Monday, June 22, 2015


When I got a subscription to Prevention and Oprah magazines, I didn't realize the headaches it would cause, down the road.  While I enjoyed the publications at hand... I decided I no longer wanted either one of these magazines, at the end of the year. So, I didn't renew. But… because they had my credit card number, they took it upon themselves to renew for me, automatically. I was upset when I found out what they had done. I tried to cancel the new subscriptions. This was no easy feat, since I had unsuspectingly ordered the magazines from a third party, and not the magazines themselves. Finding the third party contact information was near impossible, since I had no idea who those companies were. And the magazines claimed not to know either. So I was going around in circles until I contacted the bank. They told me they could not undo the charges. They said too much time had lapsed… since the transactions occurred and I had discovered it. So, it appeared I had no recourse and was going to be out the money. I thought... what a racket these magazine folks had going on. They were making money doing something, somewhat underhanded, hoping people don’t notice. But, all hope was not lost, for me. The bank was able to give me the name of the third party who charged the credit card. At this point, I handed the problem off to my husband. I was convinced I’d make no headway if I tried. The information the bank provided, enabled him to contact the third party sellers. Unfortunately, instead of human intervention… this company automated their response, to any and all inquiries. They put my husband through a maze of prerecorded questions and answers… that seemingly did not allow, for a reversal of the renewed subscription. He was stuck in limbo… until he found a tiny crack in their veneer, by pushing this button or that… managing to painstakingly navigate his away around their automated system, until they had no choice, but to issue the refund and cancel the subscription. It took almost 2 hours on the phone to do this. I kid you not. But in the end, mission accomplished, without ever talking to another human being. The moral of this story is this… if an item you purchased, comes up for renewal or an upgrade in the future, that you do not want, BEWARE. You will forget that it does. Giving a company your credit card information... allows them to also use it, a year or two, later… unbeknownst to you. The charge will slip through on your bank statement, unless you are vigilant. Then, you may get stuck in a revolving door, like I did, with no way out. Unless you get lucky and catch them at their own game.


Anonymous said...

This happened to my late parents one time and I had fits trying to reverse the charges. Due to that, I am super cautious about similar situations and credit card charges.

jaz@octoberfarm said...

what a racket!

Snoskred said...

This is one reason I try to get credit cards with shorter-term expiry dates. :) Most of mine are 2 years at most.

Paula said...

So many scams out there. Someone is always trying to give us something free. I try to be so careful but sometime it's hard to watch everything.

jack69 said...

THANKS lady, knowing there is a way is good, because I also got stuck with this RENEWAL, even when you know the party, it AIN'T NO FUN.
I have had the problem with Amazon and MR NORTON. Even thought I still use the resources, I wanted to renew when I WANTED TO.

Glad you all were able to locate and DESTROY! Good post..

betty said...

I learned the hard way not to give credit card numbers out for subscriptions like this, etc., you are right very impossible to undo; takes a lot of time and effort to be diligent to do so. Glad your husband had the patience to do so and stick with it.


Red Rose Alley said...

Taryterre, what a nightmare this must have been for you. A long time ago, I subscribed to something, and they took it upon themselves to renew the subscription. It was a hassle and I had to call, but it finally resolved itself. I don't like to give out numbers on the internet or even the phone, for that matter. Glad your husband was around to help you through all of this.


Mevely317 said...

Thank you for taking time to share your experience! With their declining revenues, it seems both newspapers and magazines are getting more aggressive with their ‘come-on’ tactics.

Unfortunately, I don’t know a lot of people who’ve the time (and patience) to force those rats out of their hidey-hole. Props to your hubby for out-maneuvering them!

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Glad you got the problem solved. Nice to have a husband with so much patience to endure that long drawn out procedure. Too bad there are no humans to talk to on phones any more.

Susan said...

Oh, that's terrible. Why can't people be honest? That really chivers my timbers.

Thanks so much for your visit. Had to chuckle how you had items on your "to do" list for years! Good for you! Susan

Cheryl @ TFD said...

I hate it when I call a company and they put me through all that press one, press two jazz without ever speaking to a human. And then when I do get to speak to a human, most times I can't understand them. Glad you got it all straightened out!

Carol Z said...

I've given up all new magazine subscriptions for this very reason. I got stuck with Oprah for a year after wanting to cancel. I still seem to get enough magazines from organizations I belong to -- AARP etc. -- and if I want an issue of another one I just buy it. Even buying off the news stand it's a lot cheaper.

Pam Kessler said...

Better Home & Gardens did the same thing with me! I just bought the magazine since a kid was selling them to make money for school and next thing you know they had charged me for another year. I just buy most of my magazines at the grocery store now. Less stress and I can preview them before I buy them (you are allowed to do that aren't you).

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