Think twice before giving your credit card to Readly!

Now, in all fairness, I thoroughly enjoyed Readly for a time when I was traveling more often.    It is a nice service, very visually appealing on an iPad, and works very well.   However, I decided several months ago that it wasn’t worth $9.99 a month to me.    Not to mention that I already have Apple News which includes a plethora of magazines also.

TL; DR  Use a card like a Privacy card when subscribing to Readly, so you can easily cancel.

So, after deciding to cancel I promptly opened up the mobile app on my iPad.   Hmm, that’s strange.   No cancellation option.   No problem, I’ll just use the support email and send them an email from the email account that my Readly service is registered to.    This would provide them pretty definitive evidence that I was the one making the request.   

I sent my first message to them August 15th of this year, giving them the last digits of the card that was being charged, my full name, told them my account email address, and asked them to please cancel the subscription with immediate effect.

It wasn’t until around November 1, 2021, that I realized I’d not received any reply from them.    So I checked my credit card statement, yep the charged me again.    Super.    So I sent them another email, within which I expressed my frustration that I was needing to send another email in the first place.   I also told them that my first inclination was just to dispute the charge, but my credit card company suggested that I make one more attempt as a good-faith gesture.

Fast forward to today, December 2, 2021, and I’m seeing another charge on my credit card statement.  I’m just over-the-moon happy when I see this!    So, I promptly go to my email to find when I sent the email to them last.    There was a Zendesk seemingly canned auto-reply from my prior email that I’d neglected to see because it had been filtered as a newsletter.

Don’t leave yet, the best part is yet to come! So, within this email… well– I’ll just include a screenshot of it below so I don’t misconstrue it.


Screenshot of email response from Readly
Seems innocent enough, until you actually read it.


Okay, so the first time, I sent them the following information using the process in their mobile app, while logged in to my account!

  • My full name
  • My account’s email address
  • The amount that I was charged
  • The last four digits of the credit card that was debited
  • Various data embedded by the app into the submission, not visible to me.

The next time, I contacted them by composing an email from the email address on my account, directly to the support email address.

So I’m about to respond to them and ask how exactly they are protecting my information from unauthorized persons by using this process.    It seems more like they are protecting Readly from any subscriber loss.

Are they seriously insinuating that they have these protections in place because email account hackers might gain access to my email account, realize that I have a Readly subscription, and then try to masquerade as me in order to cancel my Readly subscription?    I mean, surely, if it is on the list of malicious actions taken by email account hackers — it’s gotta be down toward the bottom of the list.     And by that I mean, maybe 1 person.

The funny part is that — even IF that scenario took place, and someone tried to maliciously cancel my account, there would be Zero information provided to the malicious party!    (Excepting, of course, the confirmation that service was canceled.)

I wouldn’t be writing this blog post right now, save for the fact that Readly has no presence in the United States.    Otherwise, I’d be posting a complaint on the Better Business Bureau page for the company.  (There is a BBB profile for a Readly, LLC, complete with someone complaining of unauthorized charges, but alas — I don’t believe it’s accurate.   There are no other mentions on the Internet of Readly at this address and there is another occupant at their supposed address.)

So, I’m off to dispute these transactions!