Rogue Subagent Problems Reported
Two consumer magazine circulation directors have reported to Circulation Management specific problems they are having with sub agents who appear to have obtained the subscription lists for the magazines and have gone after subscribers to renew them without approval from the publishers.
In the case of the first magazine, the circ director said she would like to send a warning out to other publishers and list managers to be wary of those who are renting the subscriber lists.
"Sometimes a legitimate company may rent the names from a legitimate list broker, but somehow another company gets hold of the list. So it appears another company may be clearing the list rentals without authorization. It’s very difficult to pin down exactly what is happening."
"You really need to interview the broker, call the company and ask them if they are really doing their mailing in conjunction with the list company. You have to scrutinize everything." So far, this circulator has only had a problem with postal names. It’s definitely cutting into renewal income.
A second circulator told Circulation Managment: "Over the past 18 months or so, we have had trouble with various fraudulent agencies offering our magazine at unauthorized rates and terms.
"These agents have somehow obtained our subscriber database and have been soliciting renewals to our subs at significant discounts. Over the past two months, this problem has become more serious, with thousands of renewals being processed by one of our authorized clearing houses before the rogue subagent was delisted.
"It can take up to 3 months [for them] to forward orders to us, creating a ton of customer service issues."