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Unexplained magazine subscriptions.

Teresa

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About 6-8 months ago I started receiving 'Seventeen' magazine. In my name. I'm in my 50's.

I thought my mother-in-law (early 90's) was paying for a subscription because of a magazine drive for a grandchild. I asked her about it. She said she didn't.

I tried to contact Seventeen magazine and thought I had unsubscribed (after trying to get them to tell me who paid for the subscription - which they 'couldn't/wouldn't' do.

Still getting it.

And a few months ago I started receiving 'Cosmopolitan'. Huh? Now I'm getting 'Elle'.

I don't want them. Didn't order them. They have subscription 'end dates' in 2017.

I'm guessing they're trying to prove they have a certain number of subscribers so they can sell ads. But I'm really not a subscriber - and I want out.

Anyone else having this problem?
 

bogey21

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Yeah. I get three, ESPN the magazine, Forbes and Maxim. They all come in a guy's name who has never lived at my address. When I called the magazines they told me the orders came in from a "Consolidator". They gave me the number of the Consolidator. When I called them they told me they would discontinue the magazines but they never have.

George
 

VacationForever

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I get Times, Rachel Ray's and other sorts of useless magazines all in my name which I have never subscribed nor paid for. I assume II is doing it as I have never asked fo my $12 back from II each year. Just toss them in the recyle bin when they come in.
 

Sandy

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Interesting...

I also receive something I never ordered: Parent's Magazine.

I am in my 60s and surely did not order this. I gave a few to a young woman with a child when she was visiting. They still arrive monthly.

What I now do is take them to my local library. The library has a table in the front with recycled magazines. I pick up a few that others have left at times when I am in the library. There are so many young families in my neighborhood, that my Parent's mags get snatched up quickly.

I think this is a good idea because we can all probably recycle these magazines. If your local library does not have this type of recycling table, perhaps suggest it as a community service.

All of this still does not answer the question posed - why do these mags come initially? A mystery to be solved...
 

x3 skier

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I have a variation of this "problem". My late wife subscribed to a number of magazines that I have no interested in. When they send a bill as they expire, I ignore them but the magazines keep on coming. I have sent the bills back marked refused but the magazines still keep coming. I take them to local Senior Centers rather than trash them.;)

Cheers
 

Egret1986

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Yes, I am also a part of this Phenomenon of "free" magazine subscriptions

Coastal Magazine, Time and recently Money Magazine.

No idea why we get them.
 

Mister Sir

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My 19-year old, unmarried daughter started receiving Parents magazine a few months ago. I was... distressed, but she assured me she did not order it and she is not pregnant.
 

Passepartout

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It has been some years now, but we changed our address and had an issue with a bank officer at a branch in a supermarket. We suddenly started getting inappropriate magazines. Cosmo, Men's Health, Parenting, and others at our 'new' address. I was able to get with a customer service rep and got photocopies of the magazine ordering postcards. Someone had just taken them out of magazines on a rack (or picked them up at random off the floor), filled them out with our name/ address and dropped them in the mail. The CS rep said it happens all the time as a nuisance/harassment. I never paid for the 'scripts, and eventually they stopped.

Just write "I did NOT order this magazine!" on the bill and send it back.

Jim
 

JudyS

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I also get tons of magazines that I did not order. Vogue, Midwest Living, Us, All You, and a bunch of others. I throw the magazines away and don't respond to the bills.

It has been some years now, but we changed our address and had an issue with a bank officer at a branch in a supermarket. We suddenly started getting inappropriate magazines. Cosmo, Men's Health, Parenting, and others at our 'new' address. I was able to get with a customer service rep and got photocopies of the magazine ordering postcards. Someone had just taken them out of magazines on a rack (or picked them up at random off the floor), filled them out with our name/ address and dropped them in the mail. The CS rep said it happens all the time as a nuisance/harassment. I never paid for the 'scripts, and eventually they stopped...
I'm not sure I believe the CS rep's story. I think the magazine companies just send out magazines (and bills!) to names/addresses they get off of mailing lists. Changing your address probably got you on some mailing list of "potential young families" or something. How long did it take the CS rep to get you the copies of the ordering postcards? I suspect that when you called, they just went and filled the postcards out themselves.

In my case, the magazines started coming after I received a gift certificate to Macy's and used it to order cosmetics online. I'm sure that put me on some list of "women who will buy overpriced things" and made me very attractive to many magazines.

As it happens, the very first magazine I got was Essence, a beauty magazine aimed at African-American women. Ironically, the only thing I had bought at that point was some expensive foundation makeup -- in shade Ivory! I suspect Essence magazine knew that I bought makeup from Macy's and lived in a neighborhood with a high African-American population, but didn't know what color makeup I had bought.
 

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I get the magazines but have never been billed. I didn't order Maxim nor Esquire. I'm not sure how many years of them it has been nor how many years more it will continue. Sure would be nice to convert to something I might be interested in if this is going to continue until print finally dies off....

I haven't bothered doing anything about them since I am not being billed. Not worth my time to care.
 

stmartinfan

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Magazines survive mostly off their advertising revenue, and to get advertisers, they need to have subscribers..or at least they need show they are distributing enough copies to the demographics that advertisers want to reach. Much of that demographic info is tied to the zip code where you live.

Given the declining circulation for most magazines, they aren't eager to trim their roles even more, so it's easy to see why those magazines you didn't subscribe to keep coming! And they likely hope that you'll someday send in the renewal notice with money.
 

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We get bills from Good Housekeeping and were going on line to cancel. They won't go away. We just ignore them now. We don't get the magazine.

It could be a practical joke. Go to any book store and grab a bunch of those blow-in cards for discounted subscriptions from various magazines. Fill in somebody's name and address and mail them in. You can also make $5 contributions to various charities to annoy your favorite PITA. I know, evil. :p
 

JudyS

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Magazines survive mostly off their advertising revenue, and to get advertisers, they need to have subscribers..or at least they need show they are distributing enough copies to the demographics that advertisers want to reach. Much of that demographic info is tied to the zip code where you live.

Given the declining circulation for most magazines, they aren't eager to trim their roles even more, so it's easy to see why those magazines you didn't subscribe to keep coming! And they likely hope that you'll someday send in the renewal notice with money.
Yes, exactly!
 

Luanne

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I was getting Homes and Gardens (I think) which I never ordered. I'd just recycle them to my gym which has a bin for magazines. Then I started getting reminders to renew my subscription, which I'd tear up and toss. I don't think I've gotten one recently. I guess my "subscription" lapsed. :D
 

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I don't think I have ever seen a bill or reminder for subscriptions, but then I haven't opened up any of the clear plastic wrappers, as they go straight into the recycle bin.
 

isisdave

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DW subscribed to People for years for her office, but since we retired in January we didn't renew it in June when it "expired." Increasingly frantic and desperate appeals to renew came until a few weeks ago, but I think the mag is still coming.

OTOH, the rate we were paying was about 80 cents an issue, I think, which has to be about what it costs to mail it.

Wouldn't it be great if real People (not the magazine) could just refuse to expire?
 

JudyS

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....
What I now do is take them to my local library. The library has a table in the front with recycled magazines. I pick up a few that others have left at times when I am in the library. There are so many young families in my neighborhood, that my Parent's mags get snatched up quickly....
That is a great idea! :)

Unfortunately, I dislike many of the magazines I get, and I truly wouldn't want to inflict them on others. :( (I get a lot of magazines that criticize how famous women dress and set unrealistic standards of beauty, and have pretty much nothing else in them.)
 

MichaelColey

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I have quite a bit of experience with magazines, through my work on one of my web sites (MagazinePriceSearch.com), and I think I can shed some light on these "free" subscriptions.

As stmartinfan said, most magazines make the majority of their money from advertising. As a result, they're willing to pass on very large commissions to consolidators.

When you subscribe to a magazine through a third party (someplace like Amazon or Magazines.com, Publisher's Clearing House, or those school fundraisers), those subscriptions are sent to a consolidator (also known as a clearing house) along with a payment for the subscription (often at a greatly reduced rate over what you paid) that is known in the industry as a remit rate. Depending on how aggressively the publisher is looking for new subscriptions, the remit rates are often 50% of the retail subscription price. Sometimes they are as low as 10%. And usually there are a couple dozen magazines with NEGATIVE remit rates (basically a commission of over 100%). If you're not following along, that means that for those subscriptions, instead of the third party paying the publisher for each subscription they send in, the publisher pays the third party. It's usually not much (a buck or less), but it can add up.

So what some unscrupulous third parties do is when they get a subscriber to one magazine, they'll add a few "negative remit" magazines to the subscription, knowing that they'll get a few bucks.

Here are a couple articles that touch on related problems with negative remit magazines:

http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com/2013/08/why-has-magazine-circulation-declined.html
http://adage.com/article/news/exclusive-time-confronts-shady-circ/101905/
 

werdmann

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I have been experiencing this for years. These companies will even call you up to A) tell you there have been issues delivering magazines recently and they want to confirm you are receiving them or B) tell you that you are already obligated to pay them for the magazines so far and that if you don't cancel now that more will come.

For A, I just tell them to put me on their do not call list and hang up
For B, the company is actually lying to you. This is to bait you to provide your information so they can charge your credit card and lock you into a subscription for years to come. I fell prey to this lie once and I had to dispute the charges with my credit card company as well as send a cancellation letter. Be very careful of this.
 
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dioxide45

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I get Times, Rachel Ray's and other sorts of useless magazines all in my name which I have never subscribed nor paid for. I assume II is doing it as I have never asked fo my $12 back from II each year. Just toss them in the recyle bin when they come in.

II only offers a small selection of magazines, and you have to opt in for them just like asking for your $12 back. So if you haven't selected a magazine from II, I doubt they are behind the magazines. Rachel Ray is not even a magazine offered through II. They only offer Conde Nast magazines; Golf Digest, Glamour, Bon Appetite, Allure, Conde Nast Traveler and perhaps a couple others. If you aren't getting any of those, I don't think II is suspect.

We get a bunch of magazines, most of them through II. Any subscription that we have had lapse has also resulted in the magazines stopping. We recently got a Lonely Planet magazine, but there was a second cover explaining it was a promo issue from being a previous Budget Traveler subscriber.
 
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