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Sunday, June 06, 2010

On Subscription Renewals and Special Offers

Last year I renewed a subscription for my library, a magazine the kids love to read. We got a special offer, $49.95 for twelve issues! This year, we got another "special offer" - the same amount for a whole ten issues! Yay! But ONLY if we subscribed NOW. Two months ahead. It took me ages to get through to the publishers to clarify. They kept answering every question except the one I had actually asked: what happens if I don't take advantage of your fabulous offer? Do I pay more but still get 12 issues? Are you cutting back to ten issues a year? And whoever was replying refused to give me a name to speak to. It may be I was hearing from more than one person, but still...

Finally, someone admitted that they were cutting down to ten issues a year and I had to renew, because they STILL haven't told me what I have to pay if I leave it till August, the date we really are due and I have had enough of this back and forth.

I have to take my hat off to this company's marketing division, though :"Let's send them a whiz-bang special offer and hope they don't notice we've cut the goods back AND we get all the interest on the payment in the meantime." Take from your customers and make it look like you're doing them a favour. As far as I'm concerned, I would have preferred to get a message saying, "We're cutting back, but if you renew now we can keep it at the old price." I would still have taken up the offer, but not had all the annoyance.

Ah, well.

Addendum: Today I got in to work and found a new message from the company offering TWELVE issues for the same price as the previous one. After I'd faxed through the order for the ten.

I rang up the company and spoke to a nice gentleman who fixed it for me and promised an invoice in a few days. I got his name. When you get a competent person on the other end, you don't want to lose them.

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