The Rockford Better Business Bureau is weighing on how the ‘Rockford Register-Star’ is billing customers for a quarterly magazine insert for which many customers did not realize they were being charged.
“I just feel like it’s real sleazy,” ‘Register-Star’ customer Guy Spinello told us in a story ‘Eyewitness News’ broadcast on Sunday, He was complaining about a hidden charge by the newspaper for the quarterly insert, ‘815’ magazine.
“They’re going to charge us each five dollars and fifty cents each quarter for that magazine even though we never ordered it, or had any knowledge of it,” Spinello says.
Many subscribers calling ‘Eyewitness News’ saying they don’t want it either, and asking how to get the charges removed. Some also calling the Rockford Better Business Bureau.
“A bit of a lack of transparency here,” Rockford Better Business Office Director Dennis Horton says about the newspaper’s practice. In fact, Horton is also a subscriber to the newspaper, and says he didn’t realize he was being charged for the magazine either until complaints started coming in.
“I like many others got the magazine,” Horton says. “I also never read the magazine so I have no idea that I was being charged for it and problem is I would have gone a long time without noticing because, like other people, the subscription is on autopay.”
Horton criticizing the practice known as ‘opt-out’ … saying the newspaper should change how they charge subscribers. “It should be incumbent on them I think to ask their subscribers ‘do you want the magazine,’ he says, “and then sell the magazine on its merits.”
If you never ordered ‘815’ magazine and want the charges removed, call the ‘Rockford Register-Star’ at
815-987-1200. The Better Business Bureau also encourages those who wish to do so to file a formal complaint. You can call them at 815-963-2226 during normal business hours.