BBB Warns of Kenosha-based “MidWest Marketing” Door-to-Door Magazine Sellers

April 18, 2013

The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau is issuing a nationwide alert regarding MidWest Marketing, which sells magazine subscriptions throughout the country, via door-to-door sales crews. It has been reported that the company also uses the name “MidWest Circulation” and the initials “MWM.”

Since approximately mid-March, the company’s phone number (877-605-4777) is disconnected. E-mails sent to the company by the BBB have gone unanswered.

MidWest Marketing, has an “F” report, the BBB’s lowest grade, for its failure to respond to complaints. In addition, the Wisconsin BBB has received nearly 400 inquiries from consumers nationwide in the last twelve months.

In its three year reporting period, the BBB has processed 35 complaints from consumers in nine states; California, Kentucky, Michigan, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, with the most being from Indiana (10). Fifteen complaints have been received, so far, since mid-January.

Complainants report they were solicited by MidWest Marketing, when salespersons knocked on their door, offered magazine subscriptions and requested full payment in advance. Many consumers report that salespersons stated the sales of the magazines would help them to win a trip or contest of some sort. According to complainants, some representatives stated they were with a “local” school. Complainants state that their magazine subscriptions never arrived.

The company’s receipt says, “The salesperson is an independent contractor not an agent or employee of this company. In other words, this person is self-employed.”

The receipt also states, “Prodigy Publications has contracted MidWest Marketing to guarantee the fulfillment of the terms of this agreement.”

No address or phone number is identified for “Prodigy Publications” and Better Business Bureaus have been unable to locate this company.

MidWest Marketing does not have a storefront. The address used by the company, 7528 Pershing Blvd., Suite B, Kenosha is a UPS store with the suite number being a rented box.

“Beware of emotional appeals by someone selling door-to-door”, says Ran Hoth CEO/president of the Wisconsin BBB. “Ask to see information about the contest they claim they’re in or identification from the school they say they’re from. And always check the company out with the BBB before making a purchase, especially when they are requesting that you pay in full, upfront.”

On March 28, 2013, BBB sent a certified email to MidWest Marketing due to a pattern of complaints received by BBB from consumers. In the complaints, consumers allege that magazine subscriptions paid for in full have not been received. According to consumers, they received receipts at the time of order stating subscription fulfillment could take up to 120 days. After 120 days, the majority of complainants reported not receiving any magazines previously ordered and paid for. Other complaints have reported receiving the first 1-2 issues, but then receiving nothing further.

BBB asked the company to provide an explanation as to why consumers are not receiving their subscriptions, a date when consumers can expect a refund for unfulfilled orders, and a copy of the procedure MidWest Marketing will put in place to ensure that these problems do not reoccur. To date, the company has not responded.

Melanie C. of Kentucky says, “Two college aged girls came to my door and said they worked for MidWest Marketing and were trying to win a trip for their speech class. I usually say no to these things, but now that I have two girls in college, I took pity on them. I ordered two magazines and had to write two separate checks to MidWest Marketing and was told my subscriptions would start in about 100 days. Of course, they never came. I did contact each magazine that I subscribed to and they never received anything on my behalf, and of course does not stand behind any type of this kind of dirty business.”

Deborah N. of Indiana says, “A kid came to my door selling magazines in September, 2012. He said he was a student trying to earn money. He talked me into purchasing 2 magazines. I have been trying to contact MidWest Marketing that this sale was from with no answer or reply. I have lost a total of $67 to a bogus kid and a scam company. I would like a refund for the magazines I purchased and never received or would like MidWest Marketing to contact me directly and explain why they took my money and did not send me the items purchased.”

“Beware of emotional appeals by someone selling door-to-door”, says Ran Hoth CEO/president of the Wisconsin BBB. “Ask to see information about the contest they claim they’re in or identification from the school they say they’re from. And always check the company out with the BBB before making a purchase, especially when they are requesting that you pay in full, upfront.”

The BBB offers these tips regarding magazine sales door-to-door:

Be safe. Ask for identification before you open your door. Never invite a solicitor into your home. If you feel threatened or question the person’s identity, report it to local police.
If the salesperson claims he or she is able to win a contest by number of sales, ask to see information on the contest as proof. If the person claims to be a student, ask for school identification.

Never pay with cash. Paying by check or credit card offers you more protection, such as canceling the check through your bank or reporting it as fraud to your credit card company.

Check out the company. Get everything in writing including price, promised delivery date and all conditions. Tell the salesperson you will check it out and get back to them if interested. Ask for a business card and contact information. Check the company’s Business Review at
Be wary of high pressure sales tactics. A trustworthy company should let you take time to think about the purchase and compare prices before buying.

Get transaction details in writing. Be sure you receive a contract or receipt with the company’s contact information on it.
Comparison shop. Check prices of magazine subscriptions directly with the publisher to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
Know your rights. If you buy from a door-to-door salesperson in your home, and the purchase is more than $25, you’re protected under the FTC’s Cooling-Off Rule. The Rule give you three days to cancel your order and receive a full refund.

If you paid for magazines or any product you did not receive in the specified promised time, report it to your local police department and file a complaint with the BBB at

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Suburban News Roundup

E-mail Newsletter

Your link to the biggest stories in the suburbs delivered Thursday mornings.

Enter your e-mail address above and click "Sign Up Now!" to begin receiving your e-mail newsletter
Get the Newsletter!

Login or Register to manage all your newsletter preferences.

Community Watch

» 10-year-old girl dies after freeway crash in Dane County 11/25

» Wauwatosa unveils convenient, affordable water online water bill payment options 11/25

» Wauwatosa East girls basketball team uses big second half to beat Wisconsin Lutheran 11/25

» Plenty of positives in Wauwatosa West girls' basketball loss to Kettle Moraine 11/25

» Wauwatosa East boys basketball team could battle for GMC title 11/25

» Wauwatosa West swimming team has bright future with talented underclassmen on the rise 11/25

» MacGillis, Barkow share Wauwatosa West boys volleyball MVP honors 11/25

» Wauwatosa West boys basketball team looks for improvement 11/25

» Sports Notes: Nov. 26, 2015 11/25

» Wauwatosa East volleyball season has solid season despite just missing another trip to state 11/25

» Wauwatosa Hurricanes return three state qualifiers — Danny Larson, Cal Hartt, Avery Weishoff 11/25

» Milwaukee County Zoo celebrates first birthday of young gorilla 11/24

» Wauwatosa stores set Thanksgiving, Black Friday hours 11/23

» Tosa's city health department earns national accreditation 11/23

» Free screening of 'Most Likely to Succeed' held Dec. 1 11/23

» Wauwatosa stores launch Small Business Saturday event 11/20

» Updated state championship game rankings of area prep football teams and players 11/19

» Wauwatosa dealership taking 'extra precautions' after four vehicles were stolen Updated:  11/19

» Wauwatosa East girls basketball team has plenty of experience returning 11/18

» Wauwatosa East's Potter earns two team cross-country awards 11/18

» Wauwatosa West girls to field experienced basketball team 11/18

» Wauwatosa East's Ripple ends career with impressive showing at state swimming meet 11/18

» Wauwatosa West freshman Julia Larson does well at state swimming championships 11/17

» Wauwatosa West's Alicia Picard, Alyssa Piek, Nicole Mystrow earn top tennis honors 11/17

» Christian Laettner hoops camps at Wauwatosa East successful 11/17

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss



Hidden Tosa


"Hidden Tosa" is a semi-regular feature where reporters Rory Linnane or Rachel Minske explore the closed down and closed off parts of Wauwatosa.


Local Business Directory