Consumer reviews and reports on scam companies, bad products and services
Bottom Line Books Unwanted,Unordered books Des Moines, Iowa
31st of Dec, 2011 by User475221
I recently received a book from Bottom Line Books, promptly followed by a $42.95 bill, neither of which I requested. I, like many others I see here, made the mistake of ordering A book from them in the past. Some years ago I ordered a book from Bottom Line Books. I received it and promtly paid. Shortly after that another book was automatically sent to me, followed by a bill. I returned the book along with a note requesting they remove me from ANY subscriber list. I did get follow-up billings,but I made no payments. In Dec.2010 I received a book which I promtly "returned to sender". I phoned the Co. and requested they remove me from ANY of their lists. This year Dec. 2011 I get another book. I have returned the book to sender. My objective in writing this comment is twofold. (1) I would like to inform others about my experience with this Co. and their unprofessional buisness practices. (2) Have a record of my course of actions. It is evident by the fact they donot have an email address, where you can contact them and have a record, they don't like paper trails. If you are dealing with these people....Good Luck. Paul T
Comments
2546 days ago by Stupidspambait
So you got another shipment in the mail from Bottom Line Books that you didn't order and don't want.
You have lots of company. This company has been scamming consumers for decades and getting away with it.

You think: Since the book was unsolicited you can just keep it or Return to Sender right? Because, as an educated citizen, you know that billing for unsolicited merchandise is illegal under United States Code Title 39, Part IV, Chapter 30, Section 3009.

Not so fast.

Have you ever done business with Bottom Line publishing? Bought a book from them or a periodical or newspaper? Bottom Line Books practices what is called "Negative Option Marketing." The fact that you have done business with them previously permanently entitles them to send you unsolicited merchandise and bill you for it unless you ask them to stop.

Unethical?

Yep.

Illegal?

Nope. Although the FCC has tried to outlaw this on several occasions, shady businesses pay Congress good money to ensure that this is never enacted into law.

One of the more famous examples of Negative Option marketing is the Columbia House music and video program, or various Book-of-the-Month clubs. To educate yourself, read this:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/negative_option.html

But you sent the book back! How can they still bill you for it?

Can you prove that you sent it back? More importantly, do you have a receipt to prove that they received it?

If you do send the book back, you will need to pay for a delivery with signature receipt. Otherwise, the company will simply claim that it was never returned. The burden of proof falls on you, not them. Unfair but true. Of course, you can knuckle under and just pay the bill to avoid the hassle. Of course, this places you on their mailing victim list into perpetuity.

You asked them to stop! You even wrote to them last year at the address of the processing center that sent you the merchandise! Oh yeah? Prove company headquarters received it! Bottom Line Books shipments are processed out of Des Moines. That is not their headquarters. Pursuing the Des Moines link will not help you. Their actual headquarters is in Stamford CT.

The good news is, you can get them to stop upon request if you take a couple extra steps. Here's how.

Write them a letter demanding that they cease and desist and remove you from any and all subscriber lists. Keep it brief (under one page). Keep it polite, because you are going to be copying several organizations on this letter. You don't want to look like a crank. When in doubt, eliminate all adjectives and adverbs. Make four copies of this letter.

1. Send one to Bottom Line Books. Think that sending it to Des Moines Iowa will be effective? Wrong. That is only a processing center. Their actual headquarters is:

Boardroom, Inc.
281 Tresser Blvd 8th Flr
Stamford CT 06901-3284

Telephone 203-973-6273
Fax: 203-967-3767

2. Important: Make sure that you send a copy to the Better Business Bureau. Since Des Moines is only a processing center, it does no good to complain to the Iowa BBB. You need to contact the Connecticut BBB at the following address:

94 South Turnpike Road
Wallingford, CT 06492
(203) 269-2700
www.connecticut.bbb.org
www.ctbbb.org

3. Send a copy to your state attorney general. No action is happening at the federal level to stop Negative Option marketing, but there has been some progress at the state level. Do your bit for public service.

4. Save a copy for your personal records.

Good Luck!

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