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RE: Entertainment Weekly for $3.95 Offer

Old 09-07-03, 11:31 AM
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RE: Entertainment Weekly for $3.95 Offer

Geoff was gracious enough to post this for us a couple months back , and I just got this e-mail this morning....They are not honoring the offer which makes you wonder how the hell it was even made available in the first place


Dear J.Dan,

I regret to inform you that your order for Entertainment Weekly for which you paid $3.95 can not be fulfilled because the publisher does not want you as a subscriber if you pay anything less than its full price.

After two years of selling this title at our low out-of-pocket cost, the publisher informed us that it does not want sponsored circulation. We were not provided with ample time to remove our listing for Entertainment Weekly from our website hence your order was received after the publisher made its decision to reject new orders.

The consequence is that we received more than three thousand orders for Entertainment Weekly during the several days after this decision was made and the moment we were first informed that the title would no longer be fulfilled by the publisher when we removed this title from our offerings.

During the period since your placed your order until now, we have been attempting to persuade the publisher that it is not in its best interest to alienate 3,000+ readers who want its publication, however to no avail. It appears that the publisher has met its circulation guarantees for its advertisers and no longer needs new subscribers. This also appears to be the case for two of its other publications where new subscription orders are being held back for upwards of 26 weeks before being fulfilled. Orders received in August for those titles are not going to be processed by the publisher until January or February, 2004!

Such conduct is rare among publishers. In similar situations publishers have gladly accepted our orders received prior to their request that we raise our price.

We will be providing you with the choice of either 1) a refund by check sent by First Class Mail (no human being will have to have access to your credit card number) or 2) two coupon code vouchers, one for the price you paid plus a modest bonus and another for a free magazine from a special group of popular magazines.

In order to accomplish the monumental task of processing more than three thousand refund transactions I have purchased sophisticated e-mail software to make the above choice effortless. In this regard, we are faced with complex programming requirements: 1. we need to automate the check writing process and 2. we need to be able to automate the generation of unique one-time-use coupon vouchers and automate voiding these vouchers when the "refund by check" option is chosen. To process these transactions manually would take several months hence this is not an option.

I have been working on this virtually full time for several weeks with the objective that all that all that will be required to chose the "refund by check" option will be to click on a link in the refund e-mail that you will receive. I have tested virtually every e-mail program on the market to accomplish this including Mailloop (testing this software cost us a two week's delay as I was unfairly persuaded by the sales manager that Mailloop was ideal for the task which was hardly realistic. In addition we were not informed that their demo was barely functional nor that the program is flawed. The promise of immediate telephone technical support assistance was not fulfilled causing even greater delays). Fortunately, I discovered Gammadyne Mailer this morning (3 a.m.) which has proven to have more power and more features than the $5,000 alternative I was considering which even at such a price proved inadequate for our needs. (Gammadyne Mailer - unbelievably only $149 but worth twenty times the price - If you need a sophisticated e-mailing program this is the one to chose particularly as they offer a fully functional free trial.

Please be patient as I need to engage one of the expert consultants Gammadyne Software recommends which may require being squeezed into a busy schedule. This can not be determined until tomorrow (Monday) as these consulting firms do not work over the weekend. Rest assured that getting this accomplished has been and remains a top priority.

Later this week, I will send you another e-mail advising you of our progress and the estimated date you will receive your refund e-mail. In any event, you will receive regular progress reports as we complete the programming necessary to accomplish this task.

Please do not dispute your credit card charge as we have never knowingly failed to make a refund even when not justified. A credit card dispute will result in our incurring a $25 service charge which would be unjustified as this transaction is $3.95 with a profit margin of less than fifty cents. Inasmuch as the assets of Best Deal Magazines are earmarked for providing financial assistance to senior citizens who can not afford veterinary care for their beloved pets who are their sole companion in life, incurring such an exorbitant service charge would seriously detract from this worthy cause.

If you have ordered other magazines within the past 12 weeks please recall that the industry standard for the delivery of a first issue is 12 to 14 weeks with some publishers taking much longer (and some as quick as four weeks) depending on their policies and procedures). Twenty years ago when I published my own consumer magazines, my new subscribers received their first issue in three weeks or less - hopefully some day this may become the industry standard.

For answers to the majority of questions you may have about the subscription fulfillment process or other customer service issues click on this link:

Please accept my sincere apology for the inconvenience and disappointment this situation has caused you, however this circumstance was completely beyond our control. We do not offer magazines that we can not fulfill. Usually when a publisher wants us to discontinue our sponsored circulation, we are given ample opportunity to either raise our price to the full price or remove the title from our offerings with the publisher gladly processing the orders that we have in the hopper. Sadly, this was not the case with Entertainment Weekly.

This is an automated computer generated e-mail testing my skills with our new software. Replies can not be received at this address because I have not yet learned how to accomplish this. Please do not use the "reply" feature of your e-mail software as the message can not be received. In the future when this software is used to send renewal reminders this will not be an issue.

If you have other questions which are not addressed in this message, please click on the link above for pertinent information. You will find contact information there in the event that your questions are not answered on our comprehensive Customer Service FAQ page that this link will bring you to.

Best Wishes,

Philip Seldon


So did anyone actually have their subscription honored?
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Old 09-07-03, 06:16 PM
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yeah, the original thread in Hot Deals was bumped.
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Old 09-08-03, 01:07 AM
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See my comments in the Hot Deal thread:
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Old 09-08-03, 07:23 AM
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Ahh...I missed that over in Hot Deals. I thought it was a sticky in Other for awhile them removed.

Anyway, thanks for the update.
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