Magazine Publishers Resort to Scare Tactics

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Blog entry by DustyNewt posted 11-28-2007 02:54 PM 2398 reads 0 times favorited 17 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wrote this on blogger yesterday. Ya’ll can probably guess the magazine, but I reckon they all do this now. Doesn’t make it right.

-- Peace in Wood ~

17 comments so far

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5019 days

#1 posted 11-28-2007 03:33 PM

When my mother got older, she fell for this from Reader’s Digest. She had a lifetime subscrition before we got her stopped. I think it did run out beflore she died but it sure made me mad that they were preying on older folks.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5218 days

#2 posted 11-28-2007 04:15 PM

another reminder that the world is not full of people like our LJ members who are honorable… you have to watch your back, your step, your “agree buttons” and your subscription dates obviously.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View Peter Oxley's profile

Peter Oxley

1427 posts in 4932 days

#3 posted 11-28-2007 04:24 PM

The bank and most vendors are constantly nagging us to set up automatic bill payments, and every subscription-based service wants your credit card info for automatic renewals. Here’s a great reason not to do it!

-- -- --

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 4996 days

#4 posted 11-28-2007 04:30 PM

That ranks right up there with the first month is free and if you don’t want to continue simply call our hotline (and sit on hold for a week) and cancel, otherwise we’ll just charge your card and not bother even sending you a bill. For these type of people I simply tell them I’m cancelling now and not waiting until the free trial runs out. Oddly enough, I don’t seem to get the free trial without giving them my credit card …

-- Working at Woodworking

View mot's profile


4928 posts in 5094 days

#5 posted 11-28-2007 05:02 PM

As much as I agree with the ridiculous nature of this sort of customer service, the bottom line comes down to this: If we, as consumers, don’t demonstrate that there are some sort of consequences to this type of action, then why would they stop. If they’ve done something rotten, yet we continue to write the cheque and buy the service?

One of the greatest changes I’ve seen taking place in the world is peoples’ definition of right and wrong. It has nothing to do with what is actually right or wrong, but more what they think they can get away with. If they get away with it, it becomes the new “right.”

The problem is, the general public (of which I am a member,) gets miffed enough to tell people about it, but not miffed enough to live without the product. I’d say we’re getting the customer service that we deserve.


-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Bob #2's profile

Bob #2

3810 posts in 5079 days

#6 posted 11-28-2007 05:15 PM

Perhaps the “wailing walls” like this forum will help consumers see that it’s a huge problem and can only be solved by learning to say no a lot more often.
That first step is being made aware.

I find each time I send a warning out in discussion rooms like this there is still a handfull of people that either think I should not speak out or are in favour of the current status quo.

That says a lot about who we really are.


-- A mind, like a home, is furnished by its owner

View odie's profile


1692 posts in 4897 days

#7 posted 11-28-2007 05:20 PM

I have three subscriptions…I have made up my mind long ago…when they’re up it will be zero!

-- Odie, Confucius say, "He who laughs at one's self is BUTT of joke". (my funny blog)

View BarryW's profile


1016 posts in 4964 days

#8 posted 11-28-2007 05:25 PM

And the magazines get thinner…and the newspapers get thinner. Their costs rise. Less advertising. More money moving to the internet for advertising. An online woodworking video may soon charge for their service subscription. As may others…soon nothing will be “free” and greed….ah, greed….greed has always been number one. We can’t be satisfied with pine…we have to have bubinga. We can’t appreciate American Elm…we have to have African Mahagony. Maple isn’t good enough. Rare Japanese Horse-chestnut…now that’s the ticket. Let’s all meditate. Calm the mind. Appreciate what is before us to do and to do right.

-- /\/\/\ BarryW /\/\/\ Stay so busy you don't have time to die.

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5357 days

#9 posted 11-28-2007 05:54 PM

I’ve noticed a lot of magazines are writing the same articles over, & over again, so if you look back at some of your earlier issues, you don’t have to re-subscribe.

If you have any old issues, see for yourself.

But I’m a sucker, & keep on subscribing.

They do keep me informed on the new tools, hardware, & other stuff though.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 4905 days

#10 posted 11-28-2007 06:05 PM

I believe it’s a symptom of a real and imminent danger, but unfortunately these “practices” have become normal business techniques. I am younger than many here, but I don’t understand how these business practices can be long term. I grew up on farm/ranch and we struggled, it wasn’t that we were being treated unfairly but rather this was the price you paid for the life we lived. As children we were taught principles that would later become the foundation for our adult lives, an honest days work for an honest days pay, feeding the cows before school in the winter or changing sprinklers in the summer wasn’t punishment, it just had to be done and that was it. But today something seems to be shifting, taking advantage of someone in a business deal is rewarded by many, receiving much more than a fair and reasonable profit is a virtue in the business world. I don’t understand how this can be sustained. But as mentioned above this has become the status quo and these new principles are fiercely defended, “we have to protect our stock holders” It does seem alittle ironic that as America completes this shift to a nation of consumers, American business thinks so little of the American consumer

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 5150 days

#11 posted 11-28-2007 06:16 PM

Got a call the other night saying my subscription was going to expire next month. I just happened to be sitting in my easy chair and reached over to the magazine basket and picked up the last issue I received. I confirmed my memory that it would be four or five months before my subscription expired.

Said, “Sorry, but my subscription is good until . . . .” The caller fumbled out something about a mistake in their computer records and said goodbye.

We should really get worried when the date of expiration disappears from the magazine mailing label.

-- Paul, Kentucky

View Hawgnutz's profile


526 posts in 5134 days

#12 posted 11-28-2007 06:50 PM

Amen, Harold! Those hard-learned lessons just are not being taught to our children, anymore. The babyboomers have, mostly, seemed to let their kids have anything they want. They don’t want to depriive them. Spanking is ilegal because it is cruel; kids deserve a genberous allowance just for not getting in trouble; household chores are now punishment, nit necessities. We are truly reaping what we have sown…

Dick, I have only subscribed to woodworking magazines for about 5 years, now, but I have noticed that articles are repeating. I have also noticed that some magazines seem to “copy” a story or product evaluation, project, or some other idea from another.

I get cards in the mail asking me to renew my subscription even when I still have over a year left! I sometimes renew when they offer a free sub to some of my friends. I am glad to renew when I can offer that to a friend.

All in all, we must be careful just whom we do business with, and how we do it.

God Bless,

-- Saving barnwood from the scrapyards

View jockmike2's profile


10635 posts in 5304 days

#13 posted 11-28-2007 08:12 PM

I have to agree with Dick Cain, I have hundreds of old magazines from years ago, I could never order another and still have all the info I’ll ever need just by rereading those old mags. And I just signed up for Shopnotes. I like the Jig aspect of their mag. They do have some new jigs I have’nt seen or at least don’t remember. But you’re all right as long as we keep doing the same stupid things, they’ll take advantage of us. mike

-- (You just have to please the man in the Mirror) Mike from Michigan -

View Betsy's profile


3394 posts in 4953 days

#14 posted 11-28-2007 08:29 PM

I never give my credit or debit card number to any subscription service. I always get a money order to pay for subscriptions that way they don’t have any of my account information. Secondly, I’ve found that even if I do not renew I still get the magazine for several months (in one case over a year) after the subscription runs out. The subscription department does not communicate with the mailing out department and they just keep coming. If you do not order something and it comes it is yours.

I’ve tried multiple times to try to stop these magazines that I’ve not paid for, but the customer service folks basically have been no help. I’ve written letters, made calls, sent e-mails to no avail. So I’ve stopped beating myself up over it and just enjoy the magazine. I figure they’ll eventually figure it out. They want your money up front and then they are not careful about the back end—making sure they get it when they really should.

And the many posts about the articles all being the same – that’s very true. But you have to consider that a lot of these magazines have the same publishers and/or in-house staff making articles. They tweek them for each particular magazine and call it new.

I also agree that many things that are free on the net now will not be soon. The free things will only be teasers to get you to subscribe to their subscription net service. If I do have to go that route I’ll definetly have a dot card that is not tied to any of my accounts. I’ll load it as I go.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View DustyNewt's profile


690 posts in 4919 days

#15 posted 11-29-2007 02:20 AM

Thank all of you for your response to my blog. Some very relevant points have convinced me that I can do without the subscriptions. It is a hassle I don’t need, and I PAY for the priveledge! I will email the magazine in question, with a link to my blog and explain why I am canceling. It may mean nothing to them, but I do have myself esteem to think about.

“What better place than here. What better time than now.”- Rage Against the Machine

-- Peace in Wood ~

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