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Magazine Subscription Renewed Automatically

I noticed a $57 charge on my credit card bill for "Newsub Magazine Services". When I called up the toll-free number listed and entered the transaction information, I was informed that this approval had been given 9 months earlier.

After talking to a customer service rep, I was advised that I had received a one-year subscription at no charge. This rang a very faint bell with me and I believe that I probably was advised of the automatic renewal. I was also allowed to cancel the renewal without charge. The end result is that I made out okay on this promotion, because I really did get the magazine without any charge.

Although some people might benefit from the convenience of a "continuous service" magazine subscription option, it could prove a good deal more costly than just letting them solicit your business. That's because mass market magazines are frequently available at discounts of up to 50% off of the regular subscription price. When you've previously agreed to automatic renewals, there's no incentive for the publisher to offer such a discount.

If I had received advance notice (not just a line on my credit card bill) that this was going to happen, I would have found the automatic renewal option a lot more palatable. For one thing, I wouldn't have been alarmed at the mysterious charge, and of course, I would have been able to cancel it without it showing up on my credit card bill at all.

I think publishers would find that there were still plenty of people willing to let their subscriptions renew automatically without using the questionable technique of burying the charge in a credit card bill.

The secret winner in this game may be certain banks who have large portfolios of credit card accounts with low credit limits. These automatic renewals probably result in a substantial number of overlimit fees, fees which have become a bigger part of their profit picture every year.

As it turns out, the banks cooperate with Newsub, providing them lists of their credit card holders, thereby avoiding the need to overcome the resistance of having the customer provide the credit card number over the phone. When renewal time comes up, Newsub can count on a big commission on the undiscounted subscription price, while the bank, without any additional effort or cost on its part, can count on some hefty overlimit fees. Such a deal!


more report on Synapse Group a.k.a Newsub Services


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Revision r1.4 - 17 Dec 2008 - 05:53 by EliMantel web search for EliMantel
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