Men’s Journal: Auto-Renewal = Auto-Rejection

I had a subscription to Men’s Journal.

Had is the operative word here. I no longer have it, cuz I don’t want it.

After starting a subscription about a year ago, I’ve slowly been disappointed with the magazine with each issue. I mean, how many mountain trips and European vacations can a guy take in one year? It simply didn’t meet expectations, so when the time came for my subscription to run out, I was just going to let it go, unless they really impressed me with something to change my mind.

Over the past two months or so, I’ve been receiving notices that I had not paid for my subscription. The messages were something like “we have not received your payment for your subscription. Please pay now or your subscription will be cancelled,” etc. I think the last note actually said something along the lines of “if we don’t receive your payment, we’ll have to take other measures.”

I checked my records, and had the check number for it, showing I had paid for my subscription. After this last notice, I decided to call them and get to the bottom of everything, and set them straight.

Their customer service number was not even on what they mailed me. I had to go online just to find out how I could call them. That’s an issue.

When I called, I was ready for a least a little resistance. I had my check number to reference. Instead, I told the lady why I was calling, and she immediately replied with “Oh yeah, you probably have just been put on auto-renewal. I can take you off of that right away.” This is another issue. Their customer service rep is obviously used to getting this complaint, cuz there’s no way she could pull up my info in time to respond as soon as she did.

Now, I know I never opted for an auto-renewal. I admit, there might’ve have been some hidden text somewhere in my original records, but I never checked that – who does; it’s small print.

But does that matter? Before, I was just someone who was pretty sure they didn’t want to continue the subscription cuz the magazins didn’t turn out to be what I thought it was. But I wasn’t certain, and I could’ve been convinced, with some outrageously impressive attention, to keep the subscription. I mean, I’m usually a sucker for that kind of stuff, and it’s only $9.95 to begin with.

Instead, they pissed me off. They were shady with me. They made me feel bad and nervous and irresponsible and now angry in their effort to try to trick me into paying them $9.95 for one year. They made it difficult for me to contact them, but they went out of their to get me to pay them for something I didn’t want. Instead of just simply boring me to death with a mediocre magazine, they’ve aroused my passion enough to tell you about it now.

So, quick pop quiz:

What’s worth more? $9.95, or a customer’s satisfaction?

Here’s another way to look at it: What’s more damaging? A lack of $9.95, or a customer’s dissatisfaction?

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