UPDATED: NYMag: Collections Threatened For Sub You Think You Never Ordered

You know we’re at death’s door for the print industry when they have to resort to a sleazy subscription tactic like this debt collection warning New York Mag sent Keith’s wife for a subscription she believes she never signed up for. Keith called the number on the back of the card and a customer service rep said that an “affiliate” put in the order. Dawn let Keith cancel the order without fuss. When Keith asked why the company was threatening to send people to collections for something they never ordered , “Dawn” said, “Don’t worry…it doesn’t make a difference since we don’t have your social security number and we will never ask for it.” As if that’s going to protect you from a debt collector. UPDATE: NYmag says the subscription renewal was valid and the customer must have forgotten about it. Full response inside.

Has anyone else ever gotten a debt collection notice for a magazine they never ordered or received?

In response to this post, New York Mag’s Communications Manager, Lauren Starke, said, “[T]he invoice in question was for a valid renewal order made for the magazine (which has since been cancelled through customer service and the subscriber won’t receive further invoices). I know it’s easy to lose track of everything one orders…Based on the name and zip code our circulation department was able to locate this customer’s account. In this case, the specific code on the account was from a renewal offer that was mailed to her and mailed back to us.”

We asked Keith for a followup response to see if there was any way his wife had somehow forgotten that she sent in a renewal, or if they even had ordered NYMag in the past at all. He says, “My wife says that when she signed up for a website http://www.vault.com, she started to received New York Magazine. They never charged her for it (and we barely glanced at it). When I called them (NY Mag) yesterday (shortly before I e-mailed you) the representative said (in no uncertain terms) that the subscription was made through an affiliate (no doubt, vault.com). To be clear, she has never, ever, not even once ordered or paid for a New York Magazine (subscription or otherwise).”