Yes, I subscribed to Garden Gate for a year or 2 and then let it go. But, I have been getting the same thing from a lot of mags. Telling me that I subscribed to their mags and I owe them money. I ignored one thru 3 billing notices, we'll see.
Garden Gate is one of the best gardening mags, in my opinion. I never had any problem with my subscription. I did read somewhere recently that there are companies that sort of "broker" different magazines and attempt to solicit subscriptions. They actually send out statements that appear to be legitimate, then when an unsuspecting person pays the bill, they take a cut of the $$ themselves. I'll bet that is what has happened. I read that it is best to deal directly with a particular magazine publisher when you subscribe. But, if you did decide to take a garden mag ... Garden Gate is a fine one.
I used to get Garden Gate and I agree it's one of the best gardening mags out there. The bill you got was most likely one of those types that if you send it back in with payment you'll receive the subscription...if you don't send it in you won't get anything. Every now and then when they have special pricing I still get "bills" from them. I ignore them and nothing happens. I also get "bills" for some of their other mags. There is a difference between paying in advance and an actual bill, most likely that is why they are not responding to your e.mail. If what you are getting is an actual bill that says you've gotten their mag without paying for it somehow (since all mag subscriptions are paid in advance now) I would CALL them and quit messing around with e.mail so you can get to the bottom of it.
...and now another reason most mag companies handle things this way...because most folks see the "bill" and just go on auto pilot and pay it. I remember hearing of one elderly woman who did this and, when she passed away, her family found out she had a subscription to Reader's Digest that went something like 25 yrs into the future. That was a rather ticked off family, lol.
Somewhere you put your name on something that said you were intersted in gardening and that's how they got your name and address...a warranty card you sent in, some survey, something somewhere and that info was sold to them. If it bothers you that much call them and get your name removed from their mailing list.
I just sent a card in for a free copy of Mayo Clinic to see what it was. Well by return mail I got it with a bill. I wrote on it saying I had asked for a free copy and they could cancel any subscription.
I will continue to toss anything I get from them in the future without opening it. I don't consider any company that goes to these ends to be a viable company. Yes, I know Mayo Clinic is viable, but how about the magazine? Nope, not for me.
Edited to add: In my opinion they are killing the golden goose with these tactics.
I don't think this is what is going on in your case but in my case I managed to tick off someone on the internet a while ago. I think for 2 years straight they signed me up for every magazine known to man to the point I'm pretty some have black listed me from it.
I would double check the address on the bill and then see if it matches the one Garden Gate uses. If it doesn't it might be a scam but if it does then you might have been signed up by a third party - like another publication, a gardening catalog, or newsletter.
OMgosh Tikipod, LOL!! I once signed up for a FREE 3 month trial of (what was the name of it again??) Crocheting magazine. When I got the mailer to cancel or pay to continue, I checked "cancel" and sent it back. I continued to get the mag for a year...with no further mailings as far as bills. After a yr I got a letter saying I had never paid. I wrote them a letter telling them they had messed up. Next thing I knew I started getting phone calls. Now that ticked me off!!! I remember telling the guy on the phone that I was **certain** I didn't owe him any money because I always paid my bills...and I couldn't help it if his company was this messed up. They quit billing me.
The thing was this mag wasn't even for the type of crocheting I did at that time. I was just learning and was only working with yarn...their mag was only for thread crocheting. Now, why would I have even ordered that? They really do think you'll just go on autopilot and just pay...I think some of them count on it.
One trick all of them use is they send a bill but it actually says if you renew early you get it for a cheaper price. But it actually looks like a bill. So you just think you are paying for another year because you like the mag and write the check. Pretty soon you are way ahead for a few years.
Can't remember where I read it, but some heirs were cleaning up the estate of their deceased mother and found out she was paid up for 25 years on the Readers Digest. Sounds kind of far fetched doesn't it.
I read those things (bill look alikes) pretty good once I discovered what they were doing.
Jnette...LOL!! I posted same thing above...but you know what...I was thinking about it and I'm pretty sure I read that here on DG. I'm pretty sure it was on the gen discussion forum a few yrs back...can't remember who posted it tho. It wasn't a story or something they heard from a friend of a friend...it was their actual own DM. How sad. That one really makes me angry...I hope whoever it happened to had a *really ticked off* son/daughter who gave 'em a piece of his/her mind! I don't care how much anyone loves Reader's Digest you don't pay for more than 5 yrs into the future, LOL!! Most "older" folks I know won't buy bananas that aren't ripe...just in case.
...I hope some mag subscription reps somehow come across this thread and read it. Wouldn't that be nice? ;-)
Oh I'm a victim of the renew. They have another trick around the holidays where if you renew your subscription for another year you can give up to 2-3 gift subscriptions. They are either free or range between 5-10 dollars each. I have a 4 year subscription to Organic Gardening (which I love actually.) I just love giving my mom and my best friend gift subscriptions.
On DG there was an ad for a free copy of Garden Gate. I had a brain freeze and then I requested the free copy. Then the bill's started coming. I sorta blame DG for allowing these type of companies advertise here. I hope Garden Gate is never seen or heard of again on this site.
Actually, I really do like magazines. I will take a couple of new ones for a year just to see if I like them. But there are only 2 that I like well enough to take more than that. One, Countryside, I have taken for about 20 some years. And Family Handyman, I really enjoy because the people who send in suggestions have such great imaginations, plus I think the articles in there keep us current with the new ways of doing things. I did take Garden Gate for a couple of years and dropped it too. Birds and Bloom a couple years and dropped it.
The thing that really tees me off, is when I donate to what I think is a worthy cause, and then get tons of requests for money from absolutely every "worthy cause" out there. It's like they sell your name. So now, I sadly do not donate to anyone other than to drop the money into a can or whatever where I am not asked for my name and address.
I set up a spreadsheet to keep track of the magazines.
Shows when I ordered & for how long & when the last issue will come. Also a column for paid.
I would have had some coming for 20 years if I had paid all the "bills".