Did you get a random subscription to People Magazine?

I did and I immediately set to work to find out if I was being charged for this and how it happened. Some reading and research online led me to the discovery that some websites will sign you up to a magazine for free when you use their services. In my case, Fragrance.Net signed me up because I spent X amount of dollars on their website.

My research indicated that in some cases, you’d get the magazine for free, then when the free subscription ends, they would continue sending you the magazine and start billing you unless you explicitly cancel the subscription.

I don’t read magazines, but my wife does. She said she’d read it if its there, so I’ll keep the subscription, but if they ever charge me for a People subscription, I’m not paying one cent!

You are probably wondering why a magazine such as People or Prevention would do this? The reason they do this is to help their circulation numbers. Whether paid or not, if they are sending out magazines, and people are seeing them, it helps them retain advertisers.

In essence, they make more money from the ads than the cost of the magazine being provided. In order to keep those ads coming in, they have to keep circulating the magazine. We all know how the internet has changed the landscape for magazines, so they’d rather send it for free, look good in terms of circulation numbers, and due to that, continue getting that ad revenue.

I’m all good with a free magazine such as People, as long as its free. Apparently you have the option to “opt out” when you buy whatever it is from the websites, but most of us, (obviously) don’t actually read the fine print. Like I said, as long as its free, I’m all good. But if they charge me, then its war! Below are screenshots of my conversation with Fragrance.net about the People magazine subscription.

For your reference, here are some websites known to practice this, the magazines they do it for, and the firm that pays them to do it:

M2 Media Group is the company that handles the subscriptions for the magazines. If you want to cancel, these are the people you reach out to: 866-967-6247.

Known sites that practice this:

Magazines using the service:
Sports Illustrated