Wondering how to tell who sent magazines you didn’t order? Publications are in business to make money, and unless you sign up for a special offer or incentive they aren’t usually free. If you don’t recall signing up or receiving a gift subscription you’ll have to find the source. After all, you don’t want your credit ruined because of an unpaid magazine subscription that you never even ordered. You need to know how to find source of magazine subscriptions. The labels contain lots of information, but you’ll have to do a little digging to learn where they came from.
Possible Reasons for Unwanted Magazine Subscriptions
- Prank magazine subscriptions (yes, it’s still a common prank)
- Freebies from free magazine sites (sent by well-meaning friends who forgot to tell you)
- Magazines may have been part of a purchase or offer and you didn’t see the opt-out box
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Deciphering the Info on Magazine Labels
What you won’t find online is a list of magazine codes with senders. However, it isn’t difficult to learn how to decipher magazine address labels. The only info you really need is the account number. Where is the magazine subscription account number? You’ll find it in between two hashtags on the label, and it’s usually above the name and address. When wondering how to tell who sent magazines you didn’t order, the account number is key. With simple detective work you may be able to stop the subscription before they ever have a chance to send you a bill.
How to Tell Who Sent Magazines You Didn’t Order
Immediately after the hashtag you’ll likely see the magazine initials. For example, Sports Illustrated is SI. However, searching the account number won’t produce results. You’ll still need to call or email the magazine’s customer service.
The info may be found at the bottom of the last page of the magazine in very fine print, or you can find it through an online search.
Thieves Steal Info from Junk Mail Labels!
Still need to know who sent a magazine?
Call customer service with the magazine account number from the label. They will be able to immediately tell if it was ordered directly or through a 3rd party company. If it was a 3rd party, customer service will provide you with their phone number. You can find out the name of the company by Googling the phone number provided.
How to Handle a Bill for Magazines That You Didn’t Order
By all means, do not pay for a magazine subscription that you didn’t order. Send them a polite letter stating that you didn’t order anything, and kindly ask them to cancel the subscription. Include the approximate date the magazine was received, the month of publication, your full name, address, the account number on the label, and the subscription end date. If they don’t cancel the order after you’ve made the request, follow up with another letter. Tell them you expect the mistake to be resolved immediately or complaints will be filed with state and/or federal agencies.
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The Source of Magazines I Didn’t Order
Now that I’ve explained how to tell who sent magazines you didn’t order I’ll share my story. Early December 2017 I received Sports Illustrated. A few days later People magazine came! I wondered how many more would arrive. I figured it had to be a prank.
I called the Sports Illustrated publisher and was told I would have to contact the 3rd party sender. They gave me a phone number, but it went voicemail. It sounded like a home recorder rather than a business, and that really raised my BS meter. They identified themselves as ‘Blue Dolphin Group‘. I found a website by searching the name, found an email address, and sent a letter.
About two weeks later I received a reply that identified Rewards Gold as the source. I’ve used Rewards Gold in the past, but I hadn’t ordered those. First of all, I would never order Sports Illustrated. They also said either I used my points or someone else used their points to obtain free subscriptions. I’m certain it wasn’t me, and no one I know would have ordered them either.
I’m wondering if the company had to give away a certain number of subscriptions before the new year and they hadn’t met their quota. They already had my info on file. I can’t prove it, but maybe it has to do with tax write-offs or giveaway fulfillment. Free or not, I didn’t want those magazines!
Report the Source of Your Mystery Magazines
If you figure out who sent a magazine you didn’t order, post a comment here. In any case, a company shouldn’t send unsolicited publications. People shouldn’t have to worry or wonder if they’ll be billed for magazines they never ordered. What was your experience?