Report: #1025786

Complaint Review: Popular Mechanics

  • Submitted: Fri, March 08, 2013
  • Updated: Sat, March 09, 2013
  • Reported By: Sherman — Garretson South Dakota USA
  • Popular Mechanics
    Box 6093
    Harlan, Iowa
    United States of America

Popular Mechanics Hearst Corporation All subscriptions are classified 'auto-renewal', if renewal $$ not sent promptly, threatening letters are sent Harlan, Iowa

*Author of original report: Update, letter from Collections Department

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

A couple months before my subscription to Popular Mechanics was going to expire I began receiving odd invoices from various companies to renew at an inflated price. The 'invoice' did not show any relevant data, when the subscription would expire, how long the renewal was for, how many issues I would be paying for (turns out PM has cut their publication to 10 issues a year), there was nothing except a bill. I ignored a couple of them. 

Then I began receiving notices that said I had checked the 'bill me' option somewhere and owed them money and that I was going to be flagged in their system as a non-paying customer. I knew that to be bogus and ignored it.

Now I am receiving threatening letters that hint that I will be sent to collection. The magazine has stopped coming, but still I get billed. The invoice amount has dropped to a more realistic amount, but there is still no information as to the start/end of the subscription period and the number of issues I am supposed to be paying for. 

Their latest gig is that somehow I have been flagged as an automatic-renew customer and owe them $$ every year, even if I have NOT indicated that I want to continue to receive the magazine. If you look at the fine print on the bottom of their web 'subscribe' page, it says exactly that. All subscribers are considered to be auto-renew. 

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#1 Author of original report

Update, letter from Collections Department

AUTHOR: Sherman - (USA)

Now I have received an unsigned letter from their 'Credit & Collections Department', calling my account 'delinquent' for failing to renew a magazine subscription. This is absurd!

There is no phone number or any contact name or information on the letter. What a lousy way to treat a customer. 

It appears the Hearst Corp. has a one track business model: INTIMIDATION 

This is all sheer stupidity. I like the Popular Mechanics magazine. If I had received a decent bill in the first place, I would have quickly renewed the subscription and remained a customer. Now, I have been turned into a burned, hostile EX-customer. 

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