I hate magazine trials

Yes it’s true, I really do hate trial subscriptions that tech magazines seem to give away to everyone. In my former work life, there was something that I had signed up for using my home address rather than my work address. I don’t even remember what it was but whoever I gave that address to, obviously, sold it to anyone and everyone in the tech world. (I can always tell because stuff comes addressed to me, with my former employer’s name and my former title in the address box.)

Anyway, shortly after giving out my home address to whatever this was, I started getting “trial subscriptions” of tech magazines. Most I had never expressed any interest in receiving, some never stopped. Apparently their “trial” period last longer than 3 years, and counting.

As if that wasn’t annoying enough, I also get the occasional “invoice” for a magazine subscription, which is a not very subtle attempt to get me, or someone in an accounting department more than likely, to pay the invoice without noticing the fine print that tells me this isn’t an invoice, just an invitation to purchase the magazine I’d been getting a free trial of.

Today, however, took it to even a new level. Eli Journals was kind enough to send me an invoice. Just an invoice and a return envelope, no letter, no explanation, just the somewhat smaller type explaining that this was not an invoice but an invitation to continue to get the magazine I’d been getting free trial of, Mac Administration. Which is funny, since I’ve never heard of that magazine, let alone read a trial issue of it.

Of course, now I have heard of it, and I’m never going to read it, and I am blogging about their crappy “marketing” plan, telling all of you. Probably not the marketing effect they were looking for, huh?

Tags: TrialSubscriptions, marketing

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  1. It was so great to find your comments about Eli Journals and their “invoices” online today. I have been attempting for over 12 months to get this company to CEASE AND DESIST from sending me these stupid things…to no avail. I’ve tried email, regular mail, their toll-free number (at least it’s costing them and not me!) but still get three “invoices” per week, all for newsletters I don’t need or want. We actually ARE a customer of theirs, subscribing to two newsletters that are actually beneficial.

    Warning: Now that they have your name and address in their database you will continue to get mailings from them no matter what.

    I have registered a complaint at the Rochester, NY BBB site, and many others have as well. I just ran their company report at http://search.buffalo.bbb.org/nis/newsearch2.asp?ID=1&strBCode=00410000&ComID=0041000000031978&ComName=Element+K+Journals

    They are also known as “Element K Journals” so that’s the name the report reflects.

    Anyway, just thought you’d like to know there’s a sympathizer out there! I’ve been keeping all their stupid invoices all this time…it’s a huge pile….and am considering who to send them to….maybe the local media? Any ideas?

  2. To follow up on my previous comment:

    I just spoke directly with customer relations at Eli Journals, and they have promised me that my name and address (various different versions) have now been designated as “Do Not Solicit”. For future reference, if you don’t get satisfaction from their customer service dept. call John Hall at (800) 223-8720 x2325 and he’ll take care of it for you.

    Kay Rosburg

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