This company initiates it's deals with a phone call, in my case purporting to have a connection with my credit card company (which given that I am on the do not call register and did not have to give them my credit card number, sounded legit). They asked if I'd like a $50 gift card to a store, and I stupidly said yes. Anyway, the long and the short is I agreed to take their service for two years for $960, receiving four magazines a month.
First, you don't receive a $50 gift card. You get five certificates that get you a $10 mail in rebate after you make a purchase at the nominated store. The certificates are good for each of five consecutive months. They actually do honor this, but it is not a $50 gift certificate.
Second, the website they give you does not enable you to manage your account. You can find the names of magazines they offer, but you can't manage your account there, you have to phone up their number to get them to add or change magazines.
Third, they will constantly phone you with upgrade offers and to check if everything is okay. Whenever they called I would express dissatisfaction with magazines and they'd attempt to change them. However, if you ask for a particular title, which they didn't have, they substitute one without checking with you. For example, I asked for the gay magazine "Out" and got an RV magazine "Outside".
Fourth, they will give you "gift" subscriptions to additional magazines without asking you. In my case, ESPN and Maxim magazines. I have absolutely no interest in sport and the only lad mags I want have pictures of good looking men, not women.
Fifth, in my case they set up an additional subscription that included a variety of magazines including Playboy (again, no interest). This, however, gave me the opportunity to put them on the defensive when they called.
I will not say they are dishonest, but the service is way overpriced for what you get. Most of the magazines they are offering can be obtained on subscription directly from the publisher for around $40 per year, so four magazines and a $50 gift voucher would cost $210 per year, not $480 ($40 per month billed to credit card). Also if you subscribe to magazines from the publisher, you get the magazines you want, not the ones they think you want.
What really makes me want to warn people about this company is that there were a number of changes to the merchant name during my dealings with this company, which in and of itself is suspicious. An honest company should not be changing its merchant number all the time.
One thing in their favor, when I wrote and asked them to cancel my account they did. I have only myself to blame as I should have hung up on them when they called offering the gift card. Any time anyone phones you offering something for free, you should hang up immediately. There is no such thing as free. What they are offering you is the opportunity to listen to a slick sales presentation for a service that you can obtain more cheaply elsewhere. This applies to magazine subscription services (and there are plenty of them out there, including plenty that are outright dishonest) time share presentations and the usual gamut of get poor quick schemes.
Hang up the phone when you hear anything like "Would you like a free gift card?" It is not rude to hang up on a telemarketer.