This sort of thing arrives quite often, looking very official with all its Control Numbers, three-color printing, good production values, and suchlike:
Generally, Subscription Billing Service offers subscriptions / renewals to magazines I’d never subscribe to. As it turns out, we actually subscribe to Science News and their subscription reminder arrived a few days later, which gave me the opportunity to fish the SBS form out of the recycling bin and compare prices. Turns out that the SBS “one of the lowest available rates we can offer” deal is just about exactly twice what you’d pay directly to Science News.
Huh. What a surprise.
The Fine Print on the back of the SBS form shows how they get away with this nonsense, at least given an unending supply of new suckers to exploit. You have seven days to “cancel” and you’ll pay $20 for the privilege of not having a middleman double the price:
I do wonder how they can act as an “agent” without having a “direct relationship with the publishers”. Just one of those little mysteries of the universe, somewhat like how dark matter can be everywhere and nowhere at once.
It’s a perfectly legitimate business, I suppose, but that doesn’t mean they’re not scum…