Scoville Units Unite

18 Oct

Are Insight Magazine running a scam?

A magazine in Birmingham phoned a friend offering her advertising. Using pressure sales techniques they convinced her to buy advertising space. Part of this was using misleading information – that they distribute in Harrods etc. According to their website they distribute in Asda.

She was not happy. They then called again repeatedly. They managed to catch her on an off day for a variety of reasons and after around 40minutes of harassment she gave in. Almost as soon as she hung up she realised her mistake and tried to back out. They immediately responded that she was out of luck, to contact the Federation of Small Businesses and they would confirm that there was no cool off period for self-employed people trading under a business name.

I was pretty pissed off and advised her to put it down to experience. Mainly at how much their advertising was, mainly based on the expectation of their readership etc. Secondly as she had been quite upset at the number of persistent calls she had been getting from them.

They then kept contacting her. She demanded they stop and they only started contacting for payment. After a load more calls touting for sales they have now started contacting her claiming she hasn’t made the August payment. She has. She told them she has. They told her she would have to prove it to them using copies of her bank statements etc (get to fuck!). They have now started contacting her demanding the July payment. Again not proving they haven’t been paid but demanding she prove she has paid them.

From their deceptive sales techniques to their refusal to stop harassing telephone calls to now claiming that payment haven’t been made I am pretty convinced that Insight Magazine are running some sort of scam.

The reasons for this conclusion are numerous:

Persistent calls using pressure sales techniques
Discrepancies about where they distribute
Preference for giving information verbally rather than by email or letter
Persistent calls after being told to stop doing so.
Claiming payments have not been met
Immediate parroting of laws related to areas genuine companies should rarely encounter.

My advice: if you have been contacted by Insight Magazine for advertising – reject it!

4 Responses to “Are Insight Magazine running a scam?”

  1. 1
    Michelle Says:

    I have just read your blog and thought you might be interested to know that I have had the same problem with Insight Magazine. I have taken advice from consumer direct and am taking legal action against them. They are breaking the supply of goods and services act 1982, and are also missrepresenting at point of sale regarding their distribution. therefore in breech of contract.
    It would be well worth you persuing the matter further. Trading standards have also been in contact with me and are looking into them.
    If you want to get in touch feel free, lets make sure they don’t get away with it anymore!1

    Good luck


  2. 2
    Jessy Jock Says:

    My local trading standards officer pointed out this blog post when I contacted them with regards “Insight magazine LTD”
    I am lucky that my local trading standards were so helpful and provided such good advice regarding this company and their practices, in fact I drew tears in thanking them for their help.
    It is a really bad sick feeling when you realise that you have been a victim of a scam or theft of money or property. In the case of this company its more than just that as the sales technique is so personal and convincing, I cannot understand how the sales director or anyone associated or employed with this company can sleep at night, praying on small businesses, shame on you!.
    Insight magazine seems to pray on small businesses exibiting at up and coming events at the NEC Birmingham. Also by the look of there magazine online they also target other smaller exhibitions in the area also.
    According to their website at the time of writing (which I have forwarded screen shots to trading standards and also my lawer)
    Insight Magazine is available throughout carefully selected distribution points including the Arcadian Centre, Jewellery Quarter, Brindley Place, Mailbox, New Street, Rep Bar, different apartment blocks including Heritage Court, Liberty Place, King Edwards Warf, Millennium. Insight is also available in a selection of Fitness Centres, Golf Clubs & Top Hotels not to mention Birmingham Children’s Hospital, National Express, NEC information points, NEC Train Station and various hotels on the NEC complex. Picking up a lot of extra coverage at the Birmingham Airport Hotels we are backed by the copies throughout Asda, Morrisons, Sainsburys, Tesco and Makro.

    Using Self Select Distribution to hit the supermarkets and Media Matters for all other drops we have been able to generate not only a fantastic readership of over 15,000 on the back of a 5,000 print run but a vast range of particularly successful regular advertisers.

    We specialise in producing local and national features which we know will be of great interest to our now established readership. Only promoting quality companies alongside general editorials.

    Many of the magazines are predominately promoted in our very own points of sale units.

    I called the NEC in Birminham twice today, 1st call I spoke to someone in the office, they said they have definately never heard of this publication before and to date have never distributed it, to add they said that they distribute “inside magazine” and also ” whats on”. The second call I asked to speak to someone at an information point within the NEC, they said the same. Both conversations I have recorded.

    Thats the 1st add, the second add I never did agree too. They sent the confirmation and the proof, I, at that stage I agreed to nothing. They have all their bases covered it seems, the date it had to be approved by was hours before I recieved this, the subsequent hours of my precious time were filled with her relentlessly calling me and my staff to try to get a 3rd add, we had won an award ect. With this I was filled with rage and did not say anything on the phone or otherwise other than phone back later. They are now claiming that it doesnt matter if I confirmed or not its within their terms and conditions that not replying means that you accept. They put an add proof together literally minutes after I hung up the phone, I emailed back with not accepted, not aproved not confirmed ect. They emailed me back telling me as per what you have said above to ask the FBS, Ask the flipping FBS? ok so are they gonna tell me that you are in the right and me in the wrong I flipping think not! Also they told me that if I did not aggree that they would print 2 pages blank in the “magazine”… hmm
    I at one stage after the first add that I stupidly aggreed to, they took the payment for the second… I had no clue that they had taken the payment for this its outrageous. I am disputing this with my credit card company at present.
    The random threats of we will take this further, I am actually quite prepaired and would welcome them to take me to court, If I do not take action first that is. I hope that they like haggis? as I am told by TS that the case would have to take place here in Scotland and by Scottish law.

  3. 3
    Alan G Says:

    Hi Jessy, so sorry to hear that you got stung by them as well :(.

    Glad your Trading Standards were so helpful and that they pointed you here to confirm your suspicions means they must have heard of them before. The sheer number of hits this post gets on my wee blog is both amazing and scary.

    Good luck with your dispute. if enough people dispute charges against a company their credit rating with the clearing bank gets hammered, and they very quickly find it very difficult to operate.

    For anyone else who hears of a story that seems too good to be true, search for “ scam”. If loads of hits and stories come up then beware! If none come up it could still mean they have only just started using that name so still search around for similar deals to see if it is known to be dodgy.

  4. 4
    Hard Sell or Bullying? | Sakura Jewellery Says:

    […] Further Reading: […]

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