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Annoying Business Practice by Magazines

May 4, 2012

I am not much of a magazine reader.  Generally they are too expensive for the short amount of time it takes to get through them, and they are typically FULL of ads.

However, I do like to get Runners World.  I got a notice last month that my subscription was ending, but to “save me trouble” they were going to go ahead and bill me for the next year for $25 unless I called to cancel.  To make matters worse, as I flipped through the magazine, a little card fell out telling me that if I subscribed, I could get 2 years for $24!

Why do they do this?  Why do they charge “loyal” customers double the price?  Runners World is at least half ads and/or gear reviews, sometimes  think they should pay me to look at it!  (But I do really like the articles and tips.)

I called the phone number and told them I’d like to cancel.  Then I revised my statement and said that, actually, I just wanted the price that everyone else was able to get.  She didn’t even question it, she just said “oh, you saw an ad online for that price?  Let me give you that price!”  It made me wonder if I could have just picked an arbitrary price that I deemed fair and asked for it!

Do you subscribe to any magazines?  Do they try to charge you more than they charge new readers, or are they more fair about rewarding long time readers?


5 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2012 8:45 am

    I don’t get them for myself anymore, but when I get a subscription for others I often do research into a better deal. The ones I have seen better prices on they’ve always give me.

    I think they figure the ones who are paying attn deserve the better deals. You saw the card, you’re looking at their stuff so as a reward, you can have that price!

  2. bluecollarworkman permalink
    May 4, 2012 9:39 am

    Hahaha! I laugh because my sister JUST yesterday was carrying on about the same thing! She was upset that RW wanted her to pay anything at all for the magazine since it’s so filled with advertisements. She carried on for awhiel about how there used to be less ads and how the magazine used to be thicker to. I know for a fact that she’d agree with your rant!

  3. LeeAnn permalink
    May 5, 2012 11:26 am

    I like Wired magazine – my renewal date is December, and in April they started sending me renewal notices. I eventually called them and said “I like your magazine, and I will probably renew – but if you are going to spam me with renewal notices when I have 2/3rds of my subscription left, I will NOT renew” – they stopped sending me notices.

    In December, I found a link to a site that sells discount magazine subscriptions – instead of paying the “standard” renewal offer of $24 for the year, or the $10 for a year price that you could get as a new subscriber, I think I paid $3 a year and subscribed for 2 more years – so there’s ALWAYS better deals out there.

  4. MoneySmartGuides permalink
    May 9, 2012 6:38 pm

    While I don’t agree with it, they are just taking advantage of the fact that most people are lazy. Many people can reduce their cable bill by just calling – but most don’t. It’s stinks that you have to take the time to get the better deal, but it’s worth it.

    And for the record, I always let my subscription “lapse” and then sign back up for the lower price.

  5. May 21, 2012 12:09 am

    Ad revenue is insurance the magazine will stay in print, sadly. They can’t rely on subscriptions. But, it is annoying and it leads many readers to be turned off.

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