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Call Kurtis: I Paid To Renew A Magazine, Where Is It?

DAVIS (CBS13) — Ron Unger is an avid reader of Science News Magazine.

"This is a great magazine," he said.

When a notice of renewal from Subscription Billing Service showed up in the mail, Ron paid it by sending them a check for $89.95.

"It says Science News on it," Ron said. "We thought [the price] was a little high but this is a great magazine."

But, he said the magazine stopped being delivered.

Ron called the magazine's publisher who he says told him they do not do business with Subscription Billing Service.

Looking at the reverse side of the renewal notice, it says "…we do not necessarily have a relationship with the publishers."

"It's very profitable," said Gary Almond with the Better Business Bureau.

The BBB calls this a scam. They say they've received hundreds of complaints from across the country, and that the company goes by 55 different names, some including the words: publishers, readers, magazine, billing and circulation.

So, how do they get your information?

"They could buy the subscriber list of certain magazines and actually target people." Almond said.

Ron said when he asked Subscription Billing Service for a refund, the company told him to wait four more weeks – and he might be considered for one.

We tried calling the company, but couldn't get through to anyone who could respond.

Subscription Billing Service sent a letter to Ron saying "...a refund has already been processed."

The company also insists "…offers…are marketing pieces only" and "…no one is obligated to respond."

Renewal notices from the same company keep showing up at Ron's house. But, he won't fall for it again.

"I don't want anything to do with them."

The US Postal Inspector told us they are investigating.

The Sacramento Bee, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal reported some of its customers have also been targeted.

When we reached out to the company, the people who answered told us the phone number listed on the renewal notice is for a call center linked to a hundred different companies.

The notice that Ron received had an Oregon PO Box on it, others reportedly have a Reno PO Box.

So what should you do if you get a renewal notice?

Compare the address listed on the notice with the address of your newspaper or magazine. If it doesn't match, call the company.


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