low income people not as much. I have been playing the PCH games and everything else since my daughter was in my belly and now she is almost 4 years old.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 15, 2017

I've been playing the instant win games now for about 5 months and redeemed thousands of tokens and I have WON ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. How can they continue to fool people so much? I am totally disappointed in Publishers Clearing House.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 13, 2017

Publishers Clearing House claims they are not a scam. Annex and I filled out everything on time for a year. We were sent a letter saying somebody in my very neighborhood with my initials would definitely win. We were sent another letter saying that the Prize Patrol was definitely coming to my neighborhood and somebody with my initials had definitely won. Needless to say it never happened. Isn't that false advertisement? They told me someone with my initials in my neighborhood won and it never happened.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 5, 2017

I have been dealing with Publishers Clearing House almost 3 years. I have bought several hundred dollars in junk from them mostly because I was led to believe I would win. Please don't waste your time and money on this. They continually change dates on which the award for sweepstakes will be given. People if you do not live in one of the States that sued PCH for misleading customers with their e-mails which they continue to do, you will not win each time they claim to be awarding a prize. It's in one of the States that have to pay legally millions because they were sued, unfortunately I am in VA which did not sue and believe me when I say they have awarded all around this state but never here. Go figure. If you do get lured into the game don't believe in the payment plans offered for buying from them as when you go to pay the option for monthly payments are not there. You have to pay all or nothing.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 1, 2017

Im 68 and a cancer survivor this year. Ive sent things into PCH for about 50 years. I always try to buy a few things, try to pay on time, even though now it's getting harder, since Ive lost half my income because my husband in nursing home on hospice. This year I tried the online a few times. But the begging for me to get stuff, and the stuff is really cheap. Does anyone really win, or are they just hired actors. I could act for you too, cause I need the money. After reading the reviews I think Im going to have to stop. My fixed income is hurting. Sorry. Ty for games although no one wins.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 31, 2017

You don't have to believe me but I'm telling you that you're all PCH prostitutes. I was one too. PCH pimped us all. Some research and a little common sense will prove this... Be clear, PCH is the pimp and you're the hooker. How so, you may wonder? Well it's like this. As I'm sure you know in present day internet age the way to make money is through ads. Lots and lots of ads. Popular YouTube "celebs" with hundreds of thousands of subscribers make tons of money that way. Popular bloggers, affiliates program members, Etc, all make money this way. PCH is no exception.

You do ALL the work, PCH collects ALL THE MONEY. Sure, it may be cents per ad, but look at the sheer volume of ads you must rummage and wait for PER GAME! Now figure in millions of people "playing" and add in the CONSTANT DAILY EFFORTS and voila, PCH is making millions of dollars off of you. Why in the world do you think they encourage you, no wait, BEG YOU to keep going and going and going and going? Same thing with their search engine. Why do you think when you "search" it already has preset things you can search for? It's because they hope and expect you not to do an actual authentic search, but instead select one of their preset search options for "recipes" etc. This all leads to them making money off you.

It's sort of like being an unofficial undocumented employee who never ever gets paid for their services. No wait. It's like I originally said. We're the hookers and PCH is the pimp. We do all the work that is cleverly disguised as "games" while they collect all that money from our efforts aka "game playing." But we all know those aren't actually "games", right? The Pinata game where you swing a bat? Lmao. Cmon. They have built in software that knows when you're slacking and not playing as much. This is when the software starts emailing you x10 tokens or "bonus" entries blah blah blah. The software is scripted to send you more enticing "opportunities."

The software also knows to send you an email that basically says "We're sorry but you could have one. Too bad you didn't respond to us on time" if you go weeks without responding. That's just another enticing method to manipulate you to keep making them more money from those ads. And the more tokens and "VIP status" you get, the longer the pages get that you have to click "continue" as you rummage through the pages upon pages of merchandise that they beg and plead and insist on you buying. In fact, PCH feels so entitled to a purchase from you because they're "nice enough to let you play their games" that they actually think they have a right to "understand" why you're not buying anything from them.

"We see you have a zero purchase history with us and quite frankly we don't understand why?" Lmao! The NERVE! Can you imagine being at the shopping mall sitting on a bench and some employee walks out from the store from which they work and says "We see you have been walking around this mall all day but have not entered my store to make a purchase and quite frankly I don't understand why!" CAN YOU IMAGINE THAT? LOL! Well, PCH, it's none of your business as to WHY I haven't made a purchase but considering your business practices coupled with the plethora of complaints about it, I'd say you can start there! How bout that? Lol.

OH! And before I forget, this part is very important too. You know after PCH was sued by almost all 50 States and have been sued REPEATEDLY over the years for their deceptive practices, they have to include a small notice that says "making a purchase will not increase your chances of winning." Well horsepucky! Here's what they do. The firm they hired to design the software they used is scripted to automatically WEED OUT entries WITHOUT a purchase history but you'll never ever know so that you'll just keep playing and playing! Why would they tell you that when it would hurt them financially? The software disqualifies persons who do not spend sums of money with PCH and the software does it in a manner so that it look like a legit dump of numbers since only one can win. This is done so that they meet inspection necessities.

And have you read every nook and cranny of their TOS (Terms of Service)? If not, I suggest that you do! Focus heavily on the parts that speak on being DISQUALIFIED and also focus on the PAYOUTS and how the payouts work for LARGE SUM WINNERS! It's not exactly a "wealthy windfall" like they suggest considering they pay you over the course of 30 years for, let's say, a 750,000 or million dollar prize. You get $25,000 each year for 29 years and then $250,000 on your 30th year lol.

Again, that's not exactly what I'd consider a "jackpot." And don't get me wrong, it's a great addition to the money you already have if you win, but then CALL IT THAT! Don't doctor it up to be something else. That's sneaky and deceptive. Now I'm not saying it's like that for every prize, but I know it's like that for quite a lot. It's in the fine print. That's roughly, what, $12.00 an hour pay? Just call an Spade a Spade, PCH! That's all people want. Honesty! But deceptive is what works in ALL big business. Sad.

Another thing PCH is notoriously for is issuing substantially smaller prizes to persons who strictly only entered the huge sweepstakes. So how does PCH come up with issuing someone $5,000 or $10,000 when that person only entered the million dollar ones? Yes, there are winners! People win! I mean you have a higher chance of getting struck by lightning TWICE in your life, or getting struck by lightning once while drowning than you do ever winning a big prize from PCH, but people do actually win. But I don't know the answer to how PCH decides on a much smaller prize for persons who avoided those entries and only went for the big ones.

No, I wouldn't "be grateful" for winning $10,000 if I only was entering for the million dollar ones. It's my time and how I chose to spend it and if I'm letting PCH pimp the living ** out of me for years and years and I'm one of their top $$ earners (bottom **) and I'm under the impression that I'm entering a specific sweepstakes then damn it that's what I should be winning IF they select me as the winner! It's no different than ordering a cheeseburger and being given a BLT because that's what the chef wants you to eat! NO! That's not how it works.

Let me put it this way, if all PCH "offered" was $10,000 sweepstakes, NOBODY would torture themselves and spend the hours each day practically losing their minds from those ads and how PCH begs you to "hurry up and buy" from them just for the CHANCE to win $10,0000 because a very high portion of those who enter would NOT feel its worth for $10,0000! Hell, countless people give up and feel it's not worth it when the jackpots are HUGE so that's all I'm saying is it should be for what you entered! If I entered a sweepstakes for $50,000 then how on earth did I only win $10,000? How do they rationalize this? I don't have the answer to that one because that's a whole different department who handles that.

Honesty. Accountability. No deception. That's all people want and PCH does not and is not going to give it to them. Well, except for the deception. The "congrats you won" then followed up with an apology letter by PCH and offering more tokens as an "apology" that they do to thousands of people. Also, be prepared when entering PCH contests for whatever device you're using to grossly slow down DRAMATICALLY!!! I mean to the point where it crawls!

And no no no PCH cannot blame everyone's device because this was tested on Sept 2nd, 2017 by myself and several friends and all four of us used our laptops, desktops, and phones and each one of our devices lagged so bad and were sooo slow and we checked WHY lol! My lord the stuff that our devices racked up! The malicious software that creeps into your device from their apps and website is obscene. You know what else is obscene? The amount of pages you have to go through just to enter. The amount of ads you have to go through just for one teeny completion. I understand a few ads here and there, but PCH's greed knows no bounds! It's obscene and disgusting.

Are there winners? BIG winners? Yes, there are winners. That part is true. Does PCH "owe" you a winning? No. Do they owe you the truth about the services you're providing to them so they can get richer and one day cough up the big prize money? Yes. Nobody can be that gullible to actually think they're "playing games" and that those games "are fun." The same repetitive whack "games" each time. The only game that comes close to "being fun" is MahJong. And of course you aren't gonna win big there.

They made millions of dollars long before the internet and they still make millions of dollars off people from selling merchandise and mags. And if you're really interested in learning how they make extra money, just read the endless people who seem to all share the same complaint and it's how vicious, predatory and dishonest PCH is when it comes to collecting payment from people. It really is quite vile. Even as it stands right now PCH is STILL teetering on breaking the rules and guidelines of more predatory and dishonest practices now in 2017. I'm not sure I believe they donate as much to charities as they claim though. Probably some tax configuration situation. But whatever.

Personally, I don't play anymore. But someone I care about does and I'm using their computer right now and judging from the lag of it I'd say they play a whole lot! It never ever used to be slow like this. My god. Unbelievable. But if you feel that it's worth all that time you spend entering and watching ads and making PCH gobs of money for an extreme teeny tiny itsy bitsy microscopic chance of winning ANYTHING from PCH, not just the big stuff, but ANYTHING worthwhile, then hey, put your stiletto's on (men too), hit that corner, and let the pimping commence! Make them their money! Now get to work!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 29, 2017

For 45 years my mother religiously entered every Publishers Clearing House contest. Her basement was full of boxes and boxes of PCH envelopes with the receipts of items she purchased, or just what she sent in as entries. Not once did my mother ever win a dime from them. 45 years! I am sure over the years she spent several thousand dollars buying useless items. I threw an awful lot of those items away as I cleaned her basement. Please do not waste your time entering these contests. They sell your info, they just want you to buy items. But I think at some point, someone, somewhere, would know a person who actually won the million dollar prizes or the $5000 a week prize. I have asked across the internet, and not a single person knows of anyone! Please do not waste time online - again - they will sell your information to other scammers.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 27, 2017

I think Publishers Clearing House is a hoax. I think people that buys things from them are the ones that win. I don't ever remember Publishers Clearing House ever having winners in Salina, Kansas. I've been entering forever and haven't won anything. Why haven't they ever come to Salina, Kansas if they were real? I'm done.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 26, 2017

I went to the website I got in the mail. I ordered 2 items. I'm not sure they received. I tried entering the contest and ALL I kept getting was more and more pages of crap I don't want to buy. I never did find a way out to enter the contest. From now on when I get something from PCH it will go in the trash!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 25, 2017

I received an email from pch.com stating that I had won $100,000.00! So excited I called and emailed making sure this wasn't a hoax! They asked for my name and email address and then tell me that they are very sorry but it was a mistake and was sent by mistake. I call bull! I was then told I would be put in a $10,000 lottery with 4 other people! What the hell is going on? I should have recorded the phone call and kept the email in a safer place than on my phone which died. I think a question should be asked; who has won that never made a purchase? They make that claim, but, is the BS also?

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 24, 2017

I have entered this sweepstakes several times by mail, & decided to do it online. Well I spent 30 min. having to go thru all the as seen on TV junk & mags. that I got so frustrated & finally gave up. I have purchased some of the items @ Rite Aid & Wal-Mart, & wound up returning. I bought one of those copper belts to help my back (I have had several back surgeries) & it was totally worthless. I also purchased one of those key antennas & it didn't work either. My wife & I are a very limited income as we are both disabled & can't afford cable. All I have is a smartphone with limited data. Anyway I wasted a lot of data trying to enter this stupid contest. I finally gave up. I couldn't do it anymore. I live in constant pain which makes it hard for me to do anything for a long period of time. It's easier & less costly for me to do it by mail. But I have never won anything & always wondered where the money came from.

Now I know. Buy products made in China & you might have a better chance of winning. But who knows. Anyway if you are going to enter this sweepstakes, & are in a situation like mine, I would advise against it. Do it by mail, unless you plan on buying something. I myself give up. We could use the money, but to me it's not worth it. I am up to my ears in debt because I can no longer work. I am drowning in medical bills. I use to play Powerball all the time but I couldn't even win $2.00. I wish you luck if you keep playing, but as they say in the song, "if it weren't for bad luck I'd have no luck at all." That's how I feel about PCH.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 19, 2017

I played the games both via the cell phone app and via the main website - nothing but a bunch of useless tokens. I seriously doubt anybody ever wins any prizes from this, and I see that I'm not the only one who has experienced this (It also eats up your data usage and you get a bunch of emails you don't want, and the emails keep coming even after you have unsubscribed).

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 14, 2017

Seems like the only people that do win are people that are already well-off and homeowners. There was a giveaway today. I looked it up and saw the winner on the news but I've never saw a person that lives in an apartment or anyone younger win the prizes. It always looks like older retired people or people who already have money.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

I have read most of the reviews, I too have played for a long time since 1988. I've never win anything as of yet, but happened to playing just for fun. I play for therapy to get my mind off the daily stress. Enjoy the games not the Chase of money!

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 9, 2017

I received an email. From PCH. Saying I won 10000.00 then next day said they. Made a mistake. Apologized and continue on with new winner. I HAVE BEEN PLAYING THIS GAME SINCE I WAS 7. TO SCAM MY BABY'S FEELINGS. WHY WE WERE HOMELESS, REALLY HURT THEM. See I believe in God and I still play everyday. Someone. Must make this right.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Oct. 7, 2017

Their accounting is very bad. Warning do not use the partial payment. Pay off full amount or you will receive tons of past due bills. Make copies of your checks. They ACH their checks so your bank does not have a copy. All you get is the ACH # on your bank statement. PCH demands that you send a copy of your check front and back for them to correct your order payment. LOVE the FREE Gifts that you pay shipping and handling. The stuff they send is making CHINA Rich. As soon as I pay off PCH Never Again!

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2017

I've been playing these supposed instant win games they have online for a while now. First of all, the scratch offs are a load of BS, no one ever wins. The other games you're never going to win, no matter what, they got them rigged. For one example, I choose the same car in that car race game every time and it always comes in either last or second to last. The same thing with that horse race game. The bean bag (I always choose the blue one) never hits the hole in cornhole. The game with the ring toss always hits the same pin. So anyway, after noticing all these things, I just decided to check their winners list and out of curiosity I took a bunch of names at random and searched for them on Facebook, sure enough, NONE of them came up. Now I am well aware not everyone has a Facebook page, but you would think at least one out of the 50 or so names I chose would come up, but no. These games are fake.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2017

I have entered numerous PCH contests online for various amounts of prizes. Since 2015 I haven't one dime. Not even $50.00. I truly believe these scams collect your personal info and play on your hopes and dreams. Shame on PCH if they are affiliated with this.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2017

I made the mistake of filling out the entry. I have been bombarded by emails ever since from them and other scams and possible virus links. Everyday I would get an email saying one more step. The feds should look into this sorry company and fine them $1000 a day to pay restitution to all those they scammed.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 5, 2017

I have returned at least 5 or more of these envelopes literally the day after receiving them. The last one I returned said that that they noticed I hadn't ordered anything and wanted to know if I wanted to change my mind and I marked NO and of course they tell you "no purchase is necessary to win" not to mention the envelope said "final step". I received yet another one yesterday saying "final step". This is ridiculous. How they play on people's emotions and time. If it's "no purchase necessary to win" stop harassing me to purchase. I personally don't believe anyone wins. I would like to know who has one that has NEVER ordered anything and what year was it?

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 30, 2017

I wrote you last night letting you know how I feel about your company, but today after talking with a girl in your company, I found I now have a solid different opinion... See today I called to correct a mistake I made on the sweepstakes, that Johny thing for the name instead of mine. I asked the girl a couple of questions and now I don't want to ever enter again... See since I have been doing your sweepstakes, junk I would never want has been getting into my e-mail. I also received calls claiming they work for PCH and that I won. Let me tell you. This is why people are even writing off chances to win. They can't trust anything at all. All kinds of garbage comes with all of you... Like those gay sites, claims to order a free prize associated with PCH and it is all garbage crap... Thing my moral life would never want. If anyone has a problem with me being MORAL and they don't like it too damn bad. I have a right to be moral no matter what.

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 30, 2017

I get every so often a flyer from PCH, and I just can't help but order something from them. I have moved a lot due to family and health. So believe it or not I always start over. I do love how the payments get set up for me. I think the quality is perfect for the price. I also enter in their sweepstakes and I find it to be a blast. I dream of all that money and it lifts me up just knowing what I would with it, if it came to me. Good luck to all of you. I hope it all makes you as happy as it makes me...

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 28, 2017

I purchased 3 items car repair color and a cordless screwdriver, which would not screw anything into warm butter. Rather than being bothered with sending them back, I kept the junk. I sent payment in two increments because I live on my Soc Sec which is barely enough to eat on. For some reason they say they did not receive the second payment. They sent me a letter that the entire amount was in arrears. When I tried to contact them they wanted to add extra charges and also charge me for paying my balance. I talked with customer service (they had no authority). I tried to pay online, and again, they wanted the full original amount plus late fee and payment fee.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 27, 2017

Since I have read all the reviews I know now I'm (not) singled out! Games are awful to play! Either won't load, or so slow you can't play to win! Most of the time they don't work!!! This is awful and I'm so disappointed in PCH I will not play anymore. Now I know there's NO chance of winning! I can't believe after all the games I have played NOT ONE WINNER! I see I'm not the only one. This really needs to be investigated! I see names of winners but NO big to do on TV or advertising on it! I see very few names as winners and most come from N.Y., N.M. A handful MO and Illinois. A lot from Cal. Az.

What's the deal? Half time I get all my tokens, then MOSTLY they're not added up right. I got a Bingo today, and not won!!! What's up with PCH? I think they need to be investigated on the gaming side! And how they pick their winners. Like it's been said, they prey on the poor and low income families, because they want so bad to win. I only see rich people win! Big nice homes and people on vacay! REALLY???

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Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 27, 2017

When PCH says that its customers' satisfaction is their priority, they (unlike many companies I have dealt with) mean it. Yes, I do enter their sweepstakes, but I am not looking for a miracle win. Since you do not have to order from them to enter the drawings, I don't see the downside to their offers. I do order from them when something catches my eye and their prices are competitive. I recently had to contact their customer service regarding an item I had not received along with an item I did receive but had not ordered. With a smile in her voice and no hassle whatsoever, the representative credited my account for the item I had not ordered (she also told me it was not necessary to return it when I offered to send it back!) and told me that she was resending the item that I did not receive. No questions, no hassles, FANTASTIC!

As to all of the people complaining that they never won, PCH must receive millions of entries yearly so what are the odds? And remember, you DO NOT have to order to enter, so why the complaints? I deal with a lot of companies online and PCH gives me the best, let me repeat THE BEST customer service that I have had in a very long time. Just on the strength of their customer-based priority I will continue to order from them (and enter the sweepstakes) but I do not expect, unrealistically, to win just because I have ordered something.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 25, 2017

Been playing for 34 years and still not one dime. I just threw out 20 PCH entries. I'll be saving the 10 dollars (or more) monthly to treat myself to something nice from now on. Over and out PCH. Good luck in your future endeavors as scam artists.

Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 22, 2017

I ordered from PCH for the first time and was promised a $30 free gift. The bowls were so small you couldn't even eat a bowl of cereal out of them. They are useless. The free gift that cost me 6.98 was small gift bags and a few cards that I wouldn't give to anyone. It was a joke, but they looked good in my trashcan. When I called them they were rude and unhelpful. I will never do business with them again and hope this helps saves someone else the aggravation that I had.

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Verified Reviewer
Original review: Sept. 13, 2017

The only thing that PCH is interested in is the players watching those video ads. The latest game, Keno, is set up so that the player has no chance of playing all 5 cards. After the ads, technical issues, and down right stalling, the best a player can do is 4 cards. It is set up to fail from the start. I must have made them mad because as of this date (Sept. 13, 2017) I do not receive any more email from them. It might be the searches I entered like "Final Step for the 10 time" or "Does anyone ever win the grand prize" and the ever popular "VIP status for the 30th time". I guess it will cut down on the amount of spam I get.

Verified Reviewer Verified Buyer
Original review: Sept. 7, 2017

For years, I found it more prudent not to order from Publishers Clearing House, finding it more useful to shop for merchandise personally. But recently, I decided to give it a try. In fact, I've ordered quite a few items from them in the last several weeks. What I found out is, you can only order the amount of items they deem appropriate for you personally, no matter how promptly you pay the bill. In fact, they will suspend your ordering privileges despite a bill being paid in full even before the items are shipped. (The company sends a follow-up billing email that makes a Writ of Habeas Corpus sound more friendly.)

When I called them about this, the "customer service - yeah, right" representative, who sounded as though he had just rolled out of bed, was surprised that my account balance was zero. "Hmm," he said. "That's weird. Well, you should be able to order more stuff." I told him that I would no longer purchase items from Publishers Clearing House and I would recommend that others seriously reconsider ordering from them too. He yawned... audibly. Do yourself a favor and find another vendor. You'll have a better chance of being treated fairly and equitably than through this franchise.

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Publishers Clearing House Company Information

Company Name:
Publishers Clearing House
Website:
www.pch.com