Hearst Magazines / subscription/renewal scam

Review updated:

I received a subscription notice to Good Housekeeping, a magazine I have not received and have not ordered. I returned it marked CANCELLED. I have now received several letters from G. L. Valk of the Subscription Service Department that were threatening and irritating. I did not subscribed to this magazine and have twice returned invoices to cancel. Upon examining the invoice I noticed it is for a subscription that starts January 09. I know magazine subscriptions are down but targeting older people, such as myself, and sending letters that sound like you're past due and about to be sent to collections for something you didn't order and is a FUTURE subscription, is unconscionable.

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  • Cb
      Feb 03, 2009
    Hearst Magazines - invoice for subscription
    Hearts Magazines
    United States

    I keep getting a bill for a subscription to Popular Mechanics. I didn't subscribe to it, never recieved it, and can't even change the oil in my car. Can never get a hold of anyone when I Google for a phone number- very annoying and a scam!

    0 Votes
  • Fe
      Feb 03, 2009

    I have beeb having issue with The Hearst Magazines Corp. I have reveived many offers every month or so. I not replying, because I am not interested. I can't event find an appropriate contact so I can informe them that this is awful to keep sending offers. I don't owe The Hearst Magazine any type of fee. I am almost forced to pay for something I never I ordered.

    0 Votes
  • Ti
      Feb 24, 2009

    I am having the same problem. I went to their website and cancelled my subscription since there is no phone number. I do not appreciate receiving collection letters for a magazine I do not want.

    +1 Votes
  • Je
      Mar 09, 2009

    I'm getting the same letters from G. L. Valk. I do have a subscription to Popular Mechanics, but these letters are telling me I owe them at three times the normal rate. I would rather cancel all my Hearst magazines than pay this extortion.

    0 Votes
  • An
      Mar 16, 2009

    I agree- The Hearst Magazine company is sending me "delinquent" notices about bills they have sent to me to extend my subscription. I don't want any more magazines, and I certainly plan to stay away from magazines published by Hearst.

    +2 Votes
  • Ra
      Mar 26, 2009

    I am right there with you. Today I opened a letter from Hearst. I had ordered "Country Living" early last year, but did not renew and today the letter was from G.L. Valk telling me that I need to pay because of the "bill me now" feature. I know this is untrue because I never use the "bill me now, " instead I like to pay subscriptions right away. Another reason; because of the economy, I have eliminated ordering anything unimportant -- which includes magazine subscriptions. How tacky of this company to do this! I tried to find a number to call on the invoice, letter and website but there were none. This kind of practice might be illigal.

    0 Votes
  • Mi
      May 05, 2009

    This company is a big scam! These people should be driven out of business! Imagine the amount of money they have made on this with responsible people trying to stay current. I found this number online to reach them call [protected], no contact information is listed on the invoice. When calling have your account number ready that is printed on the invoice or magazine. Rather than railroading the customer service agent who has nothing to do with these practice make sure you get a cancelation confirmation number and send all of the invoices along with a letter to your state Attorney General. If you are unsure who your Attorney General is, go to this website.

    -1 Votes
  • Dd
      Oct 08, 2009
    Hearst Magazines - collection letters
    Hearst Magazines - House Beautiful
    P.O. Box 8464
    Red Oak
    United States
    Phone: funny , they don't print that

    I have a copy of my original 1 year subscription to House Beautiful Magazine from Aug. '08. I cancelled their sneaky 'continuous renewal program' in May of '09. To date I've received no less that 4 threatening collection letters and they are still sending me the magazine.

    0 Votes
  • La
      Feb 24, 2010

    I am getting very sick and tired of receiving notices from Hearst stating that I had indicated to be billed later on my original subscription to Popular Mechanics for future renewal of the subscription. I most certainly did not, do not want to renew the subscription and still have the original subscription in my suspense file folder. I don't know what they are trying to pull but I don't like it and will definitely not order any other publication under Hearst magazines. If I continue to receive further notices like this I will complain to Consumer Affairs as well as the state Attorney General. I will try the 1-800 number from the previous comments as stated by Michelle. ...Lopaka

    +1 Votes
  • Sn
      Mar 20, 2010

    I had my own problems getting Hearst to cancel my subscription to two of their magainzes. I found their number on this site (, and actually got an agent who took care of everything in 5 minutes. Guess I was just lucky.

    0 Votes
  • Vi
      Jul 27, 2010

    I have to agree that there tactic for renewal was a bit devisive but they really do have wonderful prices and if you complain they lower the price even more. The last offer they gave me for a renewal I never placed was kind of tricky but after I complained they took an additional $5.00 off for a future subcription for 12 months. It was a $4.00 magazine that would basically amount to $1.00 per issue. They really should be honest and more up front. Even though the subcription would have been a "great" deal, I cancelled because of the deception involved. At that price I almost feel like I was the one who lost out but it's not nice to use deceptive practices under any circumstances.

    0 Votes
  • Bo
      Sep 26, 2010

    I have recieved at least five notices saying I renewed my Country Living when I didn't . I know I didn't renew because before the PAY THIS BILL NOW notices I got about three FINAL CHANCE TO RENEW notices, I wish I kept them for proof. The last two bills they said was my final opportunity to resume service. I have not recieved one magazine since March 2010. I almost paid it, because they said it was going to effect my credit, until I read all these complaints. Even when people know they didn't renew I bet they pay it to get them of their back, like I almost did. Guess that is what they are counting on.

    0 Votes
  • Go
      Oct 16, 2010

    I too keep receiving these "past due invoices" from Lucky magazine. Companies like these should be ashamed of themselves for using scare tactics like "past due" "pay to remain in good credit standing". If a customer pays for a 1 year subscription and decided not to renew do not keep harassing the customer to subscribe! There should be a law (or maybe there is that I don't know of) against deceptive practices like these. I am never going to subscribe to any magazine from Lucky's publishers.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
      Nov 08, 2010

    I am having the same problem as everyone else that has made a comment regarding Hearst Magazines. They are really threatening me with "We must now insist that you send us your payment immediately". I did pay for a subscription to House Beautiful but I no longer wanted to receive the magazine so I just did not renew my subscription. I, too, have received more than one of those "Important Notice" notes. I wish I had kept them but I only have this one that has me really upset to be continually harassed in this manner. I will no longer subscribe to any Hearst Magazine; however, there should be something we can do for those elderly people who will just continue to pay because they feel they owe this money. There seems to be enough people with the same opinion of Hearst that someone would know what we can do to stop this harassment.

    -1 Votes
  • Me
      Jan 04, 2011

    The same thing happend to me, but now I am receiving delinquent notices from K. Michael Konrad. How do I go about reporting this to BBB?

    0 Votes
  • Ss
      Jun 18, 2011

    FURIOUS-----I just ordered "House Beautiful" online for $30.00 dollars for 30 issues. The Hearst website mentions absolutely nothing about the price of shipping, soon as I entered my information the site stated that I now owed $51.00. There is nowhere on Hearsts contact site to call them, it is impossible to cancel before you get you're 1st magazine issue as they do not give you a subsciption number to enter into their required personal information. With great difficulty I found a phone number and called to cancel and was informed that I would need to call back in a few days to cancel again. WTF? Do Not order anything from this underhanded, shady business dealing company. If I do not get an immediate refund I will contact the better business bureau and email to the appropriate agency at the State level.

    -1 Votes
  • Sy
      Aug 01, 2011

    Condé Nast is sending the same unethical threats when you don’t owe them a thing. It’s the stupidest marketing, it just makes people mad and then not want to do business with them.

    0 Votes
  • Li
      Sep 01, 2011

    same happen to me join a sweepstake game my adress for a free prize then recive an invoice for magazine did not order please try to find me a phone number why would i want a popular machanic magazine at 60 years old i have a hard time shovelling snow why would i do machanics on a new vehicule what a scam

    0 Votes
  • Di
      Jan 19, 2012

    I looked on line to see if others were having the same problems with Hearst Corporation and not surprisingly it seems Hearst is trying to extort money from many other. Sometimes I enter some of their contests and though I always choose the enter without subscribing option they still send me e-mails periodically thanking me for subscribing to various magazines. Then as others have noted on this web site, there is no way to contact them since my reply e-mails do not go through and there is no customer service number. And two weeks ago I got a collections notice for a subscription to a magazine that I not only did not subscribe to but had never received. This company should be reported to the Federal Trade Commission. I now have a very negative impression about this company and would never purchase any of their magazines.

    0 Votes
  • Li
      Oct 17, 2012

    I subscribed to the More magazine and I have yet to receive the October Issue and already it's Oct17th. How can I resolve this? Who do I write to in order to get my magazine or just my money back.

    0 Votes
  • Lu
      Jan 29, 2013

    I also recieved a nasty invoice stating that payment is past due for soemthing I did not renew...Will this be forwarded to collections? or better yet, can they? or is this an idle threat in order to intimidate a ceratin percentage of readers to forward them a chq?

    0 Votes
  • Ro
      Nov 08, 2013

    I have also received a nasty invoice from Popular Mechanics telling me that I agreed to be billed and am overdue and they have placed me in their delinquent files. I NEVER AGREED TO A DAMN THING! I simply waited to renew my subscription to the end of what I had paid for, and was considering renewing it. But now since they have sent me their nasty letters telling me that I'm a deadbeat and that I have failed in "My Agreement" with them I WILL NOT EVER SUBSCRIBE TO POPULAR MECHANICS AGAIN, EVER! This is now a matter of principle for me. Hey POPULAR MECHANICS stop with the heavy handed tactics scam and try being nice to your subscribers! And btw, just by sending me a letter stating that if I don't reply back to you I agreed to keep on paying you is NOT LEGAL! I usually let most everything slide by but this one really got me hot. You've lost a subscriber for life now.

    0 Votes
  • Su
      May 30, 2014

    I was just treated to the delights of Hearst Corporation's desperate attempts to renew magazine subscriptions by claiming I owed them money. What a scam. I had subscribed to Veranda magazine for many years but decided against renewing for the time being. As of December 2013, I started letters that hinted at some sort of payment I needed to make, right away, but I ignored it as my subscription expired in June. As of mid-May 2014, I received a less subtle and more threatening letter from "CREDIT & COLLECTIONS DEPARTMENT, " with the return envelope addressed to the "INVOICING BUREAU." The letter began with "Your delinquent account with us has been brought to my attention." It went on to state that my subscription had been suspended for non-payment (true, as by then my subscription term had expired as expected), that I had agreed to pay them upon receipt of an invoice (I don't recall any such agreement), I'd failed to numerous requests for payment (true again, as I ignored requests to renew the magazine), and I should "take a moment to settle your obligation with us" (what obligation, exactly?). I checked my account online, found I owed nothing and had not received any magazines which I had not already paid for and that my most recent one year subscription had expired as anticipated. I had a difficult time finding a phone number for customer service--[protected]--but finally found one and contacted them about their most recent letter to me. I asked the CS rep what this letter was about, and she said that because I had, supposedly, signed up for some sort of advance billing arrangement, they sent letters to me over the last six months asking me to renew before my subscription expired. I entered into no such arrangement with them. The Customer Service rep said that when I did not respond to their letters, the "verbiage" in the letters changed. The change in "verbiage" would include the threats about a non-existent delinquency and false claims that I owed them money. The CS rep confirmed that I owed nothing and their was no delinquency, telling me to ignore the most recent letter. It is difficult to ignore scams and baseless threats that characterize me as delinquent, obligated to pay, and in debt when that is completely untrue. Their tactics to get me to renew are shameful, and I am going to cancel the other two Hearst magazines I currently receive.

    0 Votes
  • 2b
      Aug 14, 2014

    I had been getting renewal notices from Hearst Magazines for a popular Mechanics subscription that I did not renew and had specifically sent in a check for my initial subscription, to make sure they didn't have a credit card number to auto renew me.

    I followed the link shown above : and found a phone number of [protected] which I called and got an agent almost immediately. She told me that she cancelled my subscription and I should stop getting to renewal notices. -- Took about 2 minutes. She did 'of course' continue to try to sell me on other subscriptions, which I declined.

    0 Votes
  • Re
      Oct 02, 2015

    I am receiving magazines from these companies but never subscribed. I have written notifying them and asked them to be cancelled. They have not done so. I have notified the US Post Office and the State Attorney General.

    0 Votes
  • St
      Nov 16, 2017

    I filled out a sweepstakes entry here:

    Next thing I know I get an email saying I'd subscribed to Elle for $5. They didn't even get any payment info. Not sure if I'll get the magazine, but wasn't sure if I was getting scammed...

    0 Votes
  • Ta
      Dec 17, 2017

    I just received 2 invoices for 2 different magazine, which I did not order. One subscription even has the wrong address. UGH, who are these people and how do I cancel this scam billing process they are doing?

    0 Votes

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