Sunday, September 18, 2011

Magazine subscriptions


I had this conversation with a friend of mine this morning.

[8:51:45 AM] Evil Klown: so we subscribe to Food Network magazine
[8:51:52 AM] Evil Klown: for the last two years
[8:52:02 AM] Evil Klown: it was $15 per year -- 10 issues
[8:52:33 AM] Evil Klown: and the subscription goes from Jan - Dec
[8:52:45 AM] Evil Klown: so they just sent me a renewal notice
[8:53:00 AM] Evil Klown: for the low-low price of $25 this time
[8:53:20 AM] Friend: yeah
[8:53:24 AM] Friend: that sounds like good business
[8:53:38 AM] Friend: cuz we all know it's WAY easier to get new customers than it is to keep the ones you have
[8:53:45 AM] Friend: let's do this
[8:53:52 AM] Friend: new customers pay less than longstanding customers
[8:53:58 AM] Evil Klown: instead, I went to their site and found I could subscribe for one year for $18 -- two years for $28 -- three years for $36
[8:54:02 AM] Evil Klown: idiots
[8:54:18 AM] Friend: so gd stupid
[8:54:24 AM] Evil Klown: "gee, why won't anyone sign up for our 'continuous service' option?"
[8:54:26 AM] Friend: like delis that play it cheap with the creamcheese
[8:54:35 AM] Friend: like they're saving money and nobody'll notice anyway

I emailed that conversation (minus the line where I called them idiots) to their customer service department and also to their editors.

Yes, I know they'll pay no attention.  Yes, I know "all magazines do this" ... that must mean it's the best business model, right? I can just see it now ... all the Harvard boys are in charge and nobody wants to be the first to deviate from this "pattern of success." Hell, they might fail and be fired, or worse, their peers might make fun of them ... they'd be ousted from the cool crowd ... the risk is just too great for geniuses.

It cracks me up because ripping off the idiot customers this type of thing is done in business all the time. We all know the drill ... you call to complain and they give you the lower price ... and that shuts your stupid yap. And we're all proud cuz ... "hey, Charlie, we didn't pay the higher price like the rest of the sheep ... that's right ... we're not a run-of-the-mill moron. Harumphhh."

Anyway, what do we all do?  Instead of keeping our subscriptions going, we start a new one ... which makes more work for everyone but we pay less for it ... awesome business model ... pure genius I tell ya.  Oh, and every time I go to renew, I look around for other magazines that cover the same subject ... just in case.  I'd probably skip this step if I weren't already pissed that my old company tried to rip me off.

"Hey Klown -- look what I found at the Food Network Site."  

Continuous Service Guarantee 
Our Continuous Service program takes all the hassle out of renewing your magazine subscription. It avoids service interruption by automatically renewing your subscription at the best available rate.

Oh, whew, sign me right up ...I trust you.

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