I admit it. I’m one of those retro-types who appreciates a good, old-fashioned, tree-killin’ hardcopy of my favorite magazine. And having it show up in my mailbox, at regular intervals courtesy of the friendly folks at USPS, makes it ultra convenient to flip through actual pages of glossy color photos and articles.
I’m also not averse to the occasional do-it-yourself (DIY) project around the house, especially if I think I can save a few bucks without getting in too far over my head. So not surprisingly, one of my favorite reads is The Family Handyman magazine. I almost consider it a “tool”, in and of itself. The magazine’s self-proclaimed mission is, “to serve do-it-yourself homeowners with engaging and practical ways to improve and maintain their homes and yards.” This is something they do very well, in my opinion.
However, something else they’re doing very well is annoying the crud out of me by sending me umpteen deceptive and misleading renewal notices. Just last week, I received an envelope with a bright orange sticker reading “Account Notice”. Inside I found several notes saying “Expiration Notice”. Upon a closer look, it was apparent they were trying to prod me into renewing my subscription for an additional year, even though I’m currently paid up for another 18 months. The sense of urgency was created under the guise that my “compensation benefits expire in 15 days”. Oh no! The “compensation benefits to which they referred were a “Gift Subscription” I would be able to give if I acted immediately. Never mind the fact that I would be required to pay 50% more than my regular renewal rate for an additional year just for this special privilege.
Soon I’ll have to write @Family_Handyman magazine a nasty cancellation notice, just like the one I had to send to their competitor, The Handyman Club of America a few years ago. In exchange for subscribing to their Handy magazine, they thanked me by consistently sending me hardback books, without me having to even ask! I would get to preview these books that I never wanted for free for 30 days! And I was under no obligation…except I had to return the book to them within 30 days. But who doesn’t want an extra trip to the post office and a little wait in line with some of our neighbors and friends? Or, I also had the option to pay for the book that I never wanted — just $29.99! Then I could keep the book! Did I mention I never wanted it?
I guess it’s looking like I’m going to have to lose my affinity for the good, old, glossy printed mags.