Randomly Receiving Magazines I Didn't Subscribe To - Should I Be Worried About This?

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Posted 12/8/2011 by myshelly in NSBR Board

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 471,001
June 2010
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Posted: 12/8/2011 4:56:59 PM
Within the last month I have started receiving copies of US Weekly, Parenting Magazine, and Time, addressed to me, in my mailbox.

I did not sign up for a subscription for any of these magazines. I did not sign up for a trial of any of these magazines. I have not received or paid a bill for any of these magazines.

It's weird and I can't think of an explanation.

What's even weirder is that I *used* to subscribe to all 3...but it was years ago. It has been about 3 years since I subbed to US or Parenting and about 5 years since I subbed to Time.

When the first one came (US) I thought maybe it could be a gift subs, but I can't think of anyone who would send me all 3 and I haven't received anything to indicate they are gifts.

I don't know...I just don't want to pay for them!

Mommy Peas-alot

PeaNut 100,930
August 2003
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Posted: 12/8/2011 4:59:45 PM
I have been receiving the parents one and have never subscribed to it

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PeaNut 175,521
November 2004
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Posted: 12/8/2011 5:00:39 PM
Sometimes when I get magazine renewal slips there are offers to sign up a friend for a sub for a year for free. I think they do this so they can report higher circulation numbers to advertisers. Maybe someone renewed and signed you up and forgot to tell you?


PeaNut 200,789
April 2005
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Posted: 12/8/2011 5:00:47 PM
I'd like to see the responses because I'm in the same boat -- so weird!! I definitely don't want to pay for them! I'm getting US Weekly and I've never ever had a subscription and I didn't ever sign up for one. If someone wants to send them to me for free, fine, but I'm not paying for them.


Doxie Pea Mom

PeaNut 52,841
October 2002
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Posted: 12/8/2011 5:15:45 PM
I have had this happen before too. Not sure where they came from but I never ordered the magazine nor did I pay for them. I remember getting one that I had never received and had no desire to receive. It was close to running out and then I noticed the date had been extended a year or two so it kept coming. They eventually stopped on their own. It took a few years though.

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PeaNut 175,521
November 2004
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Posted: 12/8/2011 5:16:59 PM
Were you subscribed to a magazine that closed down? Sometimes they'll substitute until the end of your subscription.


PeaNut 409,118
January 2009
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Posted: 12/8/2011 5:20:08 PM

Sometimes when I get magazine renewal slips there are offers to sign up a friend for a sub for a year for free. I think they do this so they can report higher circulation numbers to advertisers. Maybe someone renewed and signed you up and forgot to tell you?

I've done that for a friend, but when they got it, it said I sent it to them.

Peaing From Podunk

PeaNut 45,443
August 2002
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Posted: 12/8/2011 5:24:08 PM
Not if you have a DD like mine. She sends me magazine subscriptions all the time so I never know what I'm going to get. Kind of Forest Gump and chocolates


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terri k

PeaNut 411,419
February 2009
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Posted: 12/8/2011 5:52:51 PM
I have gotten "trial" subscriptions before. They just start coming without any prior warning. My most recent was Home & Garden. On the address label it did say when the sub would run out. I did enjoy receiving that one, almost got me to sub. I wouldn't worry about it.

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PeaNut 272,954
August 2006
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Posted: 12/8/2011 6:01:52 PM
I had that happen. I called them to find out why they were sending them to me. I can't remember if it was a free subscription tied to something I had purchased, or if it was a promotional thing, hoping I would subscribe when the free issues stopped. However, it kind of seems like it was a freebie with my membership to something, and they were going to charge my CC when the freebies ran out. Whatever it was, I told them I wasn't interested, and I didn't want them to kill trees or charge my CC since I was just recycling their magazines and not reading them. They stopped them at my request.

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PeaNut 23,719
October 2001
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Posted: 12/8/2011 6:42:51 PM
I get Family Circle and Working Woman and I've never subscribed to them. I find it odd too.


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PeaNut 11,958
March 2001
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Posted: 12/8/2011 6:45:21 PM
I think it is a recent marketing ploy! If they send it to you and you love it, you may renew it when it comes time.

Pea, Glorious Pea

PeaNut 43,536
July 2002
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Posted: 12/8/2011 6:48:44 PM
At least you like the magazines you are getting. We have been receiving Field and Stream and Maxim! LOL I KNOW that NO ONE we know would send us a free sub of those, so I have NO idea where they came from.

mama nay

PeaNut 191,474
February 2005
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Posted: 12/8/2011 6:51:08 PM
If you are one of my "friends" I sent you a year subscription to Taste of Home because I found a really good deal on it for 1.99 for year - 8 issues. That made it in my mind cheaper than sending you a xmas card, Especially since I would have had to buy the cards, fill them out and then mail them.

This is the first time I've done this so I'll have to wait and see how the friends who get them like the idea. But then I don't "do" xmas cards to a lot of people. I just got tired of the whole process and stopped for the most part. This year I just sort of felt like it.

~~Mama Nay~~


PeaNut 203,642
May 2005
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Posted: 12/8/2011 6:54:49 PM
Do be careful! I had a friend who started receiving those after someone stole her identity and signed up for a credit card in her name. This person signed up for a store card at some "outdoorsy" place like Gander Mountain or Cabela's, and they were offering a series of "free" trial subscriptions when you opened the account. This person got the instant store credit, racked up a pretty big bill, and walked away never to use the card again.

My friend didn't even know about the identity theft--she had thrown out statements and even the credit card as "junk mail" without even opening it b/c she didn't have any reason to think that she would be getting either! Then the "hunting and fishing" magazines started showing up, and when she contacted customer service they were able to figure out where they had come from. What a mess!

Ancient Ancestor of Pea

PeaNut 11,062
February 2001
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Posted: 12/8/2011 7:13:16 PM
Oprah and Rosie did that to us for awhile (to report higher circulation we guess) and we were hot!

I did NOT want the magazines, and I think that is quite terrible to send them out just so advertisers will think there are more readers...

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PeaNut 33,785
March 2002
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Posted: 12/8/2011 8:18:09 PM
DH has been getting Rolling Stone for almost a year now & we have no idea how that got started. Sad to say sometimes we don't even read it before it hits the recycle bin.

Sara B

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PeaNut 244,947
January 2006
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Posted: 12/8/2011 8:41:11 PM
We recently received Family Circle at our house, along with a mailing that said "Thank you for your recent payment" - addressed to Jack (our dog who died 3 years prior). I can't figure that one out!?!?!



PeaNut 78,162
March 2003
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Posted: 12/8/2011 9:29:39 PM
I have been receiving Prevention Magazine for over a year - used to subscribe to it a few years ago. I thought maybe one of my kids gave me a subscription but they all said no - I have never gotten a bill for it.
Then a few months ago I started getting Parents magazine - my kids are all grown and gone so really did not want this one I called the # under subscriptions and asked about it. It was from some company - I want to say Western something that sends out complimentary magazine subscriptions. I did ask that they quit sending it to me and they were very nice and said I might get one more issue - which I did. No bill nothing...


PeaNut 253,768
March 2006
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Posted: 12/8/2011 9:47:17 PM
I think they are linked to advertising $$. I'm not sure magazines are doing well since you can just go on the internet or get an e-zine. It's probably so they can tell their advertisers they have more customers.


PeaNut 289,384
December 2006
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Posted: 12/8/2011 9:49:19 PM
I am caucasian and have been recieving Ebony and Jet for about a year. I didn't sign up for them and have no close friends who would subscribe themselves to these magazines. I haven't gotten any bills or renewal notices. I am stumped. I did once send a trial subscription to an ex- for Playboy and Maxim magazines when I found out his new girlfriend moved in, because I knew her and knew she'd hate him getting those.


PeaNut 5,797
August 2000
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Posted: 12/8/2011 10:13:31 PM
I get ESPN, Rolling Stone, Parents, and several others that I don't subscribe to. Most go straight to the trash but I do look through some of them. I guess they just take their chances and hope someone wants to subscribe and, if not, they can still claim to have a lot of subscribers. That's what ad rates are based on and that's really where they make their money.

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PeaNut 1,583
October 1999
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Posted: 12/8/2011 10:28:13 PM
We have been receiving Teen Vogue lately. My daughter loves it. Not sure why it keeps coming!

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PeaNut 325,160
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Posted: 12/8/2011 11:09:00 PM

I can't quote on my phone, but the pp who mentioned being Caucasian and getting issues of Ebony reminded me: my husband has been getting issues of Latina magazine sent to him, and he's just about as white bread as they come!

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PeaNut 142,890
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Posted: 12/8/2011 11:58:59 PM
Be very careful with those "free" subscriptions. There is a big scam going on with them. They send you the "free" subscription, but then enroll you in an automatic renewal program.

We are dealing with the "renewal phase" of those "free" subscriptions right now. About a year ago, DH started to receive 4 different magazines that we had not ordered. I asked him about them and he thought it was something he had received free from one of his credit cards or a company he had ordered from. Best Buy is notorious for offering those 3 months free subscriptions that become a pain to get rid of, and where I suspect this all started. We always decline those offers but I've had them send them on through in the past before.

It was my mistake to not following up then and there and getting them cancelled, and now I am dealing with the consequences. This past weekend, our Visa was charged for renewals on all four magazines - at much higher prices than I can find on my own! I have contested the charges and am trying to cancel all the subscriptions. It's not been easy.

In my digging around for information, it turns out that a company by the name of Synapse Group (a subsidary of Time, Inc) is sending out free subscriptions, then when you don't cancel them will hit your credit card for annual renewal fees that are more than you would usually pay.
To find out if this is the case with your subscriptions, go to the Customer Service page of the magazine you are receiving. Type in your address information and/or account number. When it pulls up your account information, there will be a notice at the top that says:

This subscription was purchased through SYNAPSE GROUP INC who can be reached at (877)813-0320.

Please call SYNAPSE GROUP INC for all payment-related inquiries. ying to get through to a person and cancel the accounts is extremely difficult.

The only thing that will change from magazine to magazine is the toll-free number. This one happens to be for Sports Illustrated.

My advice is to follow up and see where/how you got those free subscriptions and make sure that you are not enrolled in "automatic renewal".

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