I just called the Communication Arts number and pressed the appropriate buttons to direct myself to the customer service department. I was fully poised to unleash my fury upon whoever answered if they did not help out my situation. A friendly male voice answered the phone and I briefly explained that I had been in contact with them through email about changing my subscription over to a student rate. He asked when I had sent the last email, then for the necessary name and address to pull up my account. After verifying the information, he stated rather matter-of-factly that I would be invoiced for $39 (the student rate) and that the first issue of my new subscription would be the month of December (my subscription now runs out after November's issue).
Frankly, I was shocked, and bid him a nice day and hung up. It was all taken care of. No fury unleashed, no heads ripped off, no yelling at supervisors. I can't help but assume that there was some sort of note on my account regarding the whole ordeal and that it tipped him off as to what to say to placate me. I am glad that this has been resolved (assuming I do, in fact, get an invoice), but I can't help thinking that the whole manner in which they have gone about this has been utterly absurd. There were no apologies for the inconvenience, no contact regarding my irate email, no acceptance of fault on their part. Just a solution, provided after a phone call that dured no more than five minutes.
While I am pleased with the outcome, I am still planning on contacting a supervisor of some sort there at the office to let them know what happened.