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The Hearst Corporation / scam and cheating

1 United States Review updated:
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I have received a 'third notice of payment past due' from the Hearst Corporation for Cosmopolitan Magazine. They claim that in October 2008 I requested my subscription be renewed and be billed at a later date.

I never requested renewal of the magazine, in fact, my subscription doesn't even expire until January 2010. Also I have always paid for my subscriptions at the time I requested service. I have never requested to be billed later.

The notice sent to me by Hearst Corporation's invoicing bureau states that this is their third notice of payment past due. It also threatens to send my account to collections and report me to the crediting agencies.

I would have liked to be able to contact the Hearst Corporation to resolve the matter. However, the notice doesn't provide a phone number or even a website. It merely provides an address where I should send them my money.

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  • Mi
      19th of Mar, 2009
    -1 Votes

    The Hearst Corporation
    phone #
    is in every issue of every magazine.
    Customer Service for Oprah Magazine


  • Pv
      9th of Jun, 2009
    +2 Votes

    I subscribed to Country Living and did not receive a bill until this month. I am sure one may have been sent as they said it was. I never received anything until I get an invoice marked payment due 6/25/09 Past Due. Well the bill is only $8.00 and I am glad to pay this until I read the tacky notice attached. This is what I would expect to get if I owed the government a million dollars or so. I worked in collections for untilities for 20 years and our collection notices were not near as offensive. The notice was worded to make you seem like a ### that never intended to pay for anything, much less an $8.00 magazine. You folks need to realize that often things get lost in the mail even if you send it and don't assume they are trying to jip you out of your money. I don't who worded these but I would fire him if he worked for me. A compay like yours should be able to remind people not crucify them because they didn't get your notice.

  • Sa
      26th of Dec, 2009
    +2 Votes


    IT WAS A HUGE WASTE OF MY TIME (And yours) to find a copy of my check--search online for a number- and it's rather insulting to receive this notice.

    It's a legal scam and Hearst Corp should be ashamed!! 9 out of 10 people probably mail in payment. Who can remember a year ago of what one paid?

    The only real way for them to chane is if we send in a gazillion complaint letters, which takes even more time because of a stupid $18 charge.

    In my opinion, they owe a free year to those that they bullied into renewing. I was lucky as on the cosmo web site I finally learned that they were auto renewing per agreement to "terms".

    I then clicked the option to NOT auto renew. It then asks, "Are you sure?". Good Lord. Please don't insult me anymore!
    I'm computer savvy and I can only imagine those customers that don't know enough to find the hidden account options online. SHAME SHAME HEARST MAGAZINE!

    Please comment if you have a similar experience.
    You're not alone.
    California. 12/26/09

  • Je
      28th of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I have the same problem with Cosmo. I just recieved a past due notice stating that this is the third invoice and that payment is due on 2/20/10 and they're trying to charge me $24.97 for a 12 month subscription. Never in five years have I paid that much for a Cosmo subscription and I'm not going to start now! By the way, I could have gotten a free subscription through Droid Coupons app on my phone just the other day.

    I too am quite irritated that they leave no phone number for us to contact them at.

    Anyone have any ideas on a Cosmo Customer Service line?! Email it to me!

    --Jenna, San Diego, CA 1/28/10 jen.[protected]

  • Je
      28th of Jan, 2010
    +1 Votes

    Let me add to my previous comment: I did a little research on who G.L. Valk really was and per Hearst Corporation's main website (, he doesn't exist. Just a bit larger nudge that it's scam and a ploy on their valued customers...

  • Ni
      12th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    OMG! I fell for this scam letter last year with country living magazine... a magazine I tried once and didnt like. When I got the letter in the mail with no email or phone number I paid right away out of fear of being turned into a creditor. I get mad every time they send me a new fricken magazine! I just recieved another " over due invoice" today in the mail. Along with the fake country living invoice came a good houe keeping one that looked almost exactly the same... I have never even seen that magazine. ugh! Oh I wish I had a phone number for these a holes. i'm furious!

  • Sc
      22nd of Mar, 2010
    0 Votes

    this ### is a scam.I told the dude i'll give him my pre-paid credit card number instead and he got pissed.I said "well
    it shouldn't matter if 36 dollars is all you need for it, right?" and then the stuttering starting then
    he went on to say he'll give it to someone else so i hung up on the ###er.
    don't listen to their pitch, it sounds good but it's full of ###!
    and for those who don't have this loser's numbers his number is 1-800-269-4179
    have fun, cause i sure will.

  • Ho
      26th of Apr, 2010
    0 Votes

    That phone number isn't just for Hearst Publishing! I just searched on the phone # (800) 269-4179 after finding out I have been scammed by a magazine servicing company. Hearst Company actually goes by several names and phone #s such as: Publishers' Service, Readers' Service, Great American Readers, LLC. and a couple of phone numbers that they used to contact me are: (352) 688-3689, (352) 688-3691, and (954) 782-5859. If you check out the Better Business Bureau's website at and search for info you'll find tons of listings with tons of complaints. By the way, they are getting more creative and people are losing alot more money.

  • Tr
      21st of May, 2010
    0 Votes

    Why is this allowed to continue on Hearst Magazines part? This will be the second time this scam has happened to me - Good Housekeeping and House Beautiful. I get a bills stating my subscription is past due before the date of my paid subscription is up. First I have to search for the carbon copy of the check I wrote then I have to spend a huge amount of time online researching where in the hell to get Hearst magazines customer service contact number (conveniently left of the billing statements) to resolve the "scam". Come on Hearst Magazine!!! This is BAD BUSINESS PRACTICE and now I WILL be filing a complaint with the Attorney Generals office.

    Tracie Carter
    Columbus, Ohio

  • Dk
      30th of Aug, 2010
    0 Votes

    The Hearts Corporation or House Beautiful is A BIG SCAM. DO NOT PAY OR SEND ANY CHECK TO THEM .

    I got the same problems like you guys. I neither ordered nor subcribed magazine with House Beautiful. However, they keeps sending me invoices under The Hearst Corporation. First 2 invoices, I ignored them; then just today, a 3rd invoice is an "Invoice Bureau" which its contain with some threating such as "threats of negative credit report". I'm not scare of this threat at all. I'm about to find the way how to sue these companies. I did a google search and found out a law office who do help victims like us who are abused with these types such as: threated of negative credit report, threat of repossesion, calls from unknown numbers, profane language, other threats, etc. This law firm can STOP illegal debt collection practices and get you the compensation you deserve. Their service is 100% FREE because debt collectors must pay their legal fees under the Fair Debt Collection Act.

    Everybody wants to get rid of this SCAM and/or interest in on suing these company, go to this link and find out more details:

    Hope this will help all of us from falling to be a victim of Fault Business Practices of the SCAMER such as The Hearts Corporation and House Beautiful.

  • Ka
      23rd of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    I just received a bill stating "Thank you for being part of our continuous service program". I never ordered the magazine in the first place!! Last year I entered a contest and apparently at the bottom of the page they have a box, already marked, saying to order the magazine. So, if you don't notice it and un-check it, they automatically start your subscription. So fine, I paid the stupid bill for the yearly subscription which is up in May 2011. And now they have renewed me again without my permission and expect me to pay for another year of magazines that I just throw away when they arrive in the mail. What a scam!!

  • Cm
      27th of Oct, 2012
    0 Votes

    Yesterday, I received a final notice like the post dated 2/9/09. I have not renewed this subcription for 'Marie Claire' magazine but the notice states that 'your delinquent account with us has been brought to my attention for collections'. However, I feel like I do have much of a choice but to pay this unwanted bill as I do not want this to go to collections or even for this to end up on my credit report. I am force to pay for something I didn't order. I AM PISSED!!

  • Be
      13th of Jun, 2013
    0 Votes

    I subcribe Oprah magazine in 2011-2013 . That was suppose to be the end of my
    two years . Then when it came for my two years to end. They sent a letter asking if I
    wanted to renew my subscription. but before i could contact them i misplace the
    letter. so i figure they would send me another letter, like most magazine does. Instead
    I receive a letter stateing that I agree to renew my subscription for O, The Oprah Magazine. and they have not received payment. By making payment your account and subscription will be reinstated and restored to good standing. I wrote them back and told them that i was sorry i didn't get to them in time to let them know i didn't want my subscription renew and i don't owe them any money. they still sent me a letter sayin i owed them for renewing my subsription, which i have never received. So with the complaint that you'll have I have it too. Something needs to be done about this. If nesscessary I will take it to the news channel.


  • Sh
      16th of Jul, 2013
    0 Votes

    I signed up for Country Living through Living Social, and evidently there was an automatic renewal provision buried somewhere in the fine print. My current subscription ended with this month's (July) issue. As in, I have not yet received an issue from a new, (as yet unpaid) subscription. And today, July 16, I received a letter captioned "FINAL NOTICE" which reads: "Dear XXXXX: We extended you the privilege of paying later for your subscription. By entering into this agreement we anticipated that you would remit a payment when billed. The balance outstanding is now several months past due. We have sent you numerous bills. We must now insist that you send us your payment immediately. This will be your final opportunity to resume service on your subscription." I called customer service and did get the auto-renewal cancelled, but I found this letter to be an intentional attempt to mislead me into thinking they were turning my information over to a credit rating agency or debt collection agency. Terrible customer service. I am an attorney, so I didn't fall for it, but I can imagine that people would have been bullied into renewing without really wanting to.

  • Lk
      19th of Jan, 2014
    0 Votes

    This happened to me too!!! I did not renew my subscriptions intentionally to Redbook, Good Housekeeping and Women's day. Hearst Corporation kept sending me notices for each magazine stating that I had checke3d the box to renew my subscriptions and bill me later. I know I did not ask to renew the subscriptions and I never check the bill me later box so I kept throwing the notices away and kept reading the magazines. There is a law that states that if you receive something without ordering it, it is considered a gift. I was beginning to get worried about the letters though; However, I noticed on their most recent round of letters, that their greatest threat was,
    " ...we have reached the point where unless we receive a payment from you we will be required to terminate your account." I think they know that legally, they cannot collect money from me and cannot turn me over to a debt collection agency. Therefore, I think I'll just continue to throw them out and nothing will happen. Thank goodness they don't have my credit card number!!

  • Gi
      15th of Feb, 2014
    0 Votes

    I just got one too! And is not first time! I always ignore it. Not now. It happened to my 93 years old father in law. He fell for it. I have done some resources on line and to my big surprise The Hearst Corporation has an A+ rating from BBB. And there are so many complains people make to their Complain Board. My next move will be a complain to BBB. Everybody should do the same. Maybe somebody will do something about this kind of abusive business. Good luck everyone!

  • Gi
      15th of Feb, 2014
    0 Votes

    You really need good luck to fill out a complaint on line. The address on the return envelope is "invalid". ?????
    I just wrote an old fashion letter to BBB in my area.

  • Ge
      16th of Nov, 2016
    0 Votes

    I was sent an email from Country Living Magazine stating they were giving away 3 x $1000 winners. The entry form states "No Purchase Necessary". I entered the sweepstakes then received an email that I was signed up to receive Country Living magazine for $10. It also states that after I receive the first issue in 6 to 8 weeks I will have the chance to cancel. This is pure deception. No where does it state that entering the contest means anyone is signing up for a years subscription. I am 64 years old so I am still alert enough to make sure this get's cancelled but not everyone is so attentive and consider this a scam.

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