- Report: #979612
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: Synapse Group
Synapse Group225 High Ridge Road, Stamford, CT 06905 Stamford, Connecticut United States of America
Synapse Group Beware of getting involved with Synapse magazine subscriptions Stamford, Connecticut
I got involved, foolishly, when about a year ago I accepted some offer for free magazine subscriptions that I'm about 85% certain was associated with unused air miles on a major airline. Shortly after I sent in the little card checking off the four free magazines I had chosen I got a bill for $2 for each magazine for processing fees. (I now know that this was to get my account information in their files.) Since they were expensive magazines this still seemed like a good deal - Time, Atlantic, Kipplingers etc. So I went online and paid it. The magazines have been coming and I manage to give them a little look-at each month. No problem so far.
A few days ago, when I did my regular online check of my checking account, I was shocked to find posted there renewal charges for these four magazines that totaled $166. When I immediately called the four phone numbers shown on the bank statement for these charges I found that they all went to the same place. I can't begin to give a detailed account of the rigamarole and run-around that the automated phone system lures one into, but I will say that the bottom line of it all is that when I finally clicked off the phone I had no idea if I had cancelled the charges or accepted some new deals for the same magazines at a lesser price.
I kept calling back and fooling around with the auto system until I finally got a person on the phone, a long process that called for much dedication and persistence. The person who took my call was polite and helpful and after some discussion cancelled the charges and the subscriptions. He assured me that my account would be credited, but that I would be charged for the "services I had already received". Those charges amounted to $10 and some change, a small amount I know, but it was just a rip-off for nothing. I had no more energy to confront because it was so small, but I do want others to know to beware of these 'good deals' for magazines.
Check out Synapse Group on Wikipedia. The article there describes the company's marketing plan - "...Synapse/NewSub introduced their Continuous Subscription Service system, which would automatically renew subscriptions with no interruption in service. The company applied for a patent, which was granted in 2000 to Michael Loeb and Synapse Group, Inc. for "[m]ethod and apparatus for providing open-ended subscriptions to commodity items normally available through term-based subscriptions." Right. They do this by automatically putting charges on my bank account, and yours if you let them, without my knowledge. They then use near coercive tactics on the phone when you call up to cancel the greatly overpriced and unwanted subscriptions.
Bottom line: steer clear.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/08/2012 03:57 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Synapse-Group/Stamford-Connecticut-06905/Synapse-Group-Beware-of-getting-involved-with-Synapse-magazine-subscriptions-Stamford-Co-979612. 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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