Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Subscription Center Silliness
I only subscribe to two magazines—Macworld and TV Guide. I’m already planning to let the TV Guide subscription run out, and I’m not sure how much longer I’ll keep up with Macworld.
A few weeks ago, I went ahead and sent in a one-year renewal card for Macworld. Yesterday, when I pulled a wad of mail out of my box, the one item I immediately noted was the October issue which had a sheet on the front proclaiming that it was my next-to-last issue. If not for re-subscribing, it actually is my next-to-last issue. But when I got in the house and sorted through the rest of my mail, I found the response that my renewal card had been processed and my bill was enclosed. Yet, the magazine copy I received on the same day still had the warning on it.
Okay, fine, I realize that magazine mail centers are probably in a different location than the subscription mail centers and that the magazine may have been sent out before they were informed that I had renewed.
However, I cannot give the same benefit of the doubt to TV Guide. My current subscription expires in mid-February. That’s nearly six months from now. Yet, I’m already receiving scads of renewal offers. Those offers might not be so bad a thing except that some of them are saying things like “final notice.”
I do realize that those warnings are that they are the final notice of a particular renewal offer price and not the final notice that the subscription is running out, but the mailings are designed in a way to appear as though the subscription is running out.
Has TV Guide been losing subscribers to the degree that they have to push back renewal scare tactics earlier and earlier? I suppose what with on-screen programming menus from cable and satellite and the advent of easily finding information online, perhaps they actually are losing subscribers. As I revealed above, I’m not planning to renew my subscription. I’ve already got a stack of past issues that I used to like to thumb through, but I haven’t even opened a single issue in probably four or more months.
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