Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Not on the renewal list"

For the last week or more it seemed as if "The New Yorker" magazine was late.  The post office here is at times incompetent so there seemed to be no reason to obsess about it, no matter how much the magazine means here.  I had noticed as this evolved over the last week or so that the address label said that my subscription lasted until mid-April.  Today I called the magazine.

The perky call center worker that picked up after a five minute wait confirmed my general information.  I explained that I had not received the last couple of issues and wondered if it was our post office or a problem at "The New Yorker".  She promptly answered that my subscription had ended.  I questioned her about why I had not received any renewal notices.  Her answer, "you were not on the renewal list".  She did allow me to renew on the phone, $66 for one year or $169 for two years.  My instant math is not as good as it once was, but I did choose one year.

What's going on here?  It is fairly obvious that "The New Yorker" must be an expensive magazine to produce and mail, and it is completely obvious that the magazine does not quite have the advertising income like that other Conde Nast publication of note "Vanity Fair".  It is also obvious that my favorite magazine is trying to cull its subscriber base for some reason.  Are our spending patterns not up to snuff for the subscriber profile that they want to show to advertisers, or is it age related, or is it something else?  I could come up with some things...but how would they know?

For many years there has been a New Yorker subscription coming to wherever my address has been. It started in the early to mid-70's, took a hiatus in the late 70's and very early 80's as I went to Arizona to get an MBA(too demanding social life), and then settled into a new job in New York(too much basketball at St. Barts). Since 1982 until now, I have been a consistent subscriber.  Wouldn't that count for something.  This felt like a rejection.  Isn't it obvious that the magazine is read here?

Whether it's Vanity Fair, National Geographic, Consumer Reports, the Atlantic, New York, The Economist, and others, there have always been renewal reminders, extensions not asked for in some cases, and if I do not follow up they do for months afterward.  A daughter is 22, out of college, and works in Texas, and Seventeen still sends the magazine here.

Maybe we need to take a weekend trip to Paris to get our New Yorker attractiveness rating back up. That would be nice if we could do it.  Hey, what about the fact that I am almost certainly at the top of the list of mail order food and book spenders in this area, in items purchased and possibly dollars as well.  I must be. Doesn't that count for something.

We will welcome the magazine back, and extend the subscription with one of those specials that pop out of the magazine... or are they still there?

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