Friday, February 14, 2014

Sunset Magazine Customer Care Woes

For two years now I have had great difficulty paying my Sunset Magazine subscription charges.
This year I received a bill from Sunset. I use an electronic bill payment service.  The bill was promptly paid electronically with an ACH transaction by the bill pay service.  For those of you unfamiliar with this type of transaction, it is a checkless transaction where the money is electronically debited from your account and credited to the recipient's account.    I thought I was done with the matter for another year.
About two weeks later I received yet another bill. Upon research, I confirmed that I had, in fact, paid the bill earlier.  I call the customer care number and tried to resolve the matter.  They confirmed, a full two weeks after the electronic transfer that they had not received payment.  Upon further examination, for some reason I do not understand quite yet, they had billed me with a different account number than the account number I had with them during the previous year.  Therefore, I had paid to an account different than the account they had billed me for.  I pointed this out to them.  Upon completion of their research they assured me that I had not paid the bill.  I assured them that I had paid the bill.
They wanted to know the check number for the payment.  I explained to them that there was no check number, since it was an ACH electronic transaction.  They said that they could not help me and that I would have to pay the bill again. Poppycock!
Using their website I sent them an email with all the details and I also got a "proof of payment" from the bill pay service demonstrating that I had, in fact, paid the bill.  In response I got an email that they would get back to me within two business days.   At the end of the second business day I received an email that they had reviewed the matter and that I still owed the money and that if I had any questions I should contact their customer care unit at the telephone number given.
I called the customer care unit and learned that no one at that unit has the ability to see any of the email correspondence. They wanted me to start all over again as if there were no history to the problem.
After much shuffling around from one person to another and repeating the story over and over again, I was told that there just was no record of a payment and that I would just have to pay the bill.  If I wanted to get a refund for the other payment I would have to bring that up with my bill pay company.  This was getting preposterous!
After spending more than three hours going around in circles I resigned myself to the fact that I would just not be getting this subscription any longer.
The very next day I received an email from them saying that they have now received the payment I made and that I am paid in full.  What I find so surprising is that they claim that the payment was received a full two weeks after it was sent electronically!
Something is wrong at Sunset.
Have you had trouble with paying for your subscriptions? Please let me know. I'd like to hear about it.


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    1. This reply was incorrectly posted to this entry. The reply has been moved to the correct post "Zestimates from Zillow are Worthless"