Recently, I've heard several warnings that people have entered Hearst Magazine sweepstakes through a non-subscription link and ended up being subscribed for a magazine without their consent.
For example, Sweepstakes Forum member LuckyDog reported being unwillingly subscribed when he entered a Good Housekeeping Magazine sweepstakes. I myself was unwillingly subscribed to Harper's Bazaar after signing up for a sweepstakes, and I am 100% sure that I used the link to enter without a subscription.
This is especially disappointing because I was contacted by an Executive Director in Hearst Magazine's marketing department who promised to "get to the bottom of the issues you experienced quickly and report back" back when I first reported a Warning about Good Housekeeping Sweepstakes back in 2007, but the problem continues.
What to Do If You Receive an Unwanted Magazine SubscriptionIf you receive notice that you've received an unwanted magazine subscription, visit the website for the magazine and look for the Customer Service link. There, you should be able to unsubscribe, although you may receive a really annoying message that you need to wait for a while before unsubscribing. You can see the full list of Hearst Magazine websites, including links to each customer service page, where you can unsubscribe.
If you receive a magazine you don't want, there should be contact information in the magazine itself that you can use to unsubscribe.
It's important that you don't simply ignore these magazines. Although the magazine company presumably doesn't have your credit card information to charge you, it's possible that they could send your bill to a collection agency, which could harm your credit rating.
Note that I've seen most complaints about Hearst Magazine sweepstakes, but you should be very careful that you are opting out of subscriptions when you enter any magazine sweepstakes. Another forum member, OhioKit, recently reported a similar problem with Martha Stewart Magazine.