The thing is, in recent years, the publishers have taken to sending the invoice before the free issue has even arrived. This bugs me to the point where I have been known to send them a note telling them that while offering a free issue is a great way to advertise, sending a bill before I've even seen their publication kind of counteracts their good will intentions.
Last July I decided I would accept the offer for a free trial issue to a magazine I have never seen before. It only comes out 4 times a year, so I knew I likely had to wait a while before the next issue would arrive in my mail box. As I've now come to expect, the invoice arrived. I put it aside to wait for the magazine. When it came I would decide whether to pay it or cancel the possible subscription. The magazine didn't come but a second invoice eventually did. That's when I let them know that I was still waiting for the TRIAL issue.
I got an e-mail with an apology, telling me "A trial issue does take about 6 to 8 weeks so it should be arriving by the end of this month. Please hold on to the notice and disregard any due dates on there until you receive the first issue."
Another month went by and yesterday along came another invoice. This one said that if I have not sent my payment within the past 30 days they will suspend my subscription. Well, of course I had not sent the payment, as I still had not seen the trial issue. By this time I'm sure they have no intention of sending me anything until I pay for it. If I'm not getting the issue they promised, perhaps I'd never get the ones I pay for either.
I sent them another message, once again explaining that I still had not received the trial issue yet, though I ordered it in July. No matter how you look at it, that's definitely more than 6 to 8 weeks.
I suggested they cancel the order as even if I like the magazine, I don't think I like the service.
And they did.