March 24, 2005
I Just Cancelled My "Free" Entertainment Weekly Subscription
Posted by Christine Hurt

Be patient -- this is a long story because I have to make myself look reasonable, even though I got suckered:

Last May, I bought my husband an mp3 player for his birthday.  I was at the Best Buy with my son, who was 2 1/2 then.  As I was trying to pay for the player, the clerk kept trying to sell me the $14.95 warranty.  I told her "no" many times.  Finally, I asked, "Can I not buy the player without the warranty?  Just tell me so I can go somewhere else."  She of course said that I could buy the player without the warranty.  She then asked, "Would you like 6 issues of Entertainment Weekly or Sports Illustrated?  They're free."  The sarcasm in her voice was fairly obvious.  I told her that I would take 6  issues of Entertainment Weekly.  She told me to sign on the computer screen, which I did.  The only information on the computer screen was the amount I owed for the player.  She then handed me the receipt, and then the player.  I went home, wrapped the player, and put the receipt in my jewelry box.

Sure enough, we started getting Entertainment Weekly.  We enjoyed our issues.  Although my husband won't admit it, he read it more than I did.  After the 7th or 8th issue came, I realized that I had received more than my 6 issues.  Hmmmm.  Then, the mp3 player broke.  (If you ask me why I didn't get the warranty, I'll kill you.)  So, Paul wanted the receipt so he could call Rio and yell at them.  I go to get the receipt and notice that on the receipt is a notice that by signing the receipt, I was agreeing to EW automatically renewing my subscription for six months at $29.99.  Aargh.

OK, whatever. 

Rio gave us another mp3 player (which is broken again, but that's another story), and we resigned ourselves to six months of trashy industry news (and a really good column by Stephen King).  Then, before I realized it, my debit card was charged for ANOTHER six months at $29.99 when the first six months was over.  So, today I finally took the time to cancel the subscription before the next six months runs out.

My contracts question is this:  Did I legally bind myself to the first $29.99 renewal subscription by signing a computer screen with no information about that obligation?  Does signing a computer screen for one obligation (deduction from my bank account for amount of Rio player) bind me to a secondary obligation that was only explained to me after signing on a tape receipt that was handed to me without any explanation?  I understand that I could have been more diligent, but this strikes me as a practice designed to deceive.

In addition, the subscription rate for new subscribers is $19.99/six months, according to the website.

Contracts | Bookmark

TrackBacks (3)

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d8345157d569e200d8341ec41553ef

Links to weblogs that reference I Just Cancelled My "Free" Entertainment Weekly Subscription:

» NY Enforcement Actions for Reselling Emails in Breach of Privacy Policy from Technology & Marketing Law Blog ...
"By Eric Goldman Gratis Internet runs several websites that promise free stuff (like free iPods) in e ..." [more] (Tracked on March 23, 2006 @ 12:33)
» NY Enforcement Actions for Reselling Emails in Breach of Privacy Policy from Technology & Marketing Law Blog ...
"By Eric Goldman Gratis Internet runs several websites that promise free stuff (like free iPods) in e ..." [more] (Tracked on April 11, 2006 @ 15:15)
» NY Enforcement Actions for Reselling Emails in Breach of Privacy Policy from Technology & Marketing Law Blog ...
"By Eric Goldman Gratis Internet runs several websites that promise free stuff (like free iPods) in e ..." [more] (Tracked on April 17, 2006 @ 17:00)
Bloggers
Papers
Posts
Recent Comments
Popular Threads
Search The Glom
The Glom on Twitter
Archives by Topic
Archives by Date
November 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30      
Miscellaneous Links