Loyal readers know I typically focus on consumer debt related issues but this recent marketing piece sent to my dead mother made my blood boil.
The outside of the marketing piece clearly appears to spoof an official government mailer.
I think it tries very hard to trick recipients into thinking this is critical government mail, maybe from the Internal Revenue Service, that must be opened. It even has a fake stamp on it saying Return Receipt Requested. But then again, this is where this scam mailer really gets going. You see, there was no return receipt requested.
The name of the company is nowhere to be found on the envelope. The envelope says the sender is a HS Payment Processor but there is no company registered to do business in Ohio with that name. A bit of digging uncovered there is a company named Heat Surge, LLC at that address. The BBB says they have to rating and there is an alert out on the company. – Source
Heat Surge, LLC is an active and registered company in Ohio. According to public documents the managers behind the company are Rodney L. Napier and Arthur Middleton Capital Holdings, Inc. – Source
Interestingly, there is a second company at the same address of 8000 Freedom Ave, NW, North Canton, Ohio 44720 that also has a BBB alert out about them. The company is World Reserve Monetary Exchange and oddly has the same person listed as president, Rodney L. Napier. – Source
On this company the BBB gives the company an F rating and warns consumers “The company has been the subject of many ad challenges in the past. These ads appeared in various newspapers across the country. In all cases the company responded to, modified, or discontinued any advertising concerns brought to their attention by the BBB.
May 2012, ads in various newspapers across the country forwarded to the BBB are still similar as previous advertisements. These patterns give the BBB reason for concern, and we feel that although the company has shown cooperation with BBB in the past, the underlying causes of concern have not yet been resolved in their advertising.” – Source
The website for Arthur Middleton Capital Holdings says their companies are Heat Surge, World Reserve Monetary Exchange, Universal Media Syndicate, and Republic Telecom Worldwide.
But it did not stop there. At the same address there are other companies as well that have to do with telecommunications. SeniorMobile, CompTek, and Universal Commerce. – Source
I also found Clear Cast – CompTek on Yelp with a not so glowing review. – Source
Back to the Amish Heater Marketing
Once you fall for (open) the outside envelope you find what I think is an IRS looking letter format. The letter even says it is for “Fiscal Year 2015.”
The letter says “The Paymaster” has made a determine about a rebate available if you purchase another new Amish heater.
Then there is the picture of the lovely Amish looking men standing around and admiring the heater. It gives the perception this is all some horse and buggy quant operation.
Just an observation, why are the Amish looking guys admiring their handiwork while standing in front of a pile of shipping pallets? Did they just arrive from China?
In 2011 my now dead mother did purchase one of these heaters. I happened to inherit it and it seems to work well. I have no problem with the heater itself.
My issue is about the marketing. Why is there such a need to seem to want to spoof and fool people into thinking this is some sort of official government program if the heater is good enough to stand on its own.
And then there is the nagging wonder why the other associated companies seem to have so many complaints or issues associated with them.
I think before people do business with the Amish heater folks they might want to follow my free guides and check the companies out for themselves. Read How to Check Out a Business or Company to Avoid Getting Scammed or Ripped Off.
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