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Readers beware

November 2013: As a public-service organization, we take our customers very seriously. So we were concerned to find that some readers have been receiving offers for subscription renewals or new orders from companies that are not authorized to market on behalf of Consumer Reports magazine. And some have even inflated the price of the annual subscription. These companies go by several different names—Allied Publishers Services, Associated Publishers Network, Magazine Payment Services, National Magazine Services, and Publishers Billing Center, to name a few.

We, along with several other magazine publishers who have experienced similar problems, are looking into the matter and are anxious to get to the bottom of it. For renewal forms, the absence of an expiration date could mean you’re dealing with an unauthorized marketer. And if there is an expiration date, it should match the expiration date on your magazine label. Also, check the fine print for cancellation fees, another red flag. Consumer Reports can’t guarantee that third-party agents with whom we have no established relationship will send us the orders they’ve received.

Below you'll find a sample of an unauthorized mailing, and beneath that is an image of the back of the mailing showing the cancellation fee in small type.

Unauthorized mailing

Photo: Reader submitted
Back of mailing showing cancellation fee

Photo: Reader submitted