Magazines have fallen in love with auto-renewal schemes: they know you’re coming back, and all they have to do is charge your plastic and send you a perfunctory notice. Most implementations of this have sucked greatly, as I informed whoever does the subscription fulfillment for the Atlantic the other day.
So far, the only non-problematic version of this that I’ve seen comes from Mother Jones, the left-wing investigative-journalism mag, and here’s why, from their not-so-perfunctory notice:
The credit card we have on file ends with [number redacted]. Please let us know if that card is no longer valid. And if you would like to use a different credit card, or if you choose not to renew your subscription, please indicate your wishes on the form above and return it to us ASAP. You can also write to subscribe at motherjones.com.
This covers all the conceivable options, except one, without having to negotiate a Web site or, worse, voice mail. However, the one exception is on the return form: “Check enclosed. Please do not charge my credit card.” Which is what I did.
The rest of you guys should pay attention to your Mother.