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davorg (18)

Yahoo! ID: daveorguk (Add User, Send Message)

Hacker, author, trainer

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Journal of davorg (18)

Monday December 02, 2002
04:03 AM

Unsubscribing From Magazines

[ #9226 ]

I really hate how difficult it is to unsubscribe from magazines.

I used to be a subscriber to Web Techniques. I thought it was a very interesting and useful magazine. It always had a number of articles that I wanted to read (one of them was always Randal's column on Perl).

Then earlier this year Web Techniques metamorphosed into New Architect. The whole emphasis of the magazine changed. They carried far less hard technical articles. You can read what the editor said about the change. One of the changes was the cancellation of Randal's column (I guess Perl is no longer relevant to the web). As a result the magazine was no longer of interest to me and I decided that I wouldn't renew my subscription.

That's when the trouble started. Every few weeks I received ever more desperate letters from them telling me how my subscription was about to lapse. They were full of phrases like "it must have slipped your mind" and "we're sure you don't want to miss out on all this great content". Finally in September I could take no more and I emailed the subscriptions department explaining exactly why I wasn't going to renew and asking them to stop sending me letter. The next day they replied saying that they would "cancel my subscription" but that it would take 6 to 8 weeks[1].

Of course, nothing changed. Over the last two months, I've received two more urgent reminders from them. And then over the weekend I received a form letter purporting to be from the editor. In it he tells me the they have been forced to cancel my subscription (at last!) and asking me to let him know why I've decided not to renew. I've just sent him an email enclosing a copy of the email I sent the subscriptions department and adding that their subscriptions department should really be passing on comments about the magazine's content to the editorial group so I'm surprised that he even had to ask me. We'll see what happens.

Writing this has just reminded me that my subscription on SysAdmin will probably be up for renewal very soon. That's another magazne that I have no further interest in.

[1] Quite how anything can still take 6 to 8 weeks in the modern world is beyond me!

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  • Me too. Although I unsubscribed almost 2 years ago now. I got exactly the same begging letters, which I just ignored. I got exactly the same Editor's form letter, which I also ignored.

    For me it was the fact that WT was free in the US, and yet I was forced to pay what felt more and more like extortion. That, and the dwindling technical content made it just not worth it any more.

    Sadly the quality material that used to be found in Byte hard copy is just no longer available anywhere. Even Dr Dobbs is drivel t
  • I've been taking an "ignore it until it dies" approach towards New Architect. At about 1 useful page of content per issue, it's just not worth the effort.

    The Golden Days of print magazines for techies does seem to be behind us. The tech magazine section at one local bookstore has been getting crowded out by fetish and tatoo magazines.