I had been a long time subscriber to Entertainment Weekly. A few months ago, EW stopped putting out a print edition, but I had paid for a certain number of issues, so their solution was to give me People magazine instead. To be clear, I don’t like People magazine, but it wasn’t worth fighting about. I gave my issues to one of my neighbors who loves all things celebrity.

When I got the postcard stating that I would be receiving People instead, there was an email to write to to say that after the subscription was over, I would NOT be renewing. So I emailed.


Then, a few months ago, I got a bill for another year of people.

I was not happy.

This time I called and got a customer service rep. I asked the customer service rep why I was charged. He gave me a song and dance and kept telling me to calm down.

What happens if you tell someone to calm down?

He said my subscription was for automatic renewal.

I asked if it was on auto for People?

He told me to calm down.

I told him that he fraudulently used my credit card because the auto was for EW. By renewing a subscription that I never ordered he (the company) had broken the law.

I asked him how calm would he be if someone used his credit card without the proper authorization.

To be fair, I have no idea if it’s actually illegal to do what they did- my guess is it’s in the grey area of the little tiny language at the bottoms of things we sign when we sign our lives away…

But the words illegal and I’m calling my credit card company were all he needed to issue me the credit…

And there’s a little slice of my life…

49 thoughts on “The End of Magazines

  1. This may be why people are not keeping magazine subscriptions as these mistakes are made or renewed. Just another little item to get on nerves. I gave a gift of Reader’s Digest one year to a friend and the next year, it was automatically renewed on my bill. Such is the way of this world, from time to time….and now you know why I am not a big phone fan.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. They have become very expensive. I picked one up yesterday at the grocery store and it was almost $5. I wanted to support it but I did not this time. However, I do enjoy magazines and want to see them survive.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. But subscriptions to the ones still out there are incredibly cheap. You just have to worry that they might go under while you have issues left…case in point my subscription

        Liked by 1 person

  2. How funny most commenters think print mags are almost extinct…I’m finding the opposite to be true in that they are re-emerging as a component of on-line subscriptions. In fact, while expensive, hubby got me a subscription to both print and e versions of The New Yorker for one of my b-day gifts. They have figured out how to get that magazine feel back into a person’s hands literally and yet offer up the limitless archives of past articles, interactive crosswords, video documentaries and current ‘affairs’ via a very user friendly on-line website…I thought you’d be amused at the fact of it being The New Yorker, LA that’s why I mentioned it!
    Anyway to your point on auto-subscribing using one’s credit cards without confirming authorization…that’s a real problem in the current age we live in – I hope it gets resolved soon and oh yes – don’t calm down! The customer service guy was way out of line IMHO!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think one or two mags will survive, but Martha Stewart living was just cancelled. Better home and real simple we’re rebranded, so I don’t see both of them surviving. My fashionista friend said September vogue was a shadow of its former self…if they rely on ads they’re done

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Why oh why do they think that telling you to calm down, or some other such nonsense is going to work? Can you tell I had one of *those* calls this week. When he said “I’ve told you three times that a landline and broadband cost the same as broadband only… which is why, presumably, the sales rep audibly went “wow” when they saw how much I was being charged after they’d withdrawn my landline, and immediately reduced my payment, and suggested that billing would be happy to give me a credit. Guess who’s just instigated a formal complaint. Sigh. Why do they make us do this? Annoying little jobsworths 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes, I’m sad to see it, but print is dead. I used to love getting a new magazine like Sports Illustrated or some other one in the mail and reading the great writing and images. Now . . . I can’t remember the last time I read a printed magazine. And yes, the People switcheroo might not technically be illegal, but it walks a fine line. It’s certainly morally illegal in my mind. Good for you letting them know!!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. At least you got notice of changes, when i subscribed to Marvel Comics…sometimes a book would get cancelled and instead of getting a heads up, id finsh out my subscription with a diffetent book entirely.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That’s the worst customer service ever! I need to go through our credit card bill with a fine tooth comb and get rid of multiple online subscriptions. We have two magazines that arrive in print. One I wrote for and they comp my copy. The other was a gift from my mom decades ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. This is very sad. I was a longtime subscriber to EW, too. Cancelled that many years ago, but I didn’t realize they’d stopped producing a print version altogether. Digital isn’t the same!

    I just subscribed to a new magazine a few months ago, so luckily, not ALL print is dead.


    Liked by 1 person

  8. I think you hit it right about being in the gray area. What I have found though is, report it to the credit card company and tell them that you are not paying that charge. Especially if it is American Express they are the best at this, you are out of it. They will take care of it.

    Liked by 1 person

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