Wednesday, October 29, 2008

SF Chronicle Trial Subs have strings it seems

I was bemoaning that my mailbox was absent of predatory lending housing refi offers. Seems those jokers have moved on. But another writing opportunity just appeared today. Cool (I think).

In January I bought a trial sub of the SF Chron to help a student in a college scholarship. The pitch was that all I would have to do is write "Cancel" on the bill and that would be the end of it. Well after doing exactly that (twice), the Chron is trying to bill me for "transportation costs." I'm feeling stubborn and I want them to honor their offer, so I've been refusing to pay the silly $16.92. Well today I got a letter from a collection agency. Ya-hoo let's see where this leads. Here's the letter I just wrote to them:

Ellen Clary

California Service Bureau, Inc
3050 Fite Circle #107
Sacramento CA 95827

CC: SF Chronicle Subscription Dept.

Oct 29, 2008


I received a letter from your company that the SF Chronicle has turned over a bill in the amount of $16.92 to you.

This is in regard to a trial subscription that the Chron failed to cancel at the time it was requested.

Order of events are:
1/9/08 I purchase a $15.00 trial subscription for the SF Chron from a prospective college
student in a scholarship competition the understanding is that when I receive a bill
that if I no longer wish to receive the newspaper that I should write "cancel"
on the bill and that will be the end of it.
1/17/08 That check (#1407) is cashed (see enc)
7/10/08 I receive a bill and return it with cancel written on it (see enc)
8/7/08 I receive another bill and again return it with cancel written on it (see enc)
8/28/08 I receive another bill (this one for $16.92), I return it with a note explaining that
this was a paid for trial sub. and no further money is due. (see enc.)
(I incorrectly state the amount in that note as $35.00, but that was inclusive of
another subscription.)
10/28/08 I receive your letter

While the money is not really an issue here, the principal certainly is (hence the cc to SF Chron). A student was led to believe that the trial subscriptions he was selling were obligation free, for that not to be the case is distressing.

My preference is that this "debt" be simply canceled as this can not be worth your time and I write about financial processes and consumer issues.

This will go out Return Receipt tomorrow. Hopfully they'll get the hint that I can waste enormous amonts of their time. We'll see if I get Consumer Affairs or the Better Business Bureau involved. I don't know if they can do anything to my credit report as they did not extend credit to me and I'm happy to document this silly thing to all of them as well.


Unknown said...

Since they don't have your SSN (I presume) I highly doubt they can do anything to your credit.

Ellen said...

You are correct. They do not have my SSN.