How would you feel to learn that not only had your household become subscribed to a magazine against its will, you were not getting threats that your account was overdue and was about to be sent to a debt-collection agency? That’s exactly what happened to husband and wife Keith and Stacy with New York Magazine. After our post went up about them, NYmag, wanting to defend what Communications Manager Lauren Starke called, “the good name of our circulation department—one of the most solid in the industry.” We put them in contact with Keith. After a flurry of testy emails between the two, here’s what happened.
New York Magazine pulled from their files the subscription card that authorized the subscription to New York Magazine (shown at the top of the post). The postcard was received on 11/19/2007. The card was sent to Keith’s house by first-class, meaning it should have gone directly to them.
Tova Abrahmov, New York magazine’s Retention Director, wrote via email, “Once the order was placed on the file, we then mail out seven invoices over a seven-month period asking for payment before threatening any collection agency action.”
Keith says he got the invoices. What is unclear to me,” he wrote, “is why I had a responsibility to respond to them at all. If neither of us initiated the “free trial”, there can be no foundation for a claim that we are responsible for canceling a non-request for your magazine.”
“I can not say with 100% certainty that she is the person who dropped that postcard in the mailbox,” said Abrahmov, “…[w]e cannot guarantee that your wife is the one who “authorized” this order or mailed the order back to us (versus someone else in your household or even a neighbor, for argument’s sake)…”
Keith wrote, “The proof that NY Mag sent was a blank postcard with two options (neither of which was checked) and no name or address on the card. Is this a joke?”
New York Mag was highly apologetic and canceled the subscription and waived all charges.
Then, two weeks after the parties finished corresponding, Keith and Stacy received another message in the mail from New York Mag. It was a letter thanking them for renewing their subscription.
After being notified of the error, New York Magazine’s Retention Director expressed her deep sorrow, writing, “In requesting a copy of the original piece of mail through our fulfillment company, a clerical error led to it being processed again and treated as a new order. Needless to say, this order is being removed immediately.”