Saturday, October 30, 2010

A person really has to watch

I have kept a Reader's Digest subscription going for years; the size is perfect for slipping in a purse (or lunchbox, in Cliff's case) so it's handy for those times when we're somewhere waiting, for instance at a doctor's or dentist's office.  The articles are brief, so you're not committing to a lot of time when you start reading.  I've learned a lot from Reader's Digest.
However, my subscription lapsed, and I've decided this is one thing we can easily do without.  I know it's time to renew, because they've been sending me bills for a couple of months.  But I didn't renew, so why are they sending me bills that sound like I re-subscribed?   In fact, they've sent me two magazines that I shouldn't have received, and the tone of their little notes make me feel more like a freeloader with each reminder.
I found a phone number on the bill Thursday and gave them a call.  I explained the problem to the customer service person and gave her my name and address.
"Oh," she said, "you're on automatic renewal."
What?  I never asked for that!
She took me off the plan and graciously told me I could keep the two magazines that I wasn't supposed to receive.
I just wonder how many people renew their subscriptions who otherwise would not, if they hadn't been bullied into "automatically renewal"?
The same day, I received a credit card bill charging me $1.82 in interest; I had made no purchases, so how did I rack up interest?  We're down to three credit cards, and I still have to weed at least one of them out; I just haven't decided which one.  I've gotten rid of Kohl's, Home Depot, Sears, and two gasoline credit cards.  I kept these for years because credit card holders get special deals; it was really hard to destroy my Kohl's card, because that's where I buy shoes, and sometimes I got 30% off a sale price as a card-holder.  Still, we do not need all that plastic filling up our billfolds.
If I get angry with any of my remaining three card providers, they are history.  I was ready to tell somebody that when I called Chase card customer service.
This summer we used that card to excess (the Arkansas trip and lots of diesel fuel for tractors), and in the end it took me three months to pay them off.  We swore never to let that happen again, even if we have to sit at home for the rest of our lives.
The lady explained to me that ours is a revolving charge account and the $1.82 is carried over from the previous month.
Just as I was getting ready to tell her what she could do with my account, she said, "Oh, wait; I think I can take that off your bill.  Yes, I can; it should show up as being removed within a few days."
So I still have a decision to make about which card I get rid of.  I'll wait and see if that $1.82 really is removed before I decide.

Here's a video to show you how my dog, Iris, plays with shadows.  She also plays with beams of light, and chases birds flying overhead.  She's nuts.


kcmeesha said...

I have a bunch of cards but I only use two, both with cash back. I don't see why you had to get rid of Kohl's card if it gave you discounts,I would just use it instead of cash, get my discount and pay it off with the cash you were planning to spend anyway,less the discount.The only place I use debit card is at Aldi

Cliff said...

Donna, I've done battle many times with magazine phone banks. I always win but it sometimes takes way too much time to save the money.
I've read all of your posts on this page. Yeah, saying good bye to the growing season is kind of melacholy but but soon we'll be in the middle of winter with new hope for spring and planting.
Hasn't this weather been fabulous. I could use this all the way to about March 1st.
Nice trailer by the way. Be careful on that bike.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Credit card companies can do the strangest things so I got rid of every one of mine. Kohls did have a senior day on Wednesdays pretty often and that is when I would shop as I got 15% off on those days. I haven't been there since I quit working though so I'm not sure if they still have that. I got rid of all my subscriptions even the newspaper. You can still read most everything on line so that's what I do.

Margaret said...

I've gotten burned on that automatic renewal too AND the credit cards. I hate dealing with it because it makes me feel stupid. I wish I could cancel a credit card but my husband won't let me because it would hurt our credit score. Boo!!

Calfkeeper said...

The same thing happened to me with Reader's Digest. What it was is they put a note in my last magazine saying to send something back if I didn't want to renew. I never read those inserts, so I threw it away.

Voila! I was on their automatic renewal list. I sent the bills back with "cancel" written on them.

Lori said...

I love that video of Iris!