I don't subscribe to any magazines. The only paper magazine I've purchased in the last few years is an issue of Monocle I bought two months ago and haven't read yet. So I was surprised to receive an official-looking envelope from Pacific Magazine Billing in San Marcos, California:
I opened it. It had a NOTICE OF RENEWAL/NEW ORDER OFFER for Time magazine. Upon close inspection, I found fine print a the bottom that read, "THIS IS AN OFFER FROM AN INDEPENDENT COMPANY, NOT A BILL."
In other words, a company that calls itself Pacific Magazine Billing sent me a "Not a bill" for a two-year "renewal/new offer" to Time for $79.95. That's $21.95 more than Time charges for a 2-year subscription!
Scampulse has dozens of complaints about Pacific Magazine Billing. They range from people saying they bought a subscription and never received copies to people saying their elderly parents thought the "offers" were actual bills. The Better Business Bureau gives Pacific Magazine Billing an "F" and has logged over 200 complaints. Sample complaint:
The complainant received a solicitation for magazine "offers" from Pacific Magazine Billing. She thought this was a renewal for a magazine which she receives, which it was not. On 7/31/2021 she paid $89.98 check #**** to Pacific Magazine Billing ref #***-536-5191. A few days later she received another "offer" and she paid another $89.97 check# **** to Pacific Magazine Billing on 8/10/2021. On 11/6/2021 she received a third "offer" ref# ***-703-9025 for $89.95 which she did not pay. I am requesting 1) cancelation of the paid orders, 2) a full refund of $179.94, and 3) opt out by removing the complainants name from all future solicitations from Pacific Magazine Billing.
Here's Pacific Magazine Billing's reply to that particular complaint:
This individual has been fully refunded and removed from our mailing list.
In response to complaints, Pacific Magazine Billing says it is not affiliated with the magazines it sends out renewal notices for. It says, "we are 3rd party that utilizes clearing houses to fulfill order requests." It sounds like gibberish to me.
My opinion: if you receive an "offer" from Pacific Magazine Billing, rip it into little pieces and deposit it in a recycling bin. And notify elderly relatives to do the same.
UPDATE: Here's a guy who called Pacific Magazine Billing in 2019 to ask them about its deceptive mailings.