Monday, June 7, 2010

Reader's Digest scam

TO all whom is concern or being victimize in Readers Digest scam,

      Firstly ,I like to thank God for helping us to found Jeng Hwan ( A local medical student's page ) for his time for putting up blog on above-mentioned issue. At the bottom of this page I have a link to his blog on his own write up about the similar experiences. Hence an righteous act must be taken by exposing the dirty trick and scam for this "Well Know" company called READER'S DIGEST magazine (RD). 
      My husband's family has been subscribing to this magazine for 5 -7 years back according to the Reader's Digest record ( my husband has lost count on it because his father also like to read the magazine while he was alive back in 1980's.) We both agreed that the standard contain and stories published has drop much compare to those older copies. Hence, he has stop some years for subscribing until last year 2009, we decided to resubscribe for another 12 months since the offer which they send to our home was quite attractive.
      Every year, Reader's Digest still sending those contest form despite whether we are existing or non-existing customers (Sometime, i was thinking whether this company is running a free cost printing company) Most of time, he just ignore it and treated them as "Junk mails". But last year, he has share the thought with me,  since we don't have any car yet and the contest form which RD form seem easy and interesting. So I allow him to subscribe by charging my credit card. And since then we experience the same problems where Jeng Hwan is encountering. Except this time, we has coming their "Target" of victim.
      There were time, my husband just got tired of answer their "junk mails" and asking my helps
,and I rushed to post the reply in order to meet the 7 days required timing. until end of last year, My husband told me not to reply any of their, they are just playing tricks. During Christmas, the mails has increase, many promotion brochures about gifts,books, jewelery etc to sends during Christmas season. I was almost tempted to order some items but later discuss with my husband, we decided to wait until the contest is over then only decide because if we was claim to be 99% in the part of winning we will have much $$ to spend by then.  
      We ignored all the promotion mails from RD. Until last DECEMBER, as usual I was replying the contest form claiming we will be winning  some RM100,000 to RM750,000 cash award etc and they always come in bulk mails. To rush the 7 days timing, I have used one of their reply envelop which required no stamp (Post office is very far from my home, so I taught RD has provides such a good service)I quickly send my reply and I also notice that at the back of the envelop has some blanks to fill ( e.g. my credit card numbers, no. of promotion items to tick etc.) Since we did not order any other things, I decide to leave all blank and send back the reply mail through this envelop.
     On Jan 2010, I saw a Speed Post service(Pos laju) Malaysia's van stopped at our gate and the postman requested my husband to sign his signature before good delivered. We were excited because we thought we might have won the prize or it must be something good related to the contest.
      But.... WHEN WE opened the parcel, we realized it was a book named "The watchman series" and a small porcelain gift which we used to hold the chili or tomato sauce. I told my husband we did not order any book from RD, soon later a letter of "undue payment" send to us asking us to settle the purchases but in the 1st place we did not order anything from RD. So we called us RD and spoke to the customer service in the RD call center. They told us to mail or return back the parcel. WE GOT VERY ANGRY AND CONFUSE ABOUT THIS MISTAKE WHICH RD HAS DONE ON US. I don't really want any hindrance to prevent us to be the winner of the GREAT PRIZE. Therefore I explain honestly to the lady on the phone that as the post office is far away from our home is difficult to go without any transport. She seem like very understanding and told us to keep the goods. I also requested that whether RD can send again a courier service to take back the good, but I was told RD do not handle this matter and I was told all the courier shall be bare by us. This is getting ridiculous.
      After praying and discussion with one another. One of my husband good took his off day and decide to help us by bring us to the RD HQ to return the goods, He is truly helpful by warning us to prepare a letter of acknowledgment to sign by the RD staff upon receive back the goods.
       We went to the address state in the letter but the RD HQ shifted from Shah Alam to Subang Jaya near the airport (The new building was BIG named after " Symphony House " located some kind of new business center but quite remote, not easy to find) According the staffs of RD, they have newly relocated and I can see the receptionist area still under some kind of construction works. We wait for 15 - 30 minutes only a young man of year 20 came from upstairs to serve us. WE TOLD HIM WE ARE THERE TO RETURN A GOOD THAT WE NEVER PURCHASED AND ASK HIM TO SIGN OUR  "LETTER OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT ". THIS YOUNG MAN ASKED US TO WAIT AS HE WENT BACK TO GET US A RECEIPT OF ACKNOWLEDGE WITH LOGO OF READER'S DIGEST (M) SDN BHD.
       Happily, we went back that evening. But RD's harassment on us for overdue payment just begin to start. Every month since Jan 2010, they have been sending letter to ask us to settle the amount. I have called many time to the center to explain and all the time the customer service who answer our call will tell us that the issue being handle. but the next following month, we will still receive the same "undue payment " letter from RD account department. And when I request to speak to their manager one time, they told us that person is not available, not in Malaysia but located in Singapore etc of excuses. This months is the 5th months we have receive the overdue letter. Just like Jeng Hwan said ,the winners never announce but the unlawful charge keep coming. And my husband search the google and found many victims of RD posted their complaint and stories on the internet and we finally found this website too. WE decide to take action by report this scam to the Government under "PEJABAT PERDAGANGAN DALAM NEGERI"  currently an officer name En. Abdul Razak was assign to help investigating this case. And I hope more evident and true stories from RD victims can voice out to help together we fight for the righteousness and protection over our right as a consumers. If this issue still unsolved we has also consider loge a complaint to Penang Consumer Affair or Hot line in various local newspapers like Malay mails, The Star and Chinese press etc. This is my contact email address and we welcome for any write up so I could forward them all to the government department of investigation under the commercial affair, thank you.

      Attached is a link to Jeng Hwan (a medical student's page) on the same complaint :                 




Truly ,
Cassandra Lai


  1. I have a letter same as you. Seriously overdue amount. What am i going to do.Pay them?

  2. No, you don't pay anything if you did not buy any things from them why should you ?
    My suggestion for you is bring this matter(complaint)to your ministry of Complaint which handle public complaint and set a copy to the consumer affair of your country. Let this things be known so that public can be warn about this.

    God bless you,

  3. Thank God I found JengHwan and your blog before I do anything. Today I received a letter/notice stating that I'm invited to claim the opportunity to win RM200,000 so called Grand Prize, and they said to send me a financial instructions on how to claim my prize cheque. The minute my brother gave the letter to me, I already guess that it was a scam. Then I searched on the Net to make sure that I was right.

    I thought..yeah right, no one in this world would give people money for if I would fall for that..and I'm also not a RD subscriber hehe..but yeah that letter/notice seems convincing though with all the decorations..

  4. Ms Cassandra
    me too facing the same problem, reader digest kept sending books which my late dad didn't order, in fact, he had unsubscribed last year. and sent back to HQ those books. recently, I got the overdue payment letter. shall I just ignore this?
    I just worry they send someone 2 my house n harshly asking my mom 4 da payment, since I'm at my campus.

  5. Lads & Gents

    I was ignoring all the letters of undue credit. Due to my ignorance and tempted with the contest, i subscribe for 1 year subscription.

    One day they sent me a condensed book with porcelain gift, not once but twice. I didn't order it so just keep it dusting. But then few reminders for the undue payments which i just throw away.

    Then, once my subscription finish, i still getting a copy of RD every month, even with some pearl gift. Again, i ignore it until letter of undue payments on my door.

    Me as being me, i keep ignoring since i believe i will not pay cents for something that i did not order. Today i received a call from RD asking for payments.

    I ask them to call me again next week. One thing that the guy said over the phone is, until i cancel my subscription they will keep sending me a copy. Truth to be told, i ask him legally for any business, if you do not have my PO, it is not binding document.

    What else that i need to tell him? i do not want to be inconsiderate because i know this guy knows nothing, he just doing his job.

    Any advise? anything, hope we can discuss over the mail since i did not know how to received notification if this write up has any comments.

    Thanks, tgpaan[at]gmail[dot]com