Bad Marketing: Magazine Subscription Renewals

I am a loyal subscriber of Business Week. I have been reading it since I was a teenager – back in the 80s. (Late eighties). When I moved to Redmond, I extended my subscription via a third party. I started receiving two issues of Business Week in the mail every Monday. Guess their computer system is not smart enough to know if it is the same name and the same address, it is probably a duplicate or a renewal.

I called customer service to try to correct the problem, which did not happen. A few weeks later my old subscription was running out and I started getting calls at home (with telemarketer precision – at dinner time) to ask me to renew. I told them I had already renewed, but they did not listen.

This week I got a letter in the mail with the words “Important Tax information – open immediately” – no logo, plain envelope. I was suspicious, yet intrigued, so I opened it to find a “third notice – please renew your Business Week subscription”.

Now I was mad. Not only they deceiving me into opening their envelopes with cheap tactics, the message I got was “You must renew your subscription, this is the third time we ask you, are you not understanding?” Sure, the fine print read “your subscription may qualify as a tax deduction” – but that is just annoyingly bad marketing.

I have received other deceitful offers – like the subscription requests that look like an invoice, hoping another decision maker in the household (A wife, for example, but I am trying to be politically correct) opens the mail, assumes the other person has already made the commitment, and mails a check for a few dollars. That’s the kind of world we live in, too bad. But that is not the kind of tactics one expects from Business Week