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Old 09-19-2008, 01:07 AM
165 posts, read 666,472 times
Reputation: 84


I was just curious...in the 3 months that I've lived here, twice I have been approached by kids who hang around right outside your door and ask you to subscribe to Mercury News or some newspaper so they get enough points to go to college...

Firstly, is this a scam of some sort or is it for real? The kids tell stories like they graduated from high school with a 3.50+ GPA and stuff.

Secondly, does the Mercury News or whatever paper that is, think asking kids to knock on doors and cold call people is a better way of promoting college degrees as opposed to providing monetary assistance to deserving kids?

Pretty confused after the 2nd time this happened...I wish the best for deserving kids but just want to make sure it's not a racket of some sort.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:12 PM
45 posts, read 250,303 times
Reputation: 33
There have been quite a few stories of late that some of these magazine subscription solicitors are a scam in the sense that you overpay for the subscription and the kids are basically being paid very low wages and their back stories are totally bogus.

Now, there are legitimate magazine drives as many schools in the area do have their students sell subscriptions as a fundraiser for the schools but the students would tell you that it is to fund extracurricular activities at the school.

The points for college thing sounds like a scam to me but you can always call the Mercury News to confirm.
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Old 09-19-2008, 05:48 PM
165 posts, read 666,472 times
Reputation: 84
Thank you. I will call them to check. It's disturbing the see the kids soliciting around and I hope the ones running this program have no malevolent intentions.
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:43 AM
58 posts, read 238,322 times
Reputation: 43
Any legitimate solicitation of a product that is ordered should have a brochure, marketing material, etc with a phone number to call to verify. I will ask for a company name and even the senior company if there is one and then search the web for info. and possible bad rep. before I would buy anything.
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Old 01-12-2009, 09:16 PM
1 posts, read 17,420 times
Reputation: 11
Door to door solicitation in Sunnyvale requires a license. That license must be specific to the individual (it's non-transferable, cannot be issued to the "manager" or whatever) and *must* be on their person. It is also illegal, even *with* a permit, to solicit a house or complex with a "no soliciting" sign displayed. You can call the non-emergency police phone line to report them.
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Old 03-11-2010, 10:17 AM
1 posts, read 16,643 times
Reputation: 13
Unfortunately it is a scam, please see a much larger set of information at: [url=http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/san-jose-mercury-news-c97205.html?sort=datea&page=1]San jose mercury news Complaints - annoying phone calls and repeat billings[/url]
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Old 03-11-2010, 12:06 PM
Location: San Jose, CA
1,318 posts, read 2,932,870 times
Reputation: 754
I had some high school student drop by my apartment when I was living at Stanford. I refused to go along with it since the whole thing seemed fishy, eventually he got an attitude, and asked something like "Don't you want to help me out", and I said something to the extent, "Not if this is the only way", and he got pissed off and left. I don't care who they are, I don't want solicitors in the residential areas on campus.

Well it is a good thing I didn't sign up for it, my roommate who still lives at the same apartment at Stanford supposedly signed up for a subscription for the San Francisco Chronicle, it never came, and then they started sending him bills.
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Old 07-26-2010, 09:30 AM
165 posts, read 666,472 times
Reputation: 84
Interestingly, a few months back, I had another kid knock on my door. I said I didnt want any subscription but for what it is worth I could give him something. Seeing me fish out a 5 dollar bill, the kid's face flushed for a moment, yelled "Oh come on, you guys can do better than that!", grabbed the money from my hand and ran away without even saying thanks.

Mighty nice way of paying for an education, ain't it?
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Old 07-26-2010, 01:28 PM
472 posts, read 1,104,164 times
Reputation: 408
They're staking out your place. They want to see if you are home in the day. They want to get a feel for if you live alone or not. They are looking over your shoulder to see how nice the place is and if it's worth coming back to rob.

Oh, sure, I'll be there are plenty of legit kids trying to earn college money, or points for a trip to DC, or whatever it is... but in general I would be suspicious.

I'm a really nice guy, but the solicitors find me to be a stern-faced a-hole. You'd be wise to do the same.
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Old 07-26-2010, 03:30 PM
Location: Boulder Creek, CA
9,197 posts, read 13,276,525 times
Reputation: 6317
Originally Posted by SickOfCalifornia View Post
They're staking out your place.
I'd have to agree with this. Happened a bunch of times to us, with the last one being an extremely persistent kid who stuck his foot in the door so we couldn't close it, after saying about a dozen times we didn't want a subscription. And got pissed at us for not buying, of course.

Could actually be a home invasion situation in some cases, with older guys using a kid as a ruse to get somebody to open their door.
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