Chronicle Report: Magazine Companies Are Out For Blood

by Minority Fortune

magazinecollectionIt’s no secret that advertising revenues are falling for most print media. So, what’s their natural reaction? It’s screwing over their readers of course!

We recently got a story in from one of our readers detailing a slap-in-the-face experience with one magazine company. Not too long ago, we also were harassed for payment for a non-existent agreement for subscriptions with O Magazine and US Weekly. So, it’s clear to us that magazine companies are getting desperate. Anyway, back to the anonymous report:

I thought this would be a good story to share with your audience because I figured if it could happen to me, it could happen to anyone. In July of 2008, I decided to purchase a 4-year subscription with Black Enterprise. Two years went by just fine. Suddenly at the end of last year, Black Enterprise began harassing me about a one-year subscription payment being due. I just knew it must have been a company glitch, so I ignored it. Next thing, I’m getting a letter in the mail from a collections agency asking me for my delinquent payment.

At that point I was pissed. How could they treat me like this? I was starting to doubt myself. As a result, I dug up my old bank statement to confirm I had paid for four years in advance. Then I called up the company and spoke to a rep. When I explained the situation, he confirmed that I did have two years left and that I had paid for my 4-year subscription already. He also confirmed that the company assumed that I’d want to be billed on a recurring basis. For what? I still don’t know. That makes no sense to me at all.

That left a bitter taste in my mouth. Why did this company want more money from me when I had paid already? Why did they send a paid customer’s information over to a collection’s company? Insanity! I almost cancelled my existing subscription. Mistakes do happen. I can understand that, but why would you bill a current account? If it happens again, I’m done.

Anon, thanks for sharing your story! After experiencing this ourselves, we know that magazine companies are capable of such half-hearted attempts of blackmail. The kicker is that we weren’t even subscribers, nor had we ever asked to be such. This is the first we’ve heard of a paid account being charged out of the blue. Congrats, magazine companies, you’ve sunk to a new low.

Have you been a victim?

If you have ever been a victim of subscription harassment, know that you’re not alone. If you find yourself in this situation, know that it can be fixed. Call up the company immediately. Be firm but polite. Explain that you’ve signed no agreements or contracts to tie you up in a subscription. Furthermore, state that you wish to cancel it. If it’s already been sent to collections, call the agency and dispute it stating the same arguments. After that, call the magazine company and tell them where to shove the faux subscription. It’s unfortunate, but you do have to make the effort to get yourself out of their invoice database. So, if you get a notice, act on it immediately.

*Interested in sharing a story? Feel free to submit one via our Contact Form. While you must provide us with a name, you can opt to have the story published anonymously with no problem.

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