March 7, 2005

Free Subscription

I have a vague memory of being a student, or maybe even just out of college and wanting a free subscription to some computer technology magazine. I don’t remember the name of the mag. It was one of those newspaper-like mags that you only ever got as a free subscription. You had to fill out a form telling them how great you were (I am the head of a computer tech department! I manage 50 people! I spend thousands of dollars a day on computer equipment!) and if you fit the profile, they wanted you looking at their advertisements magazine.

I think that, at the time, answering honestly gave you a free ticket off their subscription list.

Today, I guess just having the title “Chief Software Developer” must command some sort of attention, because I’ve gotten 3 calls from InfoWorld in an attempt to “update my contact information.”

I don’t remember subscribing to InfoWorld; I have a vague memory of receiving it in the mail, but I don’t read any IT-related print periodicals. If I want info on IT, I read it on the web.

InfoWorld called me in the middle of a meeting 2 weeks ago, and I told them “I’m in a meeting.” Then they called me last week and I gave it to them straight “I don’t want my contact info updated. Thanks anyway. You can cancel my subscription, if that is the consequence.”

They called again about 10 minutes ago with the same request. I, once again, told them I don’t want or need a subscription. Have a nice day. click.

Are they going to call me every week now? I’ve gotten pretty good at hanging up, so I don’t actually mind too much. I don’t like the interruption, but mostly I’m just disappointed that it isn’t someone interesting on the phone.

Posted by James at March 7, 2005 3:30 PM
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You may be thinking of MacWEEK.

Somehow I ended up with a professional courtesy subscription to MacWorld. When it neared "expiration" I got offers to renew at a discount rate. After that tactic didn't work (several months running), the magazine started showing up with a "last issue" notice for the last few months.

(They must need to keep their subscription roles high enough to justify the ad rates they charge, so sending me a free magazine is part of the cost of selling ads, or something like that.)

Posted by: Jim at March 7, 2005 4:02 PM


Posted by: Chuck S. at March 7, 2005 4:50 PM

Ah, Chuck, my first laugh of the day. Thank you. I had a lousy day yesterday, and nobody's popped over to my blog to read about it and put their glittery digital arms around my shoulders... sob...

I did read your 101 things post, but I think my mood was too foul. I enjoyed the Gamesters of Triskelion reference, though. See, that thought makes me laugh now, but this morning I couldn't even smile. :-(

Posted by: Maggie at March 7, 2005 4:53 PM

Poor Maggie, I read your article but before I could comment my boss walked in and then his boss on his heels. By the time they left I was wrapped back up in my work. :-(

Sorry to hear about your awful weekend.

Posted by: Chuck S. at March 7, 2005 5:25 PM

Jim: Yes. There are certain people that they figure it's good to have on their subscription list. In your line of work, I'm sure you're one of those people.

For some reason this reminds me of the goody bags that celebrities get at awards shows. MP3 players, hair products, fragrances, expensive clothing accessories, mobile phones... sometimes getting the product into the right hands reaps dividends. Or so the thinking goes.

Posted by: James at March 7, 2005 5:54 PM


I get at least 4 or 5 trade related periodicals, probably 2 of which I actually look at from month to month. They call every year asking for my info and I've tried the no I don't want your crappy publication approach but they keep sending them anyway. I've lately just caved, told them that my info hasn't changed and hung up. They then leave me alone for a year. I actually get hassled a lot less.

maggie - I too read your day and wanted to comment but I was swamped and didn't have time to leave a post of the length I think I was headed towards. Since I read all of these blogs at work I occasionally have to let my work life intrude on my commenting! Maybe someday we'll either work on getting our computer unscrewed up or invest in a new one. But I doubt it will be anytime soon.

Posted by: B.O.B.(bob) at March 8, 2005 8:05 AM

I skimmed Maggie's post as well (funny how we're all leaving comments *here*, sorry Maggie) but since I didn't have anything to contribute I didn't leave a comment.

Posted by: Mike at March 8, 2005 8:36 AM

Free shmee. All these doinks want is to send you a bill to "renew" something you never paid for in the past. They're hoping either you don't remember you never subscribed or that your group secretary just renews everything that comes across his or her desk.

Chiselers. Shysters. Hey, now _that_ is a word whose etymology is quite interesting.

Posted by: Patti M. at March 8, 2005 8:51 AM

Oh, that's funny, and I studied German. I assumed it was Yiddish!

Thanks everyone, those who posted here, and those who posted on my blog. Bob's mosquito story makes my scalp crawl!

Posted by: Maggie at March 8, 2005 10:28 AM

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