Moving Forward: A Taking Action Investigation

(WHNT) – Helping ex-convicts better their lives. That’s the pledge of a company called Moving Forward Inc. out of Birmingham. They sell magazine subscriptions door to door, allegedly raising money for ex-offenders who need a second chance.

But that company currently has an alert on their record with the Better Business Bureau in Birmingham, not to mention an F rating and 38 complaints. The primary problem is delivery issues. They have a history of collecting payment and never delivering the promised subscriptions.

Now they’ve made their way to the Tennessee Valley, and concerned homeowners in Madison are starting to take notice.

Tom Branson contacted WHNT News 19 after one of the salesmen kept him occupied for more than 45 minutes.

“He was wearing a trucker cap, but he had a button-down shirt and tie,” said Branson. He kept saying “it’s not about the magazines, it’s about you investing in me so that I can get a better start.”

Tom listened to the man’s plea, but didn’t fall for the pitch. Others weren’t so lucky.

Sean and Suzanne May shared a similar tale, only they did buy into the ex-con’s story. They felt the need to help him, and subsequently signed up for three magazines deliveries with two-year subscriptions. They paid $180 in the form of a check, thinking they were bettering the life of man with a crippled past.

“I thought that the gentleman was very polite, nice,” said Suzanne May.

But not long after, the Mays decided to do a little homework on the company, eventually learning their track record with the BBB. They waited about 90 days for their magazines to arrive, finally contacting WHNT News 19 when the realized they’d been duped.

Michele Mason, President of our BBB says having an ex-convict come to your front door is alarming enough.

“We certainly believe in giving people a second chance,” said Mason. “But it is also concerning, when you’re being asked to give account information to someone who may have been convicted of a crime involving financial data.”

WHNT News 19 tried to contact the company in question with no success. Their phone number leads to you to an automated customer service line with a non-working voice mail messaging system.

It’s unclear whether the men peddling the magazines are actual ex-convicts or just scammers preying on people’s emotions. Either way, if this sales pitch comes your way, heed the advice of the BBB and say “no thanks.”



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