My pet peeve of the moment is magazine subscription policies

I subscribe to a fair number of publications. It’s one of the costs of living in the middle of nowhere and trying to keep up with what’s going on. But magazines are driving me nuts. . .

As soon as you send in a subscription, they start sending you renewal notices. I can understand them wanting to keep a stable subscription base and know what to tell advertisers, but it’s really reached the point of the ridiculous.

One of my favorite publications is The New Yorker. I renewed it around Christmas even though the subscription wasn’t up for another few months. That allowed me to send my daughter a gift subscription. But yesterday I got a notice saying they were unable to process my subscription update because my credit card information wasn’t complete.

I grabbed a recent copy and looked at the label. It showed an expiration date of 2009 (at least the NYer is kind enough to print that information on the mailing label so I can keep track–not everyone does). So I called customer service.

I was informed that they were trying to process an automatic renewal request that I had entered some time ago (more than a year). I told the nice representative what my label showed. She said that the label included the year’s subscription they were unable to process and that I was really only paid up through mid-2008.

After a few seconds while I processed that information, I asked them why they were trying to renew a subscription that still had 18 or so months to run. Her reply: “Well, I can cancel that request.” My reply: “Please do.” Now this makes no sense at all to me.

I used the think all of the offers of new credit cards and blank checks to bill me existing credit cards were the worst junk mail I got. Now I’m not so sure.

I guess I’m going to have to set up a database so I can keep track of all of this.

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