I am apoplectic in my rage at HarrisConnect and Boston University

at Boston University for this email:

BOSTON UNIVERSITY Publication Office

Account #: YSRxxxxxxx

March 30, 2007

Dear: Mr Joseph Patrick Mondello

Thank you for your recent order and payment.

Your order is now confirmed.

If you have any questions on your order, please contact the Customer Service Department at 1-800-546-6411.

The following pertains to those who ordered a Directory:
We know your directory will be a great resource in career networking and updating you on the latest happenings
of your friends and acquaintances. After the completion of research, editing, proofing and printing of each individual listing, your
directory will be shipped, and is scheduled to reach you by late October 2007.

If not satisfied, you may return your purchase within 30 days of delivery for a full refund of the product price.



| Qty | Date | Description of Ordered Products | Unit Price | TOTAL |
1 03/27/07 Boston University Alumni Directory
$ 89.99 $ 89.99

30 Day Money Back Guarantee

Shipping & Handling $ 9.95

Sub Total $ 99.94

Taxes: 8.63% NEW YORK SALES TAX $ 8.62

Amount Paid $ 108.56

Total Due —>> $ 0.00 <<—

Please Direct any correspondence or questions to: Customer Service Department P.O. Box 41135, Norfolk VA 23541 Phone: (800) 546-6411 Email: customerservice@harrisconnect.com Fax: (800) 829-4142 Monday through Thursday – 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST Friday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM EST

I at no point expressed any interest in buying this book, and yet I have already paid for it. The email address from whence this comes is not in fact BU but a Harris Connect. Their website says

Harris Connect is the trusted partner of literally thousands of institutions and associations. Founded in 1963 as Bernard C. Harris Publishing Company, Inc., we started out serving the educational community by partnering with institutions to publish their alumni directories. Since then, we have expanded to work with many different types of membership-based associations and companies. Back in the 1990’s, we established an Internet Services Division that provides a broad array of Internet solutions to many organizations. We also formed a Data Services Division to help organizations update and use their data.

Harris Connect is so trusted by Boston University that they have billed me for them, trusting in the knowledge that I could not but want their product.
Fellow BUvians, tell me you’ve been slimed too. They sent me requests for information a few times that I didn’t respond to, then they charged me for their book and sent it to me without asking if I wanted it, and they’ve placed the onus on me to return the book. And they had the gall to charge me New York sales tax.


~ by Joshing on March 30, 2007.

25 Responses to “I am apoplectic in my rage at HarrisConnect and Boston University”

  1. BU never stops trying to suck money out of you. I have to look at some of my mailings from BU and see if any of them are this scam. Luckily I haven’t sent anything back.

  2. It’s not just BU. HarrisConnect runs the same scam with many universities, including my Alma Mater, the United States Naval Academy.

  3. This just happened to us in Kansas with a high school directory. I had to get the number to call them off of a scam website. This is UNBELIEVABLE!!! Why doesn’t the better business bureau come down on them?

  4. The universities and organizations that Harris Connect prints these books for have ALL agreed in writing for Harris Connect to publish the books. Harris agrees to “update” their student information in exchange for relentlessly marketing an overpriced book to you. These directories are usually outdated and very little of the information is updated. The universities and organizations rely on Harris Connect’s “updated” information so that they can also mail out solicitations to “beg” alumni for more and more money. So, get angry at the universities and organizations who secretly agree for Harris Connect to harrass you on their behalf. Harris Connect’s system of rewarding employees for selling directories is also very unfair and “set up”. It’s a fraud. They have a system set up that only allows a select few to make any real commission. They have their calling lists and compensation system down to an exact science. This is set in place so that they can keep as much profit as possible. Don’t buy these directories. If they send you out the information card, it is best to call and be placed on a Do Not Call list. Otherwise your university of organization will keep allowing Harris Connect to call you forever and ever as long as you are an alumni or member. Better yet, write the university and tell them that if they keep allowing your name to be used, you will not give anymore money to your university or organization. The bottom line is that this company is making millions of dollars every month selling overpriced garbage.

  5. I’ve been reading your blog once in a while and decided to reply for the first time, thank you for writing all of this.
    love it!
    קידום אתרים

  6. i rarely reply in blogs, but there is a few that i follow a lot.
    thank you for your postings, love them. קידום אתרים

  7. very interesting, glad i ran into your posting. קידום אתרים

  8. Important!

    Don’t click on the links in arabic that “Josh” posted above. The links will give you a computer virus.

    “Josh” is actually a computer program designed to spread the link with social engineering messages like the ones above.

    My University alumni association has also sold out to harass connect. (Since my post references directly to this article you can tell it’s not an automated posting or social engineering message by the way.)

  9. Thanks for the warning. They keep mailing me cards insisting I phone them with updated info even though I replied to their email telling them to request any information by email not phone. When I finally called asking them to stop mailing me and reply to emails they hung up on me. I won’t be surprised to get their unsolicited $100 publication with wrong info in it.

  10. This just happened to both me and my spouse recently. In fact, not only did my we not want the book, they sent it, the information was incorrect, and also they not only refused to let us return it, but since we never actually paid for it they put a lien on one of our credit! So, our credit rating has been affected by it!!!! What more proof do you want that we never bought the book than we never paid for it!!! Not to mention, they spelled our name wrong!!!!! Harris Connect has the most deceptive business practices and the universities are in bed with them for money! Insane! I am outraged and will not give money to my alma mater any longer if marketing my personal information to private companies only to try to get more money out of me is all they care about!!!

    • Is happening to us right now. Already deducted from our checking account. Called Harris and they said husband called and used his credit card. He has no credit cards just a debit. No way did he call.
      What do we do now?

    • I agree ! What you describe is EXACTLY what happened to me. !

  11. I’ve heard of the company and they have sent me emails and postcards as well. It is not a scam because the information is given to them by the schools and they send out the cards to verify and update it if it is not correct. Your issue is really with your alumni association at your schoo. The only way the information is outdated is if you tell them you are not interested or if you wished to be removed or if they can’t get in contact with them. Like any business they do have to make a profit. You do have the option which I asked to not purchase the book but still be listed. Although they gave me several options I did decline. There is no way for them to send you a book if you do not purchase one so i highly doubt that he was charged without giving a credit card or debit card information. Maybe your husband has one that you don’t know about. Anyway, these people are just doing their jobs, im sure just like you guys do yours. However, the rep was pleasant and even apologized for being sort of pushy but reassured me that they have to ask everyone the same questions. People have to live just like you so if someone is just doing their job to pay their bills don’t get on a blog site and trash them. Decline their services politely and move along. Do your research first before going around saying “its a scam” “report them”. As long as they have been in business, per the website, over 40 years it must not be as bad as you make it to seem. Nothing they are doing is illegal you just don’t want to participate and that is your American right.

    • Really! Not a scam? Well, they sure don’t know what in the hell they are doing. I got two postcards recently close to a 20 year high school reunion, but they were addressed to my wife, who went to high school in another state, and had the wrong name of my high school and class year on them. If anyone is that stupid, then I don’t want anything to do with them.

  12. As someone who used to work for Harris I can tell you they don’t have anyone’s CC on file – so….the only way you could have been charged is if you gave someone your credit info…and if you did that, you obviously knew what you were getting, OR you thought you’d just give your visa number to the 40,000 other BU alum just in case they felt like going shopping.
    Just sayin – don’t charge “scam” when you just regret a purchase – especially when they’ll give you a refund if you’re not happy with the product.

  13. Harris Connect may not be a “scam”, but they certainly do have some questionably aggressive business tactics. The language used in their emails is like none that a reputable business would use. When they called, I expressed an interest in the booklet they were selling, but decided to hold off ordering due to money. The next day I received an invoice from Harris Connect requesting that I settle the debt. I have emailed them asking to cancel the order to no avail. Here is the latest email:

    Do not ignore this request for your overdue payment. Please take care of this outstanding obligation and send your payment today.

    For your convenience, you may access our EZPay online payment system at https://ezpay.harrisconnect.com to pay your bill quickly and securely, 24 hours a day. Save the hassle and postage by paying online now! You may also print this e-mail to submit payment by mail or fax to the address below.

    Harris Connect was honored to work with you and to produce this wonderful publication. We’re confident that you will enjoy your purchase. If not satisfied, you may return your purchase within 30 days of delivery, for a full refund of the product price.

    We look forward to serving you again in the future.

    This has been my experience and those connected with schools using Harris Connect SHOULD be aware of such issues.

  14. watch your bank account i just see my bank is sending money to alumni direst harris and ididnt order nothing or do not know know of them seems they just pick people at random will stop this in am april 17 , 13

  15. Harris is a pain in the ass. They start mailing their cards to some family member, they think nothing if it, and trash them. Then they start calling. So what I end up doing is contacting customer support and get that family member taken off their mailing lists. Some months pass and more postcards to another family member. Wash, rinse, and repeat. As you can see, most people don’t care about these directories. Personally, I think these directories are an abuse magnet, such as being used for junk mail lists. I’ve taken the step to remove my name from the directory entirely.

  16. I’d like to refuse any info to you after reading some of the complaints listed. I do not want your registry, I still have my original yearbook from East Liverpool High School and don’t care to go through the above complaints and wish to be removed from your mailing list. Do not mail or call me again. I am keeping a record of this on this Oct. 2, 2013 at 2:02 PM.

  17. Fuck Harris Connect. The following is an email I just wrote to my UC Berkeley alumni association. I’d love to see them go out of business

    . Let me preface this by saying that I LOVE Cal , and I have made both gifts to the university as well as been an active member of the alumni association since I graduated in 1988. I now find myself embroiled in a battle with Harris Connect and Chase Receivables regarding a directory I never ordered. Harris Connect has no less than 60 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau as well as random rants against their unscrupulous business practices by angry alumni of various universities. In a nutshell , their salespeople are trained to manipulate their targeted audience ( alumni ) into unknowingly and unwittingly committing to buying their very expensive directory , by simply answering their “very friendly” questions. All along they are recording your answers. After the conversation is over and they have gathered their information they instruct you to go online to their website and upload pictures of yourself , your family , your pets etc. Only at the very end of the quite lengthy ‘interview’ are you told the directory will cost $150.00. It was at this point I simply decided I wasn’t interested and did not follow through on submitting any further information. And while I was asked to make a payment ‘on the spot ‘ I chose to defer , and then chose not to order the publication at all. Fast forward 6 or so months later and the directory arrives at my doorstep followed by an invoice. I contacted the company to thank them for the lovely publication and inform them that I never placed an order nor authorized them to send me the book. I offered to send the directory back and they told me they would not accept a return nor revoke their bill. When I did not submit the $150.00 as requested , Harris Connect then forwarded the account to Chase Receivables, a collection agency. Now I have to enter into a dispute with them whereby I need to request a copy of the recording made at the time of the phone call to be ‘analyzed’ by some debt collector. In short it’s a mess. I am writing to you regarding this situation because I am very dismayed that a great , world university like Cal would be partnering with a company so given to scams. I really think it does the university a GREAT disservice to be associated with a company like Harris Connect. SO much so that it makes me think twice about the real motives behind the alliance. The following is just one of many complaints I found online about this company. Please read the comments following the article.
    Orly Grace Frank ’88

  18. Get real people. Harris Connect gathers and publishes your information for fund raising purposes not to help YOU connect with anyone. Yes your college IS in bed with tgem as is my UCBerkeley institution. This is because alumni tired if being hounded for money tend to move and leave no forwarding address for the institution. They jyst want you to confirm so tgey can tout information reliability. Give them some bogus info including your address and get them off your back. I have tried to get removed from all pubs and mailings but they just keep on sending it. Spam them back.

  19. I worked for Harris Connect and they try to coach you on how to sell their books. Their methods are unjust and they want their employees to act like they are your best friends just to get you to purchase a book

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