Tuesday, March 27, 2012

My Living Scriptures Story

If a nice young man or woman comes to your door to sell you living scriptures DVD's I recommend you do not let them in.  Make them go away and close the door.  Once they are in your door they will stay and push and push until you sign a very expensive and annoying contract that you will regret for a very long time. I'm embarrassed this happened to me, but it did.

One afternoon a young man shows up to my door. He was freshly off his mission and very nice and friendly. I could hardly close my door in his face. I invited him into my home where he was very friendly, ate my food and played with my kids. He commenced doing his best to sell me these DVD's. I kept saying no, but he stayed and stayed until my husband came home from work. My husband said, "why not?" so I signed the papers and we were set up to receive 1 DVD a month and we would make a payment once a month for that DVD.

As time moved on I realized that my kids are not watching these DVD's and I'm getting so many of them that I'm losing space to put them. They are really expensive DVD's! $38.02 for a half hour DVD. I think that's absurd. So I called up their number and attempted to cancel. The Living Scriptures employee informed me that I cannot cancel. I signed a contract and I am liable to pay for their entire set of DVD's, which totals $1800.00. I can't tell you how surprised I was. How can I not cancel? What do they mean I can't cancel? I don't want any more DVD's. I have paid for what I have received and I don't want any more. It's as simple as that. I asked to speak to a supervisor. Their supervisor said the only way I can cancel is if I pay 1/3 of the total amount. If I pay that large sum I get nothing in return. It's the cancellation fee. I refused to pay that and I didn't want to deal with it so I just continued to receive the DVD's and get billed monthly.

Eventually I got sick of it again. I began to google The Living Scriptures and found a large number of unhappy customers. I was so happy to know I'm not alone. Some people suggested going to the Better Business Bureau. So that's what I did. I complained about their unethical business practices. I found that the B.B.B. did nothing but try to mediate a negotiation between me and the company to resolve my complaint. They sent my complaint to The Living Scriptures and we waited for a response from them. The Living Scriptures responded with the same information I got on the phone. They wanted me to pay 1/3 of the amount owed. I refused to pay a dime. I said I was not satisfied with the company's response to my complaint.

They responded to me by saying, "It appears you have not provided us with any new information or a middle ground offer we can present to the company on your behalf. We are unable to re-contact the company without this information. In order to resolve most disputes it takes both parties involved to move from their present position to a middle ground. If you would like our continued assistance in resolving this matter, please provide us with your middle ground and/or suggestions on how this dispute can be resolved."

I was mistaken to think the Bureau was going to somehow regulate their unethical business practices. I do not want to pay them another dime so I called my credit card and asked them to never make a payment to The Living Scriptures again. The Living Scriptures called and asked me for another credit card or form of payment. I told them I do not want any more DVD's and I do not owe them another dime. She told me she will send my account to collections. Today I received a large box full of DVD's. They sent me the rest of the set they want me to pay for. This is why I am writing this blog. I am amazed that they have gotten away with this for so long with so many people and have not been sued. I believe it is because of their customers who are faithful Christians. We are being taken advantage of because of our beliefs.

39 comments:

  1. Thanks for your story Angela. I'm stunned by the operation these guys run. My story is quite similar and, out of sheer frustration, decided to eat the mistake and chalk it up as a lesson learned.

    This is a dishonest and deceptive company. They prey on the good will of the Church and Gospel message and turn it into personal gain. Not sure HOW they do that and go to bed at night comfortable in that fact.

    Further, as a Sales Executive, I'd NEVER hire one of these sales guys! If any applicant came to me with this background I'd immediately dismiss it. Teaching good people to be bad sales reps after what would have hopefully been an honorable mission is just bad alchemy.

    FUTURE LIVING SCRIPTURE SELLERS...BEWARE...YOU MAY MAKE A FEW BUCKS AT THIS, BUT THERE IS NO HONOR OR VALUE IN LEARNING HOW TO SELL THIS WAY. DO IT THE HONEST WAY...YOU'LL FEEL BETTER ABOUT YOURSELF AND BE A BETTER SELLER!

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  2. Thank you for your comment. It's nice to know I'm not alone.

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  3. Had the same experience many years ago. Would NOT recommend dealing with this company. If you want the DVD's, which I think are great for kids, look for them to come up on E-bay. Cheaper and no "life-sentence" contract

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  4. I think it is silly that you blame the company and defame the good and honorable salesmen for your own lack of sense. You knew the price of the DVD's, you chose the sets you signed up for. You signed the contract and you apparently lacked the sense to read what you had signed. Even if you didn't read it until the salesman left, you have 3 business days to cancel the arrangement.
    Give me a break, you think that the company can just magically forgive everyone who doesn't follow through with their commitments because their mormon? They don't wait for you to finish your contract before they pay the sales rep commissions, so why should it be unfair that they ask for a portion of what YOU signed up for to cover their expenses?
    Stop being a whiner and have a little accountability for yourself. No one forced you to sign up, and certainly no one kept you from canceling after the salesman left.
    And Anonymous comment-er, as a living scriptures sales rep, I assure you that I sleep very well at night. I have had customers tell me that the spirit sent me to their door, and countless others tell me how much these products have helped them and their families. I know people who joined the church, were re-activated, learned the scriptures, or went on missions because of our products. So don't get upset because you didn't use them and get as much out of them as you could have.

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    3. any man who shows up at my doorstep, and tries to say that their product brings the spirit, might as well be trying to sell me a weegie board.

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    4. Obviously most of us are able to say "no" but it is wrong to pressure someone into something for your own benefit. And deceive and coerce them into doing something that they really don't want to do. How much do you make for each one you sell?

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    5. It's hilarious that people blame others for signing a contract. It's why divorce is so high, it's why people can't hold jobs, it's really sad. This is a prime example of someone getting into something out of their own free will and then cry when you realize you screwed up. Swallow your pride, accept the fact that you made a mistake, and move on. This is in no way The Living Scriptures fault and it's hilarious that you say it is. Also, don't sit on a high horse because you're a mormon Angela. No one's taking advantage of you because of that, they're taking advantage of you because you're easy to take advantage of.

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  5. HAHA mike thats a bunch of BS I was also lied to, I also asked them to leave 4 different times and they made every possible excuse to not leave i even got the whole my car wont start i need a jump and oh while your doing that lets convince you to buy. I finally ended up signing because they wouldnt shut up and i needed to go get my kids from the sitters (which mad me more mad cause i dropped them off because i needed to get yard work done and they showed up 10 minutes after and didnt leave till i had to pick them up!!!) I was going to cancel after three days but my daughter ended up in ICU for 2 days and i forgot. I called on the fourth day and lo and behold sorry your stuck! WHAT you have got to be kidding me! They didnt care about my daughter being in ICU and i said i could fax them the papers for it for proof. Its all a scam and you know it and its very sad that you can sleep well at night. And the inspiration thing ya that may be true for 30% of the people but the rest of us all signed because we wanted you out of our house or because we were told we could cancel with no obligations.

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    1. I got a set a long time ago, it was in VHS, and just 3 years ago I got another set DVD's this time because I no longer have a VCR. So if I got into this twice, is because I was very satisfied with my experience with the company and the products. I am not going to say that it is the best video quality I've ever seem, but Hollywood quality is not what I was looking for. I agree that the price is a little high, but I was very aware of the price and thought it was worth it, specially comparing it to some horrible video games I would not want my children near it. I agree that being in debt is not a good thing, this is why it's important to make sure you can afford it before signing the contract. I also agree that you don't have to buy a product to feel the spirit, these are cartoons I never thought of them as more than entertainment. I am really sorry for you guys who bought the DVDs either when you could not afford or with the wrong expectations that this would bring the spirit into your home or teach your kids the scriptures, but you cannot blame the company that made the product for your poor decision making. Now I will say that as much as my family did not depend in these DVDs to bring the spirit into our home, it also never pushed the spirit away which is more than I can say for some other entertainment chooses. I have enjoyed these DVDs with my children who are now getting a little too old for them, (however they still get watched a lot since my husband is an illustrator - not for LS and we absolutely love to whatch it) and we also look forward to enjoy them with our grandchildren someday. I wish you all the best of luck.

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    2. I got a set a long time ago, it was in VHS, and just 3 years ago I got another set DVD's this time because I no longer have a VCR. So if I got into this twice, is because I was very satisfied with my experience with the company and the products. I am not going to say that it is the best video quality I've ever seem, but Hollywood quality is not what I was looking for. I agree that the price is a little high, but I was very aware of the price and thought it was worth it, specially comparing it to some horrible video games I would not want my children near it. I agree that being in debt is not a good thing, this is why it's important to make sure you can afford it before signing the contract. I also agree that you don't have to buy a product to feel the spirit, these are cartoons I never thought of them as more than entertainment. I am really sorry for you guys who bought the DVDs either when you could not afford or with the wrong expectations that this would bring the spirit into your home or teach your kids the scriptures, but you cannot blame the company that made the product for your poor decision making. Now I will say that as much as my family did not depend in these DVDs to bring the spirit into our home, it also never pushed the spirit away which is more than I can say for some other entertainment chooses. I have enjoyed these DVDs with my children who are now getting a little too old for them, (however they still get watched a lot since my husband is an illustrator - not for LS and we absolutely love to whatch it) and we also look forward to enjoy them with our grandchildren someday. I wish you all the best of luck.

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  6. Almost everything Mike says backs up the companies business ethics. High pressure sales tactics to sign a shady contract barley legal while giving people the impression you are a good LDS company.

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  7. I have been trying to decide if I want to pay for 1 or 5 a month or get them used, but I'm glad I read this. It would have been a mistake since the DVD's are quite pricey, its already a sacrifice buying them...and if you can no loner afford it or the situation has changed, being forced to buy something can be very stressful. I know these DVD's are wholesome, educational, and invite the spirit and some people say the price is worth it but those are the members with a little more means.Everybody would love to buy the world for their children but not everybody can afford. As far as suites and all the legalities has anybody looked into filling a Class Action? I'm sure some attorney's would love to pick that up...especially with someone people willing to file...just a thought..

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  8. Priestcraft is alive and well!! Thanks Mike for proving that there are sleazy salesmen even in religious materials sales. The company is not magically forgiving anything if the customer has paid for every dvd they've received. They should be willing to magically forgive their own dishonest salesmen by honoring the customers wish to cancel the contract at any time. Or how about this, tell the customer up front that there is no way to get out of the contract once they sign. Shouldn't be that hard to tell the truth when you're selling videos all about the Gospel of Jesus Christ!!

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  9. I just paid $498 to get out of our families life sentence. That was down from the $1000 they originally wanted to break the contract. This company is very dependable....in all the worst ways possible!

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    1. Barbara Saviano (Deary)May 23, 2017 at 7:39 AM

      Living Scriptures should be ashamed of themselves. They get you by offering a free DVD online with no obligation, then when you call they tell you there are strings attached. I thought the set would be nice for FHE...

      The only items I received were bonus material, and when I brought it to their attention they told me "Well, you can stream it online any time you want".... Excuse me, but I am paying for a product, not an online stream. I can stream things for free any time I want via lds.org

      I advised them I was told I could cancel at any time and would like to exercise that right, and was met with "You signed a contract and now you are obligated. You cannot cancel". I then stated they can keep all the money I already paid and I will send all the bonus material back if they just stop charging me, and they refused...

      The DVDs cost almost 4 grand now. They wanted me to pay $1500 to break the contract, when I was initially told I could cancel at any time. I talked them down to $775.

      Don't buy Living Scriptures, they are a dishonest company.

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  10. I am a proud, Honest, hard working sales rep for LSI! I love the company and the good it promotes. If you don't feel the Holy Spirit watching these movies and then you might need ask Heavenly Father for help! Remember your children mirror your actions and mannerisms. So if you watch them and use them, your children will enjoy them as well! If anyone has questions, I would love to respond 1. Face to face or 2. By phone! Blogging and emailing invites anger, strife and contention, all qualities opposite of constructive resolution!

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    1. Reminds of the story of the money changers at the temple. Good luck Living Scriptures we all know how that turned out!

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    2. I would love to talk to you, whats your number? I have tried to get my kids to watch them and I watch them but they just don't like them, They are corny and boring. AND SHORT $40 for a 30 min DVD is a joke. The thing that makes me the most upset is that I was "sold" when I was told they were all remade and more modern. NOPE! They are exactly the same as before, including the awful quality. How are you supposed to cancel in 3 days when it takes longer than that to get the first shipment. That is a bad business practice right there. I sure don't see this company advocating the value of get and stay out of debt. If I don't want anymore DVDs I shouldn't have to buy anymore.

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    3. Thanks Damon,
      You've just provided us with an excellent example of emotional and spiritual blackmail. You say "If you don't feel the Holy Spirit watching these movies and then you might need ask Heavenly Father for help! " This possibly gives us a glimpse into you're own sales tactics.
      There are several reasons a person may not feel the spirit whilst watching these movies, and none of them would suggest that the watcher is spiritually deficient in any way at all. And this is really what you are implying, that they don't feel the spirit whilst watching these movies then the person is spiritually deficient. Really?
      And then you pull out the old sales tactic of 'it'll be good for your children' well no, not if the children get bored with them, and besides there are many ways of spending quality time with your children that can engender a feeling of love and create happy memories that don't involve DVD's, especially highly overpriced and poor quality ones which many children today possibly just won't accept.
      So, there you have it folks. 'Honest Damon' showing his hand in how he may try to get you to part with your cash....using emotional and spiritual blackmail.... c'mon Damon, how honest is that?

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  11. A rep came to my door earlier today and it was the creepiest sales experience I have ever had. I opened the door and he called me by my name and said he had a presentation for me. He picked up his bag and waited for me to invite him in (thank goodness for my screen door). I was weirded out right from the beginning so I said I was not interested, I had sleeping kids, and my husband was not home. He asked if he could come by later but I just said wouldn't be interested whenever he came by so I didn't want to waste his time. He then asked me to direct him to any nearby members who he could see. I told him I was not comfortable doing that and then I closed the door. I'm so glad I stuck to my instincts when I googled and found this page. Thanks for the heads up. I hope others will be saved the hassle with this company in the future because you decided to post this.

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  12. This business structure is just some of these alarm or pest control companies. Why can't the videos be purchased individually or on a site? The videos are not endorsed by the church, don't buy them. There should never be a contract for some children's videos. Have them posted on Netflix or promote a non predatory structure. It's a false spirit if there is any felt to create enmity with the church.

    I can see Satan leading these sales so that when the same situation happens with many of these folks, they are left with a sour taste in their mouth with the church. A multitude of scriptures prophecy of such devious companies. I like what I read what another said about a wolf in sheep's clothing.

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  13. To Mike and Damon, both of you are snicky people. Let me just show how your company is a dishonest and wrong company. First of all, spirituality shouldn't get you into debt sentence. You don't need to pay a outrageous amount of money to feel the spirit at home or to teach your kids how to feel the spirit, or get active again, go to a mission, learn the scriptures, you can do all of these for free. The Church has so many good material that you can get for free online, we have so many good resources to use for free and some of them you buy and pay a fair price for it to use and have it at home . You can teach your kids to feel the spirit with a lesson in Family Home Evening, you can feel the spirit by singing primary hyms or regular hyms with your kids, you can pray and feel the spirit, you can read your scriptures and feel the spirit, you can go to church every Sunday and participate of the sacrament and feel the spirit, you can go to your Sunday classes and Elders Quorum and Relief Society class and feel the spirit, you serve someone and you feel the spirit, and so on...there are numerous ways you can feel the spirit, learn the gospel and teach your kids for free, so don't tell me that by buying your expensive and unnecessary products I will be able to get a strong testimony of God and his plan of salvation. You don't need to spend a tremendous amount of money and get into debt to feel the spirit that is not the way Jesus or Heavenly Father planned for us, they do not charge us money to feel the spirit, they give us the company and whispers of the Holy Spirit for free, so just right there you can see how wrong you and the company you work at are. Our liders for impiration had and are advising us to not to get into debt, and what you are doing by selling and pushing this products to members of the church is going against what they are advising us to do, you are going against God's plan. Now I will tell you to both of you to ask Heavenly Father if you!!! should be working for a company that is going agains his teachings of getting out of debt, I promise you, you will get an answer right away, and maybe you even know it, but you just don't want to accept that what you guys are doing is wrong. Thank goodness my husband and I knew that Heavenly Father didn't want us to get on debt in order to bring the spirit to our home and teach our kids the Gospel, and the guy wouldn't leave my house without us signing a contract, pushing, and pushing, but he got to the wrong family 'cause I am a women with a strong personality and a made him leave, without making us sign our death sentence of debt. I am so upset that they even knew who we were and have my address, that just tells everything about this company which by the way it's not affiliated with the Church. So please don't take advantage of the good will of the Church members, that's not God's way. Remember that.

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  14. Im currently in a contract with them (I didnt even know it was a contract! These people called me over the phone! I thought it was a a full box one mailed item for 40$. They didnt really explain it well to me over the phone! I didnt realize it was that much per dvd!) So I googled trying to figure out how to cancel the subscription, because every company I have ever been with allows that! That's how I came across this blog, Its infuriating that I cant cancel without paying a huge lump sum! Ive already payed for 6 of the DVDs. I feel like that should cover that stupid 1/3 rule. I am really annoyed that I have to continue to pay for these stupid DVD's. I do like the movies well enough, but not the price they charge me for them.

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  15. LS only cares about the money. I worked with a guy that used to be the main sales manager from LS and he was the most dishonest, deceitful, underhanded, lying, "slick" and proud of it salesman I've ever meet. He felt like if he could get one over on you it was his right and duty to do so. The message in the LS DVD's is great but the quality of the movies is almost a joke and at $30 a movie it's a slap in the face, they probably spent $2000 at the most to make one of these. They really need to update them and charge a fair price.

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  16. LS only cares about the money. I worked with a guy that used to be the main sales manager from LS and he was the most dishonest, deceitful, underhanded, lying, "slick" and proud of it salesman I've ever meet. He felt like if he could get one over on you it was his right and duty to do so. The message in the LS DVD's is great but the quality of the movies is almost a joke and at $30 a movie it's a slap in the face, they probably spent $2000 at the most to make one of these. They really need to update them and charge a fair price.

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  17. Same thing we are dealing with, except we did not sign any contract. They said my wife gave a verbal yes on the phone to the contract. They would send us a copy on the phone conversation if we wanted. That to close the account would be $400 or pay off the contract $3000. I guess it is kind of hard to read the fine print from a phone conversation. My wife his home with our one year old and another one the way while I am in Iraq. This has really stressed here out, and we are looking at options including a lawyer. We love the DVD's, but this in not right. Will never buy from anything again from this company!

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  18. I am in the same boat as all of these bad experiences and it is identical! Same "settlement " story , you cannot cancel otherwise and all I received was their "free" gift and nearly fifty empty dvd cases.

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  19. Yes! What a scam. I had no idea I only had a 24 hour cancellation period. When I called three days after I signed up after feeling buyer's remorse for purchasing $1800 worth of 30 minute DVD's, I was told I could pay 1/3 of my remaining balance ($1800) and not receive any product in return. CRAZY. You mean you want me to pay $600 as a cancellation fee?! It's ironic that a company that is selling Christian DVD's is doing its best to rip you off.

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  20. Yes! What a scam. I had no idea I only had a 24 hour cancellation period. When I called three days after I signed up after feeling buyer's remorse for purchasing $1800 worth of 30 minute DVD's, I was told I could pay 1/3 of my remaining balance ($1800) and not receive any product in return. CRAZY. You mean you want me to pay $600 as a cancellation fee?! It's ironic that a company that is selling Christian DVD's is doing its best to rip you off.

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  21. Ugh I wish I had looked. A couple came to my door. We said no so many times and finally ended up signing. I had asked if we could cancel anytime and he said yes. I called today because we can no longer afford it (husband lost his job) and I can't cancel without paying 600+. I was out right lied too. Behavior like this is not how members should act. All for a sale.

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  22. Ugh I wish I had looked. A couple came to my door. We said no so many times and finally ended up signing. I had asked if we could cancel anytime and he said yes. I called today because we can no longer afford it (husband lost his job) and I can't cancel without paying 600+. I was out right lied too. Behavior like this is not how members should act. All for a sale.

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  23. My experience also was by phone. I didn't completely understand what they were actually telling me as far as contract. I received a large box full of empty cases. When they send me a statement each month my balance is actually going up instead of down wit a balance of over $2,000 dollars. I am stuck an as a grandparent on a fixed income it really hurts. Don't know about anyone else but that payment each month is almost as much as tithing!

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  24. You are not alone and we should file a class action lawsuit. They have nothing in writing to bind us to the purchase of further documents (at least we don't since it was a phone sale). To keep asking for proof and they refuse to provide any.

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  25. Actually you have the rite to Cancell. It says so on the first shipment paperwork. In 24 hrs of receiving.
    And that goes for your dvd's as well.
    No I've not cancelled however I'm aware of the frustration.
    Yes they are pushy sales people.
    That's what sales people do no matter the religion.

    Yes there are free areas however they aren't like this.

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  26. Barbara Saviano (Deary)May 23, 2017 at 7:44 AM

    Living Scriptures should be ashamed of themselves. They get you by offering a free DVD online with no obligation, then when you call they tell you there are strings attached. I thought the set would be nice for FHE...

    The only items I received were bonus material, and when I brought it to their attention they told me "Well, you can stream it online any time you want".... Excuse me, but I am paying for a product, not an online stream. I can stream things for free any time I want via lds.org

    I advised them I was told I could cancel at any time and would like to exercise that right, and was met with "You signed a contract and now you are obligated. You cannot cancel". I then stated they can keep all the money I already paid and I will send all the bonus material back if they just stop charging me, and they refused...

    The DVDs cost almost 4 grand now. They wanted me to pay $1500 to break the contract, when I was initially told I could cancel at any time. I talked them down to $775.

    Don't buy Living Scriptures, they are a dishonest company.

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  27. Has anyone tried doing a charge back through their bank? I don't want my DVDs… they are low quality and too expensive.

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  28. I have called and asked for a statement of my account. Was told it would be in my inbox in 15 mins. Its been an hour. This was my 3rd call to them, after being told that they had "revamped" their system and the phone number was one digit off. And the website was "also revamped".
    This is my 2nd call in the last 8 mos to this company. I have now blocked their charges for one year through my bank in hopes that I will at least get my statement of account. I am willing to pay for my stupid mistake of signing up for these...but I am pretty sure that my obligation is over. I have paid off 2 oboes for my kid in less time!

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