Amy tried to buy her grandma a present that would show up regularly in her mailbox and keep her occupied. The Reader’s Digest subscription she bought her fit the bill, but not the way Amy hoped because the magazine kept insisting that Granny owed $20.
For her birthday last year, I gave my grandmother a subscription to ‘Reader’s Digest,’ a magazine she used to enjoy. She received issues regularly for a few months and then was sent a bill. The bill instructed her to send her payment for the subscription, even though it was a gift. She ignored the bill and threw it away. At the time she didn’t mention it to me because she just thought it was sent by accident.
She was then sent a book of short stories from ‘Reader’s Digest,’ something that was supposed to be a free gift with the subscription. A few weeks after that she received a bill for the book, stating that since she had not sent back the gift to please send a $19.99 payment. She continued to receive bills in the mail asking her to pay for the book and magazine subscription. She finally so distraught and frustrated with the payment demands that she canceled the subscription all together.
She was upset and embarrassed about canceling, and did not inform me until recently. ‘Reader’s Digest’ never contacted me about the cancellation.
Recently, I had also been sent a letter in the mail asking to renew the gift subscription. I logged into my account online and noted that the subscription had indeed been canceled. I also noticed a ‘100% Satisfaction Guarantee’ on the site stating that you could cancel a subscription at any time and be refunded for the remaining unsent issues.
I called the ‘Reader’s Digest’ customer service line and was given the complete run around. I asked that my grandmother and I be removed from the ‘Reader’s Digest’ mailing list. When I inquired about the refund I was told that since the cancellation occured without my notification they could not give me a refund. I was frustrated and asked to speak with a supervisor, a request which was denied. Needless to say, I did not get my refund.
Please beware of ‘Reader’s Digest’ and their idea of ‘gift’ subscriptions. If you don’t want the recipient’s mailbox to be filled with requests for payment and supposed ‘free’ gifts then stay away! And their supposed satisfaction guarantee is total junk.
If you’ve ever bought someone a gift subscription that blew up in both your faces, share your story in the comments.