Magazine bait and switch

scarlett2001February 19, 2009

I subscribed to 6 issues of Mary Englebreit's Home Companion Magazine.($19.95).After getting only one issue, I got a letter from Martha Stewart Living saying that Home Companion had gone out of business and the rest of the subscription has been switched bver to Martha Stewart Living instead.

I wrote back and said,no, I don't like MS or her magazine and please refund my $19.95, minus the one Home Companion I did get. No answer. Now I have three Martha Stewart Living magazines and no refund, Can they really do that?

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That's a shame as the two mags are so very different.

Many magazines are going belly-up and are offering substitutes. I really don't know if you have any recourse though.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 3:58PM
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They didn't "offer" it - they said this-is-the-way-it's- going-to-be. And Martha Stewart Living has very little content, except for ads.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 6:40PM
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Well, I think they did offer you something.

They could just go out of business and not give you anything.

Then you could go through the bankruptcy courts, behind all the big wigs they owe money to, and hope to get some compensation. Which probably wouldn't amount to much, if anything at all.

While I would not like what they offered either, they DID offer something....

    Bookmark   February 19, 2009 at 7:09PM
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I did not pay for just any magazine. I paid for the one I wanted. The entire publisher is not out of business, just one of their several magazines. Neither the publisher nor I will die over a refund of less than $20.00 but I paid for something and if they cannot provide it, they should give me back my money.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 1:11PM
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The same thing happened to me. I love Mary Engelbreit, I had subscribed for about five years. And just recently renewed! I got a letter saying it would no longer be published, and I would receive Martha Stewart Living instead. I already receive MSL as a separate subscription, I certainly don't need two! I wrote the publisher asking for a refund instead, haven't heard a word!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2009 at 6:19PM
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I subscribed to Cottage Living for several years. Recently I received a notice that they were going out of business and I would receive "Real Simple" for the duration of my subscription. I received nothing!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2009 at 2:38PM
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My letters were ignored, too, then I went to the Martha Stewart Living web site and made some noise, got an email right back that they would refund me "In about 7 to 9 weeks." So we'll see. I think they need to know that you are not going to just go away. Using words like "mail fraud" and "unlawful" helped a bit! Oh - and you have to really search to find the "contact us" button, it is well-hidden.

Who is the publisher of Cottage Living?

Next time I want a mag I will swipe it from the doctor's office. Just kidding!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2009 at 7:56PM
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Jannie, here is the email for Martha Stewart Living customer service.

    Bookmark   March 3, 2009 at 5:47PM
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Do you REALLY think "mail fraud" and "unlawful" will scare a woman who dealt on insider trading? LOL No, those words didn't do a thing. They're not shaking in their boots. But congratulations on finding the place to go to get a response and I wish you luck in getting it. Being persistent is often successful.

I totally agree with your frustration. When you order one thing and they substitute something sometimes claimed to be "equal or greater value", it's not what a person wanted! I understand them not wanting to give refunds. But when I order and pay for a steak, I don't want some chicken nuggets substituted because they're out.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 12:13AM
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So maybe I should have said "ankle bracelet" and "return to Camp Cupcake"? My take is that Martha will try to keep very clean now. She doesn't need another scandal.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2009 at 11:36AM
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LOL, now THAT might get her attention! Martha cares about Martha and doesn't care about anyone else. People talk about Walmart's tactics, but they could take a couple lessions from that hag. Course now that they're teaming up...

    Bookmark   March 5, 2009 at 12:43AM
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I had that happen with Home mag. It went out and they offered me Womans Day or a refund. I called and asked for the refund because I still had about 8 months to go. When I called they said that I had to cancel with the company that I bought the subscription from (I bought it through my kids school as a fund raiser). Of course I could never get through to that number that they gave me.

I ordered my kids mags for Christmas and the same thing, but they did refund the money.

I am not buying any more because you never know who is next. I take my kids to the library all the time and read the ones I want there.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2009 at 10:33PM
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That is probably "greener", too. I trade mags with friends a lot. They make the rounds until they are dog-eared, then go to recycle or a reading room. Probably we will not see print mags in the future.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 4:13PM
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The way that cynic spits out "hag" ...

... it sounds like one of those four-letter words!

ole joyful

    Bookmark   March 9, 2009 at 4:18PM
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