I received a postal card indicating that I was coming upon a renewal window that would allow me to continue my subscription without missing any issues.
It was mailed from "Synapse Connect, Inc., C/O Processing Center, P.O. Box 30468, Salt Lake City, UT 84130". The postage was paid by a mailer of the name "NSS LLC".
I had already decided before this notice that I would not want to continue my subscription.
Using the phone number listed on the card, 800-927-9351, I contacted their automated voice system and successfully canceled my subscription. I even got a confirmation number from the system of the transaction.
The card stated "If you do not wish to continue, call 800 927 9351 by Apr 12 and no charge will appear.... If you believe you may have given us a debit card for your service read this:.... However, if you provided a debit card, please sign and return the attached card. By doing so, you authorize Synapse Connect, Inc. to debit the amount(s) shown above from your account for the stated term and future terms as described on our renewal notices to you, which you will always receive before your account is debited. You can cancel at any time for a refund of unserved issues. Please keep this card for your records."
I never signed and returned the attached card authorizing Synapse to debit the card. I left the subscription card on my desk as a reminder back in March.
I decided to wade through my bank records today and found a charge that occurred on 7/14/06 for $19.95 [the amount stated on the renewal notice] that posted to my account on 7/17. The transaction note ends with "Stamford NY".
My magazine mailing labels *still show the same expiration date* of JUN07 now as it did in the July 2005 issue (issue 107). I've now received the November 2006 issue (issue 123).
Allowing a 4-6 week processing time during which the publisher should have been contacted, this means that from calendar May through October, (issues June through November) should be credited to me and the charge reversed.
There are 7 issues (Dec. 06 through Jun. 07) remaining before the subscription expiration date on the mailing label.
Synapse charged my debit card without my authorization *according to their own statement on the notice*, after I had canceled my subscription and was given a confirmation number of the cancellation. In other words, blatant stealing of my money.
I have yet to contact anyone (Synapse, the magazine publisher, the magazine's "Billing and Renewal Manager", or my bank) about this. I doubt the bank will reverse the charge considering it posted to the account over 90 days ago.
I doubt the magazine was contacted by Synapse in order that it might cancel or extend my subscription. As such, I don't hold them responsible.
Synapse Media, Inc. is a division of Synapse Group, Inc. The phone number, Web address, and postal address listed is that of Synapse Group.