Top critical review
Be careful with your subscription. Customer Service number is 1-800-888-2665.
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on September 2, 2010
If I could give zero stars for Hearst Magazine's audacity in ripping off subscribers I would. But that's not exactly fair to the editorial staff who put together a lovely magazine, so I'll default to giving two stars: 3.5 stars for the magazine content, 0.5 for the company's policies and customer service.
The long story: I ordered two magazines from HM Aug. 4 with the understanding the first issues, September issues, would take "4 to 6 weeks" for delivery-- that would place it sometime between Sep 1 and Sep 15. Sep 2 I received an outdated issue of one of the magazines, and when I went online to check the status of my Marie Claire subscription I saw it would not begin until October. Disappointing! The reason I subscribed in the first place was largely to get the September fall fashion issue. It was also confusing because I ordered both magazines at the same time and they had identical estimated due dates.
I found it impossible to contact Heart's customer service department from their website, unless I wanted to pay for a long distance call. Shame on them for placing the burden upon the customer for rectifying their error. The "email us" link was broken (with an "invalid code" message followed by programming language. Yes, I set my computer to accept cookies and tried again a few times.) I googled and, luckily, discovered a third party website that lists toll-free customer service numbers and reviewers' experiences dealing with the companies.
Upon calling, the customer service agent was able to credit my account for the outdated magazine, but said I would not receive the Sep issue of Marie Claire at all. He explained that if the subscription is received after a certain cut-off point, the subscription begins with the following issue. I asked him to pass along to his superiors that I am disappointed because I was not informed of this key point when I bought the subscription. I also asked him to pass along that HM should post their 800# so customers can contact HM toll-free when, on a day such as today, their email link is broken. It is as if they are making contacting CS as difficult for the customer as possible. He replied, "that's the first I've heard 'the email link is broken'" in a tone suggesting he didn't believe me.
You know, I had made and attempt to be pleasant; it's not the CS's fault that these things happened, I was just asking him to pass along my feedback. He sighed and in an annoyed tone of voice said he would pass it along. The whole experience was a completely off-putting and disappointing. The only credit I give them is for taking the outdated issue off of my account which is, in my opinion, the least they could do. Their practices seem to me to border on something like false advertising or perhaps mail fraud. Magazines are time-sensitive. How can they get away with mailing and billing for expired issues that predate the "4-6 week" window? I loath when companies default to screwing over the customer and place the onus upon the customer to notice it in the first place and waste his/her time fixing it.
The other two magazines I ordered at the same time, from another publisher, had similar problems with one missing issue and one outdated issue. But in contrast to HM, their CS telephone number was printed inside the magazine and the CS agent was quick and pleasant about amending my account.
As far as the magazine itself, I think their take on fashion is fresher than other fashion mags. I enjoy their art direction and styling. Their cosmetics and skincare bits contain products that are of interest to me. I quite like that their articles include examinations of women's, global and human rights issues. It's always a fun moment away from the hubbub of the work-a-day world to cruise through Marie Claire.