About a year ago, we started receiving Field and Stream magazine. We didn’t subscribe to it, we didn’t pay for it and interestingly enough–it had my mom’s name on it. I live with men, maybe the mailbox needed some hormonal balance due to my Real Simple and Martha magazines. It wasn’t a major deal, just kind of annoying. I have enough trouble de-cluttering my house without extra junk coming in the mail. We’d end up keeping the magazine for a few days, I’m sure at some point, someone flipped through it and then it eventually got tossed. At some point the subscription (?) ran out and we stopped receiving it.
My mom mentioned to me that she has started receiving Dwell magazine, although she did not subscribe to it. I’ve looked at it in the bookstore a time or two. I really thought it was about simple living in small spaces. It’s really about insanely expensive living spaces. Er…I just looked at their website. Apparently it’s a magazine “At home in the modern world” and something or other about sophistication. Not that my mom isn’t all modern and sophisticated or anything, but it’s not exactly a magazine that she’d choose to subscribe to.
And still, all is well and good. Except isn’t it weird that we’ve been receiving these anonymous magazine gift subscriptions? Ones that don’t quite fit our interest. Ones that don’t quite have the name correctly printed on the label. Eh. Whatever, go on with life, right? Recycle the magazine. Cut it up for an art project. Line your rabbit cage.
Except today. Today I checked the mail. That job is usually done by the boy who gets home first, who also happens to be the only boy subscribing to a magazine. A magazine that we actually ordered and paid for, on purpose. But today I got the mail and found yet another unwanted magazine in our box. There, just below the scantily clad woman on the cover, was my husband’s name and our address. I was certain he did not subscribe to this magazine. And I’m certain no one we know would purchase it for our home. Suddenly, this is more than just physical clutter in my mailbox and my home. This is filth.
I’m purposely not mentioning the name of this magazine. I get occasional internet traffic from search terms. But I certainly don’t want this one pointing to my blog.
Thankfully I was able to find the customer service number for this publication without actually going to their website. Thank you gethuman.com I wasn’t exactly looking forward to digging through a junky website to find out how to cancel. I called the 800 number and was quickly connected with a customer service representative. I explained to her that we had received a magazine in the mail today which we did not order and that I did not ever want that to happen ever again. She was able to look up the information by our zip code and last name. And now that I think about it, she didn’t actually confirm our address or ask for a first name. I doubt that anyone else in our zip code with our last name would want this magazine. And, if they did, they’re probably related to me and so maybe I just did the whole family a favor. : )
After she cancelled the subscription, I asked her how this would have happened. She said all she could tell was that it was an order placed by Publications Unlimited. And all she could tell me about that was that it was a third-party company. Whatever that means.
I did a quick google search about unwanted magazines–apparently it happens all the time. A search for Publications Unlimited got several hits for complaint sites and the Better Business Bureau.
I’ve whittled us down to one television and no cable. People in this house know not to ask me for anything made by A&F and if they wear clothes from that store, they expect me to give them a hard time about it. Last weekend I wouldn’t buy soap that had the same name as alcoholic beverages. Today I’m filtering our mail. Next up, we’re moving to a little house on the prairie with chickens and a goat and I’ll homeschool all 8 children and make their wholesome looking dresses from flour sacks that have been dyed with juice from the berries we pick from our garden.