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Old 07-23-2007, 07:41 PM   #1
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Magazine subscription shell game

Has anyone else noticed how shady the magazine subscription business has gotten?

Once upon a time you could tell when you subscription ran out by looking at your bill or mailing label, but now these notices are missing. Not only that but, today I get a bill in the mail for Readers Digest for $46 (two subscriptions @ $22.98 each) with a note from the billing manager that we "may have overlooked" sending in our payment. Bottom line is we didn't owe them anything.

In December 2005, Readers Digest offered us a one year subscription plus free one year subscription for another recipient to be used as a gift. We accepted and paid the typical yearly fee.

In January 2007, Readers Digest told us it was time to renew but we would have to pay for our gift subscription to continue being sent to our recipient (a local hospital, which I hope they put in their waiting room or gave to patients). We opted out of the gift sub, but paid for our yearly subscription for a new renewal date of April 2008.

Today, the bill for $46 arrived. I called and straightened it out and was told that my subscription truly expires April 2008 and I currently owe nothing, but I have to wonder how many people just pay these bills as they come in.

Anyone else noticed how shady this magazine renewal business is getting?

Scott
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:54 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Moonshot
Has anyone else noticed how shady the magazine subscription business has gotten?

Once upon a time you could tell when you subscription ran out by looking at your bill or mailing label, but now these notices are missing. Not only that but, today I get a bill in the mail for Readers Digest for $46 (two subscriptions @ $22.98 each) with a note from the billing manager that we "may have overlooked" sending in our payment. Bottom line is we didn't owe them anything.

In December 2005, Readers Digest offered us a one year subscription plus free one year subscription for another recipient to be used as a gift. We accepted and paid the typical yearly fee.

In January 2007, Readers Digest told us it was time to renew but we would have to pay for our gift subscription to continue being sent to our recipient (a local hospital, which I hope they put in their waiting room or gave to patients). We opted out of the gift sub, but paid for our yearly subscription for a new renewal date of April 2008.

Today, the bill for $46 arrived. I called and straightened it out and was told that my subscription truly expires April 2008 and I currently owe nothing, but I have to wonder how many people just pay these bills as they come in.

Anyone else noticed how shady this magazine renewal business is getting?

Scott
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Old 07-23-2007, 07:55 PM   #3
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Yep and the other scam that is running is various "clearing houses" billing for magazines that they are not authorized to be doing it for. We lost about $20 because my wife paid a bill for one of my favorite magazines. Turns out it was a scam. I contacted the magazine, they had been just made aware of it. I was willing to send them money to keep the subscription current, but they were gracious enough to extend my subscription for another year for free.

Aaron
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Old 07-23-2007, 08:29 PM   #4
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Trailer Life and Motorhome (put out by the same publisher) has a similar scam with a non-authorized "clearing house" collecting false payments since December 2006. They said they could not take responsibility for us being scammed and would not credit our account. I guess I can not blame them. They have published a warning twice in their magazines to beware of the scam.
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Old 07-23-2007, 09:05 PM   #5
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Try buying your magazine subscriptions on Ebay. If you're careful and look at a seller's feedback rating, in detail, as well as the type of items he has been selling in the past, you can often get your magazine subscriptions at a fraction of the normal cost.

For example, one seller is offering a year's subscription of Reader's Digest on Ebay now at about $8.00 (which includes a shipping cost) while another is offering it for 3 years at about $8.00 (this seller's feedback is less than stellar, but might be worth a gamble).

I get all my magazines that way, and just throw the renewal notices in the garbage.

John
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