Local Garage alerts BBB to Possible Scam
The Better Business Bureau is warning businesses to beware of Century Direct Publishing and their advertising offers.
The racing season is approaching and many local businesses have seen the benefit of advertising in the Peoria Speedway’s annual publication. This is why when Heiser’s Garage and Auto Body of Peoria did not question what they believed to be a renewal of their quarter page ad for the 2012 Speedway book. “We have advertised in the Peoria Speedway publication for years”, said Barbara Heiser. “They have used several different publication companies throughout the years, and when this year the company had a new name, I just figured they hired someone new.” Heiser’s Garage was sold the same size ad, for the same price they paid in 2011 and was told to mail the check to Century Direct Publishing, 9 North 20th St Pekin, Il attention Sean Williams. The first two payments were cashed at a local bank in Peoria. The third payment was returned to the garage by the post office, with no forwarding address.
BBB received their complaint and started investigating. BBB confirmed the Pekin address is a residential address. Century Direct Publishing has an office located at 414 Hamilton Blvd in Peoria, leased in the name of Mathew McKinney. Other tenants of the Hamilton Blvd building state that the office appears to be vacant and the building manager confirmed that it is unfurnished and only a copy machine and a stack of unopened mail occupy the suite.
BBB contacted the Peoria Speedway about Century Direct Publishing. Mr. Curt Mottaz of the Speedway responded “Century Direct Publishing has not been approved for any advertising linked to the Speedway in any way for the 2012 season. I have never heard of this company and I believe they may be a scam."
Mathew McKinney is also listed in BBB files as an owner of TGAC Productions, an F rated company. TGAC Productions customer complaint history is comparable to Century Direct Publication. One TGAC complaint alleges they were sold an ad for $300 in a publication. They never saw their ad proof, publication, or $300.00 again.
Century Direct Publishing’s website claims the company closed its doors in January. However, they are instructing businesses, whose money they took, to contact their credit card companies in an attempt to receive a refund.
The BBB is continuing to develop more information on this company. If you have been contacted by this company or sent money to them for advertising, please contact Jessica at firstname.lastname@example.org and contact the Peoria Police Department at (309) 673-4521.