• Report: #477111

Complaint Review: Popular Science

  • Submitted: Thu, August 06, 2009
  • Updated: Mon, December 20, 2010

  • Reported By:San Diego California
Popular Science
460 N. Orlando Ave, Ste 200 Winter Park, Florida U.S.A.

Popular Science - Bonnier Corp Using Collection Agency to extort subscription renewal Winter Park Florida

*Consumer Comment: Also A Victim

*General Comment: This Scam is still being perpetrated in 2010

*Consumer Comment: To Popular Science Marketing

* : Bonnier Corporation billing & collection

*Author of original report: Update 8/07/09 Popular Science - Bonnier Corp

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We are the victim of the latest scam to extort the subscription renewal fee by means of being turned over to a collection agency called North Shore Agency, Inc.

I have attempted to make contact with the legal department of Bonnier Corp in Winter Park, FL. The name of the Corporate Counsel guy is named Jeremy Thompson. So far he has not returned my call to determine if he, in fact, knows about this deceptive practice, and if he does, what will he do to reverse it. My email to him has not been acknowledged yet either.

Their corporate website can be found here:

If we continue to let the corporate industries get away with this type of deception, then we are to blame. If we band together, we can make a difference and I for one aim to make it known that this kind of activity is not going to be tolerated.

San Diego, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/06/2009 01:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Popular-Science/Winter-Park-Florida-32789/Popular-Science-Bonnier-Corp-Using-Collection-Agency-to-extort-subscription-renewal-Wint-477111. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Also A Victim

AUTHOR: Wes - (United States of America)

I have been receiving Popular Science magazine for 10+ years and I love reading it. Every year I renew my subscription, I do not sign up for automatic renewal. I received an email today saying that my account is delinquent and that I will be turned over to a collection agency if they do not receive payment. I don't owe Popular Science anything. I paid for a year of service and I did not sign up for automatic renewal. Their email is very threatening. They are going to send me to a collection agency over $19.95 that I never agreed to pay. Prior to this email I had planned on renewing my subscription. But after receiving this email and being treated as a criminal and by threatening to ruin my credit, I quickly called and cancelled my subscription. I do not want to do business with a company that treats its customers like this. I will never subscribe to Popular Science again.

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#2 General Comment

This Scam is still being perpetrated in 2010

AUTHOR: Bretticus - (USA)

I am also a victim of this scam. I do not recall ever receiving notice that I would be put into "automatic renewal." I prepaid for this lousy magazine (Popular Science.) Furthermore, I do not recall ever being offered (nor accepting) to "pay later." I just got a "Account Delinquent" notice with a threat to send my account to collections. How can any legitimate business do that? When a magazine subscription expires, it's over. What a greedy, shady attempt to steal money from consumers! These guys must be desperate. I think this is extortion! If they don't make good on this, I'll be contacting the Better Business Bureau and any other consumer protection agency possible.


I will also be boycotting this Bonnier Corp Magazines for life. These guys obviously have questionable business ethics.

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#3 Consumer Comment

To Popular Science Marketing

AUTHOR: Mr. Fnzownt - (United States of America)

While the steps you list may make the the collection effort legal, it is still unethical.

And from the steps you listed in rating a collection notice, one you left out is:

   "Ignoring the card which states you have been enrolled in automatic renewal",
didn't you? Who ever heard of being automatically renewed in a magazine subscription, and then being liable for the charge? This is what is happening.

That is most certainly a deceptive practice. I for one will never buy another Bonnier magazine, and am telling everyone I know about this practice.
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Bonnier Corporation billing & collection

AUTHOR: Popular Science Marketing - (USA)

This is not an attempt to extort renewal fees, but merely a final effort to collect funds from customers who have placed an order for a product, asked to be billed later, and have not responded to a series of 6 monthly bills sent to them.

In order to have received a notice from North Shore agency, a customer must have:
      1.  specifically ordered a subscription to a magazine published by Bonnier
      2.  specifically requested to be billed later
      3.  received 6 separate bills, one a month, over a 6-month period and
           not responded to any of the 6 by either paying the bill by either:
            a. paying the bill
            b. requesting that the order be cancelled
            c. pointing out any other mistake in recording the order

The letter sent to such customers by North Shore Agency merely point out the facts above, indicate that the order has not been paid after 7 months, and requesting that the customer respond either with a payment or an explanation.

Rather than being a deceptive practice, this correspondence occurred because Bonnier initially trusted the consumer and accepted his/her order on credit.


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#5 Author of original report

Update 8/07/09 Popular Science - Bonnier Corp

AUTHOR: A_wizard - (U.S.A.)

Received an email today from the legal counsel, Jeremy Thompson, assuring me that there would be no further proceedings. Here's the email he sent:


Thank you for bringing this to my attention. This certainly sounds like an oversight or error and is not within the normal scope of our collection practices. I will ensure that she does not receive any further collections correspondence from us. Obviously, with millions of subscribers occasional mistakes do happen, so I apologize for any inconvenience and stress this may have caused you or Virginia.

Also, just to put your mind at ease, there are obviously no fines or penalties for failing to renew a magazine subscription. We do not collect subscriber social security numbers and therefore cannot make any notations on an individual's credit report, nor can any collection agent who works on our behalf.

Best regards,
Jeremy Thompson
Corporate Counsel

Bonnier Corporation
Tel: (407) 571-4715
Fax: (407) 571-4719
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