October 22, 2013

Problem: Northridge Publishing Company (Bead Trends Magazine)


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I was a long time reader of Bead Trends Magazine.  It was a publication filled with beautiful handmade jewelry and inspiration.  But now the not so beautiful side to Northridge Publishing Company.  Bead Trends last issue was for July.  I don't know about anyone else, but Northridge Publishing Company did not notify me that the magazine would no longer be published. I used my credit card to set up monthly transactions for the magazine.

Evidence of Bead Trends disappeared from all social media outlets.  So I went to the website and deleted my credit card information.  Charges continued to show up on my statement for August, September, and October.  If a charge shows up for November.......

I contacted Northridge Publishing Company several times via their chat room.  No response.  I sent two emails.  Finally today, I received an email from their customer service. Northridge Publication has a policy of no refunds for subscriptions.  Whoa, hang on a moment.  They said that I could have 3 back issues or a credit to use in their shop.  WTF? I already have the back issues in online form.  

This is theft.  They knowingly stole funds from me.  They failed to notify me, the customer, that the magazine was no longer available.  Therefore, the payments should have stopped.  That did not happen.  I sent them a response to their email that their cure was unacceptable.  They stole money. No telling how long this could have continued, if I didn't check my account statements.  I hope this didn't happen to anyone else.


25 comments:

Tammie Everly said...

Renetha, I had a poor experience too. After having two pieces accepted for publication I thought I should subscribe. I paid for a two year subscription only to find out a couple of weeks later that they were closing down. I NEVER received one issue. I was also offered a subscription to their digital versions but since I don't scrapbook it is worthless to me. I wrote them a NASTY email saying how dishonest it was to accept my $60 knowing they were closing down. Shame on Northridge Publishing :-(

Monique (A Half-Baked Notion) said...

Ladies, this sounds like fraud! Have you contacted your credit card companies about this? If enough customers complain, they could put pressure to bear. The publishing industry certainly doesn't need another black eye!

Nancy said...

I'm glad I found your blog. I just discovered the same thing happened to me. I don't get online often to look at the issues and was astounded that they have billed me for 9 months after the magazine ended. Then there is no way to change or stop your payment information on their site. I also wrote them a scathing email so we'll see if hear back from them. Thinking of going to Ripoffreport.com.

Renetha said...

Nancy, I wrote them a letter and told them that what they did was theft. By not notifying me (or other subscribers) that they were no longer publishing the magazine was dishonest. I also told them that the money wasn't as important as their reputation. I threatened to report them to the Better Business Bureau. Wouldn't you know? I received an email as well as a refund for the full amount due.

Nancy said...

Good! I'm glad they did right by you. I'll use the same argument that they don't want those of us with a lot of blog followers to start spreading the word that they behave less then honorably.

Bobbie said...

Does anyone know what's going on with this company? I've had (and enjoyed) an online subscription for years. My credit card recently expired and I can't find anywhere on the site to update it. I've emailed and called numerous times with no response. The latest issue I have is April of 2014. Any help would be appreciated!

Bobbie said...

Actually got my credit card statement yesterday and they managed to charge it even though I have a new card and number...?? But I still don't have any May issues. This all sounds very fishy to me!

Renetha said...

Now this is only my opinion....I think they are going out of business or have already been bought out by another company. Or they are slowly getting out of the magazine business. Either way, they are not concerned or helpful regarding customer issues. Your best bet is to call them, cancel your subscription, get your money back and buy your issues in the store.

Nancy said...

I went as far as making a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. I wanted my money back as well but they failed to respond to emails or posts on their Facebook page. The phone number on their website is not taking calls. I contacted my credit union to dispute what charges I can as I can only go back 60 days. There is no place on their website to cancel. All in all, a royal PITA.

Bobbie said...

I think that's what really bothers me... there's no place to cancel, when you call, the recording says that 'the person you are calling cannot take your call', and there is no reply to email inquiries. They don't sell paper copies of their magazine anymore. And if your subscription runs out, or your credit card expires, and they have the ability to continue to charge you, what is the recourse??

Renetha said...

Contact your credit card company. Explain to them the situation and dispute the charges already made and insure no more charges are made by Northridge.

Robyn Lynn said...

Today, June 2, 2014, I attempted to call their listed number on the website to cancel my "all-access" subscription. It is no longer in service. Interestingly, I have no way to access my account online to cancel, but you can still place orders. Sounds fishy. I contacted my credit card company & explained the situation. Per Capital One, their directions were as followed: Email them a formal letter notifying them "as of today they have my formal notification that I wish to cancel my subscription & they no longer have my permission to charge ANY credit card in my name as of June 2, 2014." Also, any future unauthorized billings will be "disputed" and reported as FRAUD." My last billing was 5/14/14 ~ they usually bill me on the 14th of each month. I am instructed to watch for the 6/14/14 billing to see if they honor my request. If they bill me again I am to contact my credit card company & file a dispute. Credit card companies have access to contact merchants themselves, and when she tried to call Northridge Pub. while I was on the line she said even her number was disconnected. Sounds like they are going out of business & want to milk every penny out of customers they can. Even their blog has not been updated since March. So sad they have lowered themselves to this level. They had such wonderful magazines. Hope this info helps.

Nancy said...

Thanks, Robyn. I emailed them in April and in May another payment showed up on my debit card. I filled out the paperwork for my credit union to dispute the charges. I attached a letter explaining the situation to them but I don't know how many months they are allowed to go back to reverse the charges. The Better Business Bureau emailed me that they were unable to make contact with Northridge. It is too bad. I enjoyed the magazine but their business practices are disreputable.

Chark said...

Just adding to the pile of complaints--they said they publish a project of mine in June after I mailed it to them months ago. They didn't publish it, return it or give me the payment (a gift certificate to Craft Junction). I won't do business with Craft Junction either, since they are linked. And I'd like my kids' photos back, but I think that ship has sailed, sadly.

I wouldn't stop trying to get the charges reversed as it is outright theft.

Nancy said...

After I received another charge in June, I ended up having to cancel my debit and get a new one issued. I also had to file another dispute with my credit union. They looked at the Terms of Service on the Northridge website and said I should have been able to cancel it there. We all know that's not possible so I had to take some screenshots and mail them to the credit union to prove it. But I did do some digging around and found that the CEO is a guy named Brian Kunz and his email is bkunz@northridgepublishing.com. I intend to send him a message directly. Also interesting is that Brian Kunz has filed for bankruptcy twice. All matters of public record as is his home phone number but I will stop short of using that.

Hannah said...

I'm a former employee of theirs. I was actually the editor of one of the magazines. I was laid off in 2013 because of some greedy, dishonest owners who made some horrible business choices that basically put out magazine out of business. Those of us who worked with the design and editorial put great pride into our work. The magazines were beautiful. The submissions were amazing. Unfortunately, the management was corrupt. I pray that you all can get your money back. I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

Carol Ann Michelle said...

I, too, was unaware that the magazine was not being published. The payments were a gift, and I presumed the payments were stopped when the magazine quit coming to my account. There was no "account" information to check ... everything was blank on their website. Whenever I would contact them, they would be evasive or not answer me at all. I checked the Better Business Bureau website and saw at least 69 complaints against them. This is so sad. I wish there was a way to get the word out to people to not do business with them. Ideas? And, thank you everyone for writing about this! It helps us all.

Julie said...

Hannah, I'm sorry to hear what happened. The magazines were stunning and I wish I could get my hands on some more back copies, but I guess they are all gone. Your work was appreciated and I only hope that you can either start your own magazine or hire on with another. I truly miss this publication!

scrapbklady44 said...

Does anyone know a way to access the digital issues purchased being as their website is totally gone? Thanks!

Kathy said...

I need to get in touch with some one who can help. They are still debiting monies from my account. Last one was on 11-03-2014. Haven't received the publications. HELP!!!!

Renetha said...

Talk to your credit card company. Tell them that the company is no longer in business, but they keep taking money. That is theft. I sent the company a letter to that affect and was lucky enough to be reimbursed. You might want to cancel your card and get a replacement.

Renetha said...

I just found out that Northridge has stopped sending out the paper/card/scrapbook magazines too. You might want to contact the Better Business Bureau for help with getting funds back. I just don't understand how they could develop an app to view the magazines knowing they were going out of business.

Nancy said...

I tried the BBB and they closed the complaint because the company never responded. I had to cancel my debit card and get a new one to stop the billing. I was able to go back 90 days and dispute three of the payments and get those back but I still ended up in the hole.

Karen Alexander said...

I just filed a claim with the Internet Crime Complaint Center regarding Northridge Publishing.

http://www.ic3.gov/complaint/default.aspx

I would humbly suggest that everyone do the same. We have paid for our all-access subscriptions and no longer have access to the merchandise. We should at least have the ability to download these magazines in order to keep them in our respective reference libraries.

Renetha said...

You are absolutely right. I never thought about continued access to issues that I paid for.