November 14, 2007

Canceling Magazine Subscriptions

Before everyone confesses to murder in the last post, I guess I'll stick something else up to lighten the mood. Magazine subscription renewal letters. Oh how I hate them. This is one I got from the Day-Timer company yesterday:

Dear Hollywood,

I'm concerned.

As the president of Day-Timers, I want our customers to be 100% satisfied with every purchase and the service they receive from us.

We haven't heard from you in a while. Did we drop the ball somewhere? If so, would you please call us and let us know about it? Or, maybe you just lost the "get organized" habit? In any event...WE WANT YOU BACK!

(Two paragraphs of drivel about how they are sending me coupons so I can return to the fold)

I hope you become a Day-Timers fan again.

Sincerely,

Joe Winters

True, I bought a Day-Timers refill off the internet two years ago and didn't reorder online. But I found the relationship unfulfilling and didn't feel the company had earned the courtesy of a Dear John. But whiny letters like this make me 100% committed to never become a returning customer.

We used to have a subscription to National Geographic. I got a year's free subscription through my job and when the subscription ended, I didn't renew. For over a year I got monthly letters from National Geographic begging me to come back to them. One of the last letters I received started out saying, "What have we done to offend you?" At that point I was so disgusted with their groveling that I called the company and demanded they never send any piece of mail to my home again and that I promised the operator I would never ever subscribe to their magazine for the remainder of my earthly life. The mail stopped for about 4 years but there must have been a change in management because the hopeful, timid letters have recently started again. So I really do want to re-subscribe, right?

Wrong.

Getting a magazine subscription is not as casual an act as many people think. It's like having a baby with someone. You can't just walk away and expect the whole relationship to just go away. You'll have to deal with the guilt of the broken relationship every time you visit the mailbox for the rest of your life.

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are one of the funniest person I have never met.

Anonymous said...

"This is a PG-13 rated blog. Please word your comments accordingly." That is to funny:)

Magirk said...

Soooooo true! (am I still supposed to be anonymous...?)

Hollywood said...

Nah, anonymity is so November 13th.

bill said...

If you think subscribing to a mag is like having a baby with someone, then we'll have to say that donating to the sierra club is like having quadruplets with someone and merging your bank accounts.

We gave to them once, just a few dollars, and every organization associated with the environment, human rights, etc. somehow started sending us mail--including national geographic.

Colleen said...

So true. I'm in magazine transition right now (I'd like to see other people) and am having a difficult time giving the old guys the heave-ho. The groveling really is sad, isn't it?

Contrary said...

You have hit on the number one reason I still buy my Reader's Digest off the rack.

The one time I tried a subscription, they ended up stalking me.

Just last year they sent me some free issues to entice me back into the fold and then, when I didn't bite, they sent me mail designed to look like collection letters (with very small disclaimers at the bottom stating that this was not a bill)

Also, I could be wrong, but I think they're watching me through the window right now!

Ok, probably not.

Ahem.

compulsive writer said...

What I hate is when I've renewed on some mega-savings deal clear until the next millenium and six months later they start sending me renewal notices again.

C & A said...

bill, i am with you about HATING groups who sell their donation lists to others. I once donated to a group of dare officers, and within 2 weeks I had calls form every organization of fire and policemen in the state. I was SO mad that I never even talked to them when they called. I just hung up before they got their intro out. AND they are exempt from the no-call list rules. grrrr.

Anonymous said...

Dang, I had the same problem with Rolling Stone. I got the subscription for free for attending a concert. For two years I was getting constant mail from them about "coming back." Some of which bordered on groveling. I didn't even want the magazine in the first place.

I've had similar problems with the Salvation Army. I don't mind occasional mail, but they were sending something every week--sometimes more than once a week. Excess mail almost always makes me look elsewhere to spend my money.

Sue said...

I'm sorry, I'm just laughing and laughing over the first sentence, I will have to read and comment on the rest of the post later. Bwa ha ha ha ha

Poor Hollywood, you created a monster.

Shiloh said...

Amen to Bill and the Sierra club. I still get those letters too. Last year I gave to a Lymphoma Society. I know all 15 orgnizations they sold my name to b/c the letters (all with free address labels) are addressed to Mr. Shiloh... If they'd just called me Ms. or Miss I might never have known.
Oh, and I have a lot of usable address labels.

Anonymous said...

I had this same problem with Terminex. I called with some questions and they "had to call me back". They have turned into some insect stalking psycho callers. I finally told them this week that I will NEVER use them because they call me all the time and that bugs! Stop calling! If I want your business, I know how to pick up the phone!

Thanks for letting me vent that.

Few ox said...

I love how every renewal notice I get is "This is your last chance!" I'm still waiting for it really to be my last chance.

s'mee said...

WOW. That whole Nov. 13 thing is sure to pack in another $700.00! Whoot! It's like a quasi tame version of Post Secret for Morons!

About the magazine thing I ditched Martha about a year before she "did time" and she is still woooing me! I feel special.

s'mee said...

and um, well, I nominated you for an award. You can pick it up at my place. : >

Amg said...

Sounds like the magazine subscription people went to the same school as the mall kiosk guy I encountered today.

On a lunch break I had to run to the Glendale Galleria to buy last minute items for my Thanksgiving travels (starting tomorrow!!) After making my purchases I rushed to the food court to scarf down a burrito. En route I scurried past a cosmetic kiosk where the sales guy started asking questions. "No thank you" I politely responded. He persisted and actually followed me for about 25 feet until I said, "No thank you and stop following me!"

Seriously, do these people think that stalker behavior will win us over?

Janie and Andrew said...

This post is way too funny. I too am waiting for my "last chance" to take advantage of their "special" promo. I'm still getting mail from some place I only asked about - and never even signed up for! Lame.