Technology: Don’t get fooled by Magzter
Magzter sent me a pitch that seemed great: For $49 a year, I could get access to thousands of magazines and articles and share those articles and magazines with up to four total family members. I had subscribed to several magazines from Magzter in the past but this sounded great, especially since I looked at all the magazine covers they offered.
By Ray Hanania
If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true.
This morning I received an email from Magzter, the online magazine subscription service. I had purchased magazines through them in the past but always found it difficult and cumbersome.
But the new email claimed that for only $49 a year, I could access get a “Gold” subscription and access thousands of great magazines and articles. The email had images of the front covers of some of the major magazines like Time, Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Campaign Middle East and Rolling Stone magazine.
It sounded great. It seemed clear and I subscribed.
And that’s when I discovered it wasn’t great and it wasn’t clear.
Companies that don’t care about the public do this often. They mislead you in order to hook you. In this case, they put the covers of all the great magazines in the pitch.Magzter App Image. Only magazines with the little Gold circle and/or the Gold “m” on the bottom right of the cover are available to “Gold” subscribers. If you knew that, you wouldn’t subscribe to their pitch.
But, as it turns out, those great magazines are out of your reach as a “Gold” subscriber. You have to pay extra for them. What you get is the garbage subscriptions, a lot of worthless magazines that together might be worth $49 a year.
Worse is that it said I could share the “Gold” subscription with my family. That sounded great. I wanted to share the service with my wife and son, but every time I tried to “Share,” it led me to a dead page that said I am a subscriber.
So, I did reach out to Magzter through their online customer service button at the bottom of the website, only to be told that in order to “share” with your family, as promised, I would have to pay $10 more.
Of course, THAT was nowhere to be found in the email pitch or online at their website at Magzter.com.
When I explained that I was having problems accessing several of the Free Magazines, like Rolling Stone, Time, Newsweek, Wired, and Campaign Middle East, she explained that I could ONLY access magazines that had the little gold circle at the bottom right of the magazine cover image, something that also was not easily explained anywhere on their website.
The customer service rep was quick to ask if I wanted to pay $10 more to add my family members to the crappy list of “Gold” magazines, I declined. Although she definitely was willing to help me with that.
I asked if I could cancel the subscription, and of course, she said no. It’s “not allowed” according to their terms of their agreement.
Yea. I get it. You’re a misleading scam. I don’t like to be scammed and I think that people should know up front what they are getting and what they are not getting BEFORE they turn over their hard earned cash. In other words, stop misleading people just to grab a quick $49 profit.
Are they ashamed of their limited offering? Is that why they mislead people?Magzter. Share with your family. Right! You pay extra for it.
Fortunately, I am not poor. There are other ways to subscribe and not be misled and, in my opinion, cheated.
I could subscribe to the magazines I want, for an additional monthly or yearly fee through Magzter but I realize that anyone who is going to take my $49 by misleading me, isn’t worth doing any business with ever.
I can always go to Magazines.com and subscribe to individual magazines there. At least they didn’t lie to me.
My suggestion is to avoid Magzter until they decided to be a little more open and honest about what they offer.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist, author and former Chicago City Hall reporter. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)