Vanity (Un)Fair

January 5, 2007 at 1:38 am (Uncategorized)

I just went to my mailbox, and the only thing in there was a water bill. Oh, goodie. I just love getting bills, so it’s lucky they arrive with such awesome frequency. Recently I’ve been on the look out for the next issue of my magazine subscription, but I can stop that now. They don’t have any record of my ever having one. That’s all very Edgar Allen Poe of them, but the truth is I’d like my Vanity Fair all the same. Now.

The thing that irks me about this subscription is that the magazine always hits the shelves before my copy hits the mailbox. Where’s the advantage? Oh sure, there’s a price incentive, but only if you actually receive your twelve magazines. Right now, Conde Nast has pocketed over 200 clams from yours truly for, um, three issues. That’s a very tidy profit. And now – despite my American Express statement to the contrary – they are saying they have no record at all of that money, in my name, at my address, ever reaching them. Now that’s what I call an effective profit-making strategy.

The other thing that irks me about this subscription is that it doesn’t serve one of its chief purposes, which is to save me time. Because it’s supposed to be delivered to my door, I don’t have to go and find it, stand in a queue, pay for it, and get it home. In theory, I don’t even have to remember when the next issue is out. Subscriptions are supposed to be efficient. I see how efficient it is for Conde Nast, I kind of envy them the shrewd business acumen, but it’s not proving to be so efficient for me.

Now I have to prove Vanity Fair billed me, and I have to prove they have sent magazines to my address in the past. They would like me to provide my last mailing label, along with my credit card statement. My last mailing label? From November? Do you know what I call mailing labels once they’ve served their function and assisted the postman in bringing my latest issue of Vanity Fair to my door? I call them rubbish, and in Australia, we put rubbish in the bin. We don’t collect rubbish on the off chance our subscriptions will suffer a massive cock up at the other end.

I think this should be their problem, but instead they are very neatly making it my problem. See, they already have my money. Their job here is apparently done. I waited, and waited, and waited some more, and then I emailed them saying “Hey, I’m missing a copy.” And they wrote back a while later saying “Who are you?”

It’s really very clever. It’s like being the sane person mistakenly locked up in an asylum. Try convincing anyone that you’re not crazy.

“But I’m completely sane, I’m totally normal, I’m a fully paid up subscriber!!”

“There, there,” they say soothingly, getting the needle ready. “Of course you are, dear.”

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