If it sounds too good to be true (or too easy), it probably is.
Free or reduced price magazine trials. Just cancel prior to subscription ending and you won't incur additional charges. We'll even send you a friendly postcard reminder.
Ok, so I got two postcard reminders for my three subscriptions and called the automated number, only I couldn't cancel all three with the info on the one card I kept, so I muddled through the horriffic automated system to reach a "live" operator. That operator tried to convince me to keep subscriptions, even held out a bonus offer but I explained that I had neither the time nor the desire to read the magazines. So I was told the subscriptions were cancelled.
The next month, charges for all three magazines show up on my credit card bill. When I call, the customer service representative apologizes and offers to terminate the subscriptions at the end of the "current period". I asked when the end of the current period was and she hemmed and hawed and said, "well, since you just renewed, that will be next year". I explained to her that I had CANCELLED, not renewed, and that I did not want the magazines at all. She tried all of the scripted tricks in the books to keep the paper flowing to my mailbox, but I held steady and requested a full refund.
She finally acquiesced, stating that she would submit paperwork for the refund and that the refund would appear on my card statement within 72 business hours (ie - 9 days) and any additional magazines that I might recieve in the meantime would be compliments of her company.
I checked my credit card statement today and it showed a partial refund for all three magazines. I once again called the toll-free number and asked to speak to a supervisor since this was my third attempt to get my money back for the magazines I had cancelled.
The supervisor had the gall to state that his records indicated that I had accepted an extension offer and that a prorated refund had been issued since I had not requested a full refund. He kindly offered to process paperwork to get the additional funds put back on my credit card. What a prince! I told him that I couldn't imagine that I was the only customer who had experienced such a problem, even offering him the cancellation number and the name of the operator that I spoke with, but he wasn't interested.
I asked him for the name and contact information for his company as well as a contact name, but he said he didn't know the name of anyone I could contact at the company. Thanks Synapse - nameless, faceless magazine-pushing, customer-ignoring conglomerate. It will be a pleasure to never do business with you in the future!!!
Spartanburg, South Carolina