Why I Hate Subscriptions

I enjoy flipping through a magazine as much as anyone else.  And because I support my kid’s activities I generally end up with more subscriptions than I need.  Once hooked, however, the sales tactics used by publishers to keep me as a customer do nothing but drive me away.

Fulfillment houses.

I have a subscription to a well known magazine that ends in May 2011.  For the last several months I have been inundated with requests to renew my subscription.  Every month, sometimes twice a month.

The fulfillment houses are killing the experience of subscribing to a magazine while trying to keep the US Postal Service afloat.  A new 24 month subscription is followed by perhaps a three month hiatus then WHAM, an onslaught of junk mail for 21 months throwing every possible offer my way.   Multiply this by 6 and it becomes tedious to open the mailbox.  And wasteful to boot.

Subscription rates.

I had a subscription to the WSJ for many years.  This year I decided not to renew.  My decision was met with an onslaught of mail.  Extensions, offers, online, print, etc. , but at the same rate of $400+ per year.  Six weeks go by, my paper continues, the offers stop, the paper stops.  Another two weeks go by, a new offer appears – this one for 1/4 the cost.  My thought – as a loyal customer why wasn’t I offered the low rate in the first place?

The moral of the story – subscribe, throw everything from the publisher away, let the subscription expire, go without, wait for new rate and renew if you dare.

No wonder print media is doomed.


About Mike

Mike has been an executive in the biotechnology industry for the past 20 years. Mike is a graduate of University of California, Santa Barbara, earning Bachelors degrees in Business Economics and Geography. Mike also earned his MBA in Finance from California State University, Fresno. Mike is married to the mother of his 3 children and currently lives outside of Boulder, CO. In his spare time Mike enjoys hiking, fishing, skiing, reading and coaching basketball.
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