Buckmasters is one of the oldest and most well known organizations in whitetail hunting. They were founded by Jackie Bushman back in 1986 and have been a respected name in the hunting community. Now the State of Alabama is suing the company for violating the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices.
According to Outdoor Life, the suit alleges that Buckmasters and its various business units signed consumers up for memberships without their (consent?) and then proceeded to engage in illegal collection efforts when those consumers refused to pay for a service they had not requested.
In the filed documents, Alabama Attorney General Steven T. Marshall alleges that Buckmasters telemarketers would call consumers to solicit for memberships. When consumers would decline or request additional information, membership packages would be sent—along with an invoice. When those invoices were not paid, according to the court filings, Buckmasters attempted to collect on those bills:
“Buckmasters has also engaged in aggressive—and illegal—collection efforts against consumers who have not authorized the purchase of a membership. When consumers have failed to remit payment for purchases (including purchases they did not authorize), Buckmasters’s practice has been to send a second bill. And another. And another. In total, Buckmasters’s practice has been to send five bills to a customer seeking payment for a membership, even when the customer did not buy it. And the language in those bills becomes progressively more aggressive. In the fourth bill Buckmasters sends to the consumer, which comes from either “Subscriber Collections” or “Member Collections,” Buckmasters informs the consumer that his or her account is “delinquent.” Buckmasters then states that its goal is to clear the consumer’s record, restore the consumer’s account to a positive status, and continue processing the order. Buckmasters then tells the consumer that, once he or she pays, Buckmasters will cease future collection efforts.”
In a statement to Outdoor Life, Buckmasters said it has cooperated with the Attorney General’s office and made changes in its telemarketing division.
“The entire staff at Buckmasters, Inc. is grateful to the Office of the Attorney General of Alabama for helping us correct this situation," founder Jackie Bushman said. "We are a proud 30-year- old organization that works hard daily to promote a positive image for thousands of members, deer hunters and other outdoor enthusiasts, sports writers, conservationists and families nationwide.”
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out. As we hear more we will keep you posted.
To see the complete story from Outdoor Life CLICK HERE
To see the court filing CLICK HERE