Weird Wired Magazine (or maybe just stupid)

I really do not get Wired Magazine’s subscription policy. They are supposed to target smart geeks, yet make really stupid moves.

I used to be a subscriber. But I got annoyed by a large number of ads, deliberate and unnecessary foul language and subscription inserts advertising $8 new subscriptions. So, I did not renew early.

Renewal notices starting arriving and that’s where things got weird. The first renewal notice was for $12, not $8 as I was expecting. I figured they may have pushed the prices up and that next magazine’s subscription insert would be $15 with renewal offer at $12. Nope! The next magazine still had 6 inserts with $8 offer.

The next renewal notice had a slightly panicked tone. It called me a valuable subscriber. But it was still $12. The third notice appealed to my need as a professional to know what Wired thinks is cool. It obviously thought I was too busy a professional to remember price point differences.

Finally, they got to me. I did not renew, but instead emailed their subscription support asking about the price difference. Tammi from Wired replied:

Thank you for contacting us concerning a lower subscription price that you have recently seen. We have many different offers to attract new subscribers.  These offers can also be available to you.  Please respond with your special offer information and we will be happy to enter your subscription.

That was so weird, I eventually got their Consumer Marketing Director reply:

Your recent email was routed to my office.  I regret that you were offended by seeing an $8 per year subscription offer on an insert card in your copy of Wired.  The explanation is that we periodically test different price points, both higher and lower,  and that is why your subscription copy carried that more discounted offer.  Let me assure you that had you requested the 12/$8 offer, we would have honored your renewal order at that rate rather than the higher priced offer you received with your renewal communication.   We do value our long term subscribers and as a courtesy, along with my apologies, I would be happy to offer you a complimentary year’s subscription.

I thought about it and figured I was really bothered by their version of valuing long term subscribers and refused to renew at any price. My complaint was never about price, just about being treated as captive audience and a stupid one.

That was 6 months ago. Yesterday I got another email from them. They want me back. At $12/year. The online price is $10. This is now SPAM. I made sure GMail knows that.

2 thoughts on “Weird Wired Magazine (or maybe just stupid)”

  1. I had the same experience with Time Out London. Introductory offer is 99p-£2.50 for 12 issues (depending on which insert or mail-shot you got). After that it’s closer to £2.50 an issue on direct debit (close to news-stand price). Every time I cancelled, I’d get to do the introductory rate again, until eventually I stopped bothering. If it was a good value rate (neither ridiculously cheap like the offer nor close to news-stand price) for an entire year, I probably would have signed up for longer and spent more money overall. I’ve shared the link to this post on Twitter by the way.

  2. What a comedy of errors. I shudder to think what analytics would come out of their datawarehouse with such overlapping and disparate offers.

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