Magazine subscriptions – renewal time?

I got my “last notice” to renew a magazine subscription. The very last notice. Like the end!

There are a few magazines I subscribe to. I like the paper version much better than the e-reader version. I liked them better when they were more than 30 pages thick but I try to roll with the times.

Print ‘anything’ is dying out. Our library stopped taking book donations because they weren’t selling them. Not even for 50 cents or a dollar a book.

Checking my magazine, my expiration date is September of 2017. How could I be getting a “last notice” now?

I have learned that you have to be careful with subscriptions. Never pay on-line. Never. Ever.

Once they get your credit card number they will automatically renew each year whether you want it or not.

With the auto-renew, you can’t go to their website and cancel. You have to call someplace on a faraway planet; wait a fortnight in a queue; and try to discuss your problem in Klingon. (Sounds a lot like Sirius Radio if you ask me. Have you ever tried to cancel that service? You are transferred to progressively more aggressive salespeople who cannot understand why you would want to cancel.)

Good luck with that!

There is no Pay Pal option either.

So I write a check; put it in an envelope; and snail mail it — but not 15 months in advance. Even snail mail doesn’t take that long.

A magazine could go out of business in that time and I doubt if I would get a reimbursement. (I know I wouldn’t. A magazine died in the middle of my subscription a few years back. They said they would let me know about transferring to another magazine. I am waiting. Patiently.)

Sometimes subsequent “last notices” become cheaper. Or they tell you that you were selected for a very special deal. Very. Special.

I’ll wait for my next “last notice” and see if it gets cheaper. In the meantime, I’ll check out the recipes I’ll never make; drool over the clothes I’ll never buy; and read the articles that aren’t geared for my demographic.

Really I do enjoy reading a good magazine.

Does anyone besides me read magazines? Doctor’s offices don’t count!

 

74 thoughts on “Magazine subscriptions – renewal time?

  1. Pingback: Shoes Dropping, Doors Opening | Snakes in the Grass

  2. You mean there really is a final renewal notice? They are so persistent! I struggle with the demise of print publishing and I’m so surprised to hear that your library has put a stop to donations. That hasn’t happened in my branches yet, but I wonder if that is coming! I generally accept change, but I can still feel the loss! I still have a few magazines I really enjoy, and to be honest, I feel a little sad when I pay almost nothing for my subscription!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I feel like that about the newspaper too. It’s local and when I worked in PR I knew a lot of the reporters. I have friends who hassle with the local paper to get the lowest possible rate and complain about it. I am just grateful it hasn’t yet folded. In it’s day we had 3 major local newspapers. They won Pulitzers! Now we have 1. I like change but prefer to read magazines in paper.

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  3. Well, I’ve actually dumped two subscriptions this year, and added two others – so I’m net even. For many years I got Martha Stewart Living, just because I’m a masochist and wanted to see how badly I could bungle home keeping. Then I added Real Simple for balance. Dropped both of those, but now I’m sewing so added new subscriptions for a couple of sewing magazines – which are also on the tablet but drives me crazy to constantly have to bring the page back up after it times out every few minutes. And I always wait to renew until 2 months out. I know why they do what they do (the advertiser is king!) but I’d rather have that $19.99 collecting interest in my account, not theirs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I run like that too. I try new ones, then drop after a while for something else. Interests change. The only one I’ve kept for decades is Good Housekeeping and I don’t know why. Sometimes it’s great and sometimes not so much.

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    • Yes! I got a free subscription to Better Homes and Gardens with a membership. Every renewal notice had a different price. What gives? I sent a nastygram to Good Housekeeping about the same thing. It’s too hard to say what the best price you will get is.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love to read magazines, especially FOOD and wine magazines! We get all of CH’s Mom’s magazines. She can’t see to read them and for some reason they keep getting sent to her and she doesn’t pay to renew them… very weird!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ah, yes, check writing. Magazines are yet another of the dwindling things for which I still write checks for the same reason you mentioned. We get a fair number of magazines still — Money, Vanity Fair, Health, Glamour, and of course the AARP one (which I suppose doesn’t count but somehow does).

    I too just went through that same painful experience of renewing my Sirius XM subscription for another year. I survived it is the best I can say. It’s terrible what they put you through.

    Liked by 1 person

      • They sent me through two sets of people offering me alternatives to the outrageous renewal cost they initially sent. I kept saying no, saying I just wanted to quit. Finally the last person offered me a year’s subscription rate very close to last year’s. I took it, but it was hellish. I feel your husband’s pain.

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        • Yep if you hang in there and keep saying “cancel”, they will practically give you their service close to free (They evidently need to keep their number of subscribers at a certain level no matter what.) But we finally felt guilty about it and quit completely. The music quality is extremely poor because of their band width – and the talk shows just make blood pressure go up (and eventually research is bound to show those contribute to road rage, no doubt).
          I’m sure we will be getting “special offers” again soon, but nope.

          Liked by 1 person

          • We were really, really close to canceling this year. Our little table radio works with that tiny band width that you mention (if it was for the car, it’d probably be a different story), and I do like their DJ’s such as Jim Ladd, Earle Bailey, Meg Griffin, and Franny Thomas. But a retirement budget means you have to make sacrifices, and so next year I suspect we might finally decline it. I’ll savor each home cocktail hour from now till then, though. That 40’s station was made for a well mixed martini or sidecar. 😉

            Liked by 2 people

  6. Loved this line: “With the auto-renew, you can’t go to their website and cancel. You have to call someplace on a faraway planet; wait a fortnight in a queue; and try to discuss your problem in Klingon.”

    BFF subscribes to Motor Trend. That’s it. We pay by check because we don’t understand Klingon.

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  7. I’m moving house soon and just sorted through an enormous box of 3 years worth of magazines! I now just have a folder with projects and articles I might actually use. I’m trying to be more discerning now and only buy single issues of magazines that I think will be particularly interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I subscribe to print and online versions of The NewYorker. I will probably do away with the print since I find myself mostly reading it online. I also routinely pick up two British women’s magazines at Barnes and Noble. One is Woman and Home and the other is Good Housekeeping. I think they try to include items of interest to a broader age range than American magazines. I also enjoy the language and cultural differences. They are pricy though.

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  9. I have whittled down my magazine subscriptions quite a bit too. Now that I’m retired, I have even less time to read them (how does that happen?). Those renewal notices are annoying. When I write a check (ALWAYS a check) to renew, I highlight the notation in my register so I can easily find it and ensure I don’t renew too early. I hate that they try to fool people into over-subscribing.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. During her decent into Alzheimer’s, my mother sent a check for every last notice she got from Better Homes and Gardens. I tried canceling it once and got a refund of $1.75 and yet it continued to come for six years after she went into the nursing home and another year after she died.

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    • I believe that. My husband got a free subscription to the same magazine. We couldn’t transfer it onto my account to extend my subscription so we received 2 each month for a year. The customer service seems to be staffed by folks without common sense.

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  11. No, but my sister gifted me with a couple of subscriptions. You used to be able to donate them to a library if you had the entire year. Now they have computers too. The only magazines that go out of business seem to be the ones I am published in. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I remember when Gourmet magazine went out of business. My subscription was transferred to bon appetit which turned out to be a much better magazine for me. However, after that happened I decided to give up on magazines entirely, allowing my current subscriptions to end. From the amount of letters I get from these publishers now, you’d think I alone was keeping them in business. Have never purchased a magazine subscription online. Thanks for the warning.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I, too, have cut way back on magazines. I subscribe to Guideposts and Reader’s Digest. Seems that my subscription to Garden Gate will never run out! I refuse to renew and it keeps coming in the mail. I did subscribe to This Old House as a memorial to a friend who died and I enjoy it. Even Reader’s Digest has evolved into the “demographic” thing. The articles are even shorter and fewer in number. I hate to divulge how many years I have been reading that small magazine. The table of contents was really long when I was ten.

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  14. There was a time I was rather uncomfortably addicted to several magazines. Each year I would faithfully renew about six or seven subscriptions to various magazines, and then the stack of never-opened and never-read magazines would just kept growing and growing and growing. Seems I always thought I would have more time for lazily thumbing my way through a favored magazine, when the truth was that I rarely had that much down time. The glossy magazines all sat in a pile, mocking me day after day. One year I had an entire year’s worth all neatly piled up, and had not opened a single one of them. Not even one.

    Eventually I got smart enough to cancel them all. Then I went through a sort of magazine withdrawal for about a year, before breaking down and ordering “just one” … which became two, which became three, and so on. So, yes, I guess you could say I love a good magazine.

    These days I’m down to only three, but would really like to renew my subscription to Reader’s Digest (which has always been one of my favorites). I made a deal with myself that I’m only allowed a maximum of three subscriptions at any given time, but it’s kind of difficult to decide which one to drop so that I can pick up the Reader’s Digest subscription again.

    I don’t think I can let go of Birds and Blooms, (probably my favorite – received it as a gift from my Aunt Mary one year, and have been a loyal subscriber ever since. It’s packed with gorgeous and colorful photography of birds and butterflies and all sorts of flowers, and with an abundance of articles geared towards enjoying outdoor spaces and nature).

    It’s really tough to let go of Southern Living (love the articles and recipes and photography, and it has lots of gardening tips, too, as well as some humor sprinkled throughout). And then there’s Guideposts, a magazine with articles geared towards spiritual and inspirational stories (and it also happens to be about half the size of a regular magazine – roughly the size of a sheet of notebook paper folded in half – which makes it super easy to tuck into your purse – which can make it really convenient to pull out when you get stuck waiting in line somewhere). In the end, I’ll probably trade out Guideposts for Reader’s Digest (also small enough to tuck into your purse), but my subscription doesn’t expire for several months, so, who knows? I may end up changing my mind by then. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

    • I struggled with and eventually gave up Southern Living. I don’t live in the south but I enjoyed the magazine and the recipes. I try to rein myself in and will subscribe to a new one and drop an old one. Otherwise, I would be overwhelmed. I had the Cooking magazine for a while and enjoyed the science behind cooking but that stage of my life has kind of passed.

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  15. Laughing at the last notice ploy. There is one group that keeps calling and leaving me a message that this is the last time I will get this offer. A couple weeks ago I answered the phone and after they said final notice, I said good, and hung up. I have only had one more “final notice” call since. 8)

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Well, about a year ago, a dear friend gave me an extra copy of a magazine she had. I enjoyed it and then magically an offer for a subscription came! It was the “deal of a lifetime!” And, I took it! Now the magazine comes and I find either I am not reading it, or I read it and can’t bear to toss it! I am not a hoarder, but magazines seem to have this awful power over me! So, I tell myself, no more magazines….and this time I mean it!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s what I like about magazines. You don’t need to invest a lot of time. Most articles are a page (published over several with ads). I have started to skim the recipes. I used to love the recipes but now they include ingredients I can’t pronounce.

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  17. Was loyal to US News, Time, New Yorker. They are all shadows of their former selves. Time in its efforts to have “broad spectrum” appeal has all kinds of junk of which I have no interest and no longer has its mission as a political and international news mag.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. I love some magazines. Fortunately, our library has hundreds of magazines that can be downloaded to my iPad! I can even read a trashy magazine if I feel like it. But there are ones not available at my library that I buy each month. People’s Friend, Leisure Painter, and Plein Air are the ones I buy.

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    • There is one I read on-line. Most of it geared toward 20 somethings but there is usually an article or two that I enjoy. This year I got a “good deal” on Birds and Bloom and I’ve been enjoying it. The pictures are wonderful. Many are sent in by readers.

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