Dear Organic Gardening magazine …

August 2, 2009 at 5:28 pm (Consumer affairs, English, Gardening)

Back in the late 90s, I was a real sucker for “free trial issue” offers from computer magazine. I got tons of them, some good, most not so. I would never end up subscribing to the magazine, and would simply throw the endless “credit notices” into the recycling bin. I must be permanently blacklisted at Ziff Davis.

To be entirely honest, this was a bit abusive on my part. I grew out of the habit, mostly because none of the really good magazines I would have actually been interested to read (Dr. Dobb’s, Linux Journal, etc) had these free trial issue offers in the first place. Plus, content on the web getting increasingly good and varied, what’s the point in wasting paper?

Being an aspiring market gardener, I recently went for a splurge and got a subscription to Growing for Market and HortIdeas Online, both of which being highly recommended and worth every single pennies in my opinion. I vaguely heard about Organic Gardening, which is published by Rodale, a well renowned publisher in organic gardening circles. I went to their web site, and took advantage of their free trial issue, something I had not done in over a decade.

Turns out Organic Gardening wasn’t so hot after all, and not worth the money. I assumed not sending payment would be enough to signify my lack of interest in getting the magazine past the free trial issue. But no, I started receiving a series of bill, about once a month, then reminders, and now credit department notice. Of course, these are bogus and I doubt they will go as far as actually reporting these to an actual credit rating agency. Nonetheless, it is a waste of paper and should stop already. So I sent the following email to their customer service department earlier today:

Hello Organic Gardening,

I have taken advantage of your “Free trial issue” offer online on your web site. Your magazine is very fine indeed, but not my cup of tea. It is too “lifestyle”, and not enough hard core gardening, for my taste.

I have received the free issue and accompanying guide. I have not received any more issue of your magazine, which is perfectly fine. I have, however, received increasingly threatening letter from your “credit department”. Just stop already. I do not wish to receive any more issue, and I am not going to pay you a dime. Normally, I would just ignore notices coming from you, but after having received five or six already, this is getting ridiculous. Spare yourself the expense of mailing these notices, they will get you nowhere and reflect badly on your otherwise fine publication.

Thank you,

Etienne Goyer

I guess that will teach me once and for all: free trial issue are not worth the trouble. There. I definitely deserve it, considering my past karma with printed magazines. Next time, I will get my “free trial issue” from the local library, thank you.


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