Normally it’s the other way around, but not this time.
A relative of an inmate claims a Midvale business that offers magazine subscriptions to inmates nationwide isn't living up to its promise.
“We've paid for them and he's been writing me periodically telling me well I haven't gotten my magazines,” says Teri Valdivia.
Her nephew Paul Folis is in a California prison. She claims she bought Folis three magazine subscriptions from American Magazine Service. But Valdivia says he’s only received one magazine since December.
The price of the three subscriptions was about $50 dollars but it appears to be adding up.
"American Magazine Service has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau," says Jane Driggs of Salt Lake’s BBB.
She says that’s the worst grade BBB offers to a business. The BBB has a long record on the Midvale business. Driggs says they’ve received more than 300 complaints against American Magazine. And she says the business targets prison inmates.
“We have worked with them in the past,” says Driggs. “They have continually had a problem with responding in a timely manner and getting the issues resolved quickly.”
The American Magazine Service has no physical address. The business uses a mailbox at a Midvale postal shop to solicit business. Its owner is unknown.
Valdivia isn't getting any callbacks from American Magazine Service. But she wants others to hang up on them.
“If he's ripping off people like this, I wouldn't put it past him to rip you off and take money off your credit card either,” says Valdivia.
The BBB recommends customers contact Utah’s Division of Consumer protection to file a complaint in an effort to get their money back. Their website can be found at www.dcp.utah.gov/complaints
A spokesman for Utah’s Department of Correction says they are unfamiliar with American Magazine Service operating at their prison. But Spokesman Stephen Gehrke says relatives of inmates can buy magazine subscriptions directly from the publisher and have them mailed to the inmate.