Stop Unwanted Magazine Subscriptions: Step by Step | cake blog (2023)

Have you ever subscribed to a magazine you never wanted to keep and somehow managed to keep it for years? You may have been the target of telemarketing scams and door-to-door solicitations.

Jump to these sections:

  • How to cancel unwanted subscriptions on your behalf
  • How to cancel a magazine subscription on behalf of a former resident or deceased

Genuine magazines often use somewhat deceptive practices to increase subscriptions. For example, you may receive an early renewal notification but may not be fully aware that you are already enrolled in year-long subscriptions. Here are some tips and tricks for dealing with unwanted magazines in your mailbox.

How to cancel unwanted subscriptions on your behalf

First, don't feel bad if you've been the target of an unscrupulous magazine subscription. Here are some resources that can help you.

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1. Always question offers that seem too good to be true.

It's easier to avoid a bad situation than to try to fix it later. If you're contacted by someone claiming to be from a magazine company, don't sign up for a subscription, even if the company says it's free or at a discount.

Also, don't assume the caller represents the magazine. Some magazine publishers sell subscriber information as an alternative revenue stream. This makes it easier for scammers to put together a convincing argument.

Instead, contact the publisher directly. You can get a good deal without the possibility of third-party interference. Once you've done that, make a calendar entry. Most subscriptions renew annually, so set a reminder ten months in the future. At this point you can decide whether you want to renew the subscription. The calendar feature also helps you avoid falling into the trap of early renewal.

2. Contact the company directly

If you have subscribed to magazines from the publisher or a third party, please contact them directly to cancel the unwanted subscription. Not all magazine subscriptions are scams. Companies often solve an insurance problem amicably.

But the company may try to keep you on course as a goodwill gesture, such as: B. More toll-free numbers. Just cancel right away if you don't want to go through the whole process again later.

If you subscribed to a review magazine as part of your checkout at a retailer, the cashier may have used the word "free". However, there is a difference between "free" and "risk-free". According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), many companies are signing people up for a so-called “No Risk” offering. They request a payment method to cover a small shipping or handling fee, or link their magazine subscription to a purchase so they can top up their card after the trial period is over.

If you subscribed to magazines through such a method and received significant charges at the end of the trial period, you may be eligible for a partial refund. However, this reimbursement is usually prorated and you will not receive any money for the magazines you have already received. These include the so-called "free".

3. Access social networks

You can also turn to social media for a possible solution. Many companies scour Twitter and other social media platforms for mentions of their brand. If you can't cancel a magazine subscription by contacting a company, try complaining about the situation on social media. Companies don't want to look bad in front of potential customers. They want to resolve public grievances and improve or maintain their image.

Posting about fraudulent practices does not always bring you the solution you want. However, you can help protect others from a negative experience.

4. Submit a credit card fraud report

When subscribing to a magazine, it is best to use a credit card. Credit card companies have robust fraud departments and are ready to fight for you. If they find that a company has taken advantage of you or misrepresented their terms, they will usually reverse the transaction.

Your credit card company is the best asset you have on your side, so always use a credit card instead of a debit card.

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5. Contact the Federal Trade Commission

You can get help from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if you cannot resolve a magazine subscription dispute amicably on your own.

The FTC is a government agency that prevents fraudulent and deceptive business practices. If you feel like you've been scammed by an outside company, you canfile an online complaint with the FTC.

How to cancel a magazine subscription on behalf of a former resident or deceased

Has a loved one recently passed away? If you are the next of kin or the executor of your loved one's estate, you could be confrontedcleaning your elderly parents' housethe passinga house full of things you inherited. EU

It can also mean paying outstanding bills and canceling memberships and subscriptions. Here's what to do if you're faced with a complicated magazine subscription cancellation process.

1. Obtain copies of the death certificate

You will need a death certificate if you need to terminate your deceased loved one's accounts and subscriptions.

Cable companies, utility companies, property managers, and other entities often require death certificates to terminate services. It is usually no different with a magazine subscription.

2. Contact the company

It helps if the deceased has a basic navigation systemkeep important documents. (Note: This is an important thing to do for your next of kin whenStart your own end-of-life planning.)

Most magazine subscriptions are prepaid, but there's no harm in sending a death certificate to a magazine subscription service either. This ensures that no further shipments are sent to an address where the deceased no longer resides. You can also avoid unwanted subscription renewals as equity is liquidated. You may even be able to get a partial refund from the deceased's or estate's credit card.

Be sure to take detailed, dated notes and keep any documentation you receive from the magazine company in case problems arise later.

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3. Post on social media

Most companies are quick to close accounts if you provide a death certificate. However, if you are having trouble, make posts on social media.

Online service agents are looking for people who can complain on social networks and intervene and solve your problem.

4. Contact the Federal Trade Commission

Reputable magazine publishers tend to be quick to cancel subscriptions, but problems can arise with third-party publishers. Less unscrupulous businesses may struggle with cancellations or rely on additional fees to get lost in the mess. Be diligent when looking for fees.

File a complaint with the FTCif you believe that a third party is fraudulently charging the discount.

Steps to help you unsubscribe from unwanted magazines

Canceling your own magazine subscription or canceling a deceased loved one's subscription can be difficult. As the print market struggles to be profitable, publications rely on large numbers of subscribers to sell advertising and remain solvent. However, this does not justify predatory practices. Make sure you know your rights as a consumer and don't be afraid to stand up for yourself or your family members.


  1. "Magazine Subscription Orders", Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, April 9, 2019,
  2. Jhaveri, Aditi "Conditions Attached to Some 'Risk-Free' Trial Offers", Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Information, 25. Juni 2015,
  3. Lake, Lisa "Bonus! Extra! Read all about this signature fraud.”, Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Information, May 3, 2016,
  4. "'Free' trial offers?", Federal Trade Commission: Consumer Information, September 23, 2019,
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