Scientific American Wants Money For No Reason

Reader Maxwell writes in after having been served with a collection notice from a magazine that he’s never subscribed to. Did he piss off a 8th grader, or what?

At first, I thought “Oh SH*T WTF did I do wrong?!” And then I looked at the amount: “$24.97 RE: Scientific American” and I thought “WTF, are they serious?!” I read further. “Dear Maxwell, We all make mistakes.” Ok, great way to piss me off right away.”

Maxwell has never subscribed to the magazine and when he contacted Scientific American they just sent him a canned response asking for his account information. Has this happened to you? It seems the “National Credit Audit Corporation” sends out hundreds of these bogus collection notices. This is most likely a scam. We recommend writing a polite letter to the company refuting the charges, for starters.

The rest of Maxwell’s delightful email, inside.


Maxwell writes:

    “I received an unmarked piece of mail a few days ago. Vaguely excited, I wondered if its plain white exterior held an invitation to a private party, or perhaps a job offer from apple computer, or even an apology from Paypal. My mind wandered and my imagination bubbled as I ascended to my apartment in the beloved, craptastic elevator that is a lot slower than walking but giv es you time to daydream about your unmarked mail.

    *Clunk.* The elevator reached my floor, and I quickly fumbled for my keys and in my eagerness to revel in the sublime warmth that is my 6th floor apartment tripped through my doorway. Coupon packets, credit card statements, oversized coat, and textbook-laden backpack scattered accordingly, leading me to ignore the rug burns and scramble fervently for that precious piece of as yet unopened mail. This had to be special. I removed most of my clothing and sat of the couch. White envelope in hand, I let out a deep, relaxed sigh and slunk deeper into the cushions. I was about to put on some smooth tunes and light a few scented candles but I just had to know what was inside!!! Calmness turned to rabid passion as I tore through the envelope with my teeth, exposing the soft, virgin flesh of the letter inside. Gingerly, I slid the carefully folded sheet out of its prison. With two fingers I gently lifted the top fold to reveal the secret content of this correspondence. In large, bold letters, the word “COLLECTION NOTICE” stared back at me.

    At first, I thought “Oh SH*T WTF did I do wrong?!” And then I looked at the amount: “$24.97 RE: Scientific American” and I thought “WTF, are they serious?!” I read further. “Dear Maxwell, We all make mistakes.” Ok, great way to piss me off right away.

    Not only have I never subscribed to scientific American, but I have never recieved a bill from them and have no record of any transaction related to them, ever. How they can send me a collection notice for a past due payment for something I never bought is beyond me, but now I have to deal with this crap and I’m not happy. I sent scientific American an email and told them about the collection notice and told them to give me some sort of meaningful course of action to pursue within three days or I would contact the better business bureau and post the notice to consumerist. In two days they sent me a canned response asking me for my account details (I don’t have an account with them, how can I have account details?) so I’m going ahead and submitting it.”

Related:
So You’ve Been Served By a Debt Collector