Cancelling my sub

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flatapex
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Cancelling my sub

Post by flatapex » Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:04 pm

Well after the best part of a decade, its time to knock my subscription on the head.

I don’t want anyone to think or imply it has anything to do with the quality of the magazine, quite the opposite.

The issues are with the nightmares caused by Future Publishing. The way subscribers are treated is something I cannot stand by and watch in all good conscience. The latest debacle where terms that newsstand readers get different/more content than loyal subscribers is nothing short of a shambles. The eight covers.....well let’s not start on that.

The quality of the envelopes used to send out the mag are awful, meaning damaged issues that Future can’t/won’t replace. I am in no way advocating a return to plastic, but better envelopes go in the same recycling facilities as the pound shop rejects currently used.

For clarity the latest issue arrived with a tear in the cover, went onto the site to report and the only option is to report it as non delivered, when the latest issue was added it showed out of stock straight away, the day before it was not there at all. Raised a ticket on Thursday and got a reply last night that it was out of print, so if yours doesn’t turn up then it clearly can’t be replaced.
This really isn’t a solution for those that subscribe because stores near us don’t stock the mag, I’ve only been raising the issue of difficulty getting the mag in stores since about 2015.

If Future decide my local stores are worthy of distributing RG to, then I will buy (although the supply has dwindled to nothing and has been erratic at best for years). I have no issues with the magazine and this is something I feel I have to do with a heavy heart.

This is not intended to annoy/upset/antagonise anyone (those that know me, know this is not my nature), just had to say things as they are.
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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:52 am

I'm sorry you're cancelling and it must be frustrating that the magazine isn't easily available where you are.
Please make sure the subs team know exactly why you're cancelling as that sort of information is incredibly useful and may shape practices in the future.
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Weblaus
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Weblaus » Tue Apr 20, 2021 1:44 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:
Tue Apr 20, 2021 6:52 am
Please make sure the subs team know exactly why you're cancelling as that sort of information is incredibly useful and may shape practices in the future.
That sounds like a nice dream, but let's be honest, the reality is that this won't change anything. Future has demonstrated again and again the total disinterest to improve their service for customers.

Though funnily enough, right now an email dropped in my inbox that apparently subscriptions now include the digital edition? Somehow the cynic in me believes that must be a tactic to distract from how dismal the delivery of the printed issues is these days.

flugle
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by flugle » Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:28 pm

Sad to say I won't be renewing either. I've got every single issue (well, up to 216 because that's all that has ever made it to Australia) and have been subscribed continuously since the Live days. Future has shown a complete disinterest in their international subscribers. We're paying a significant premium price, supposedly for reasonably quick delivery, when I've actually seen issues for sale in local newsagents quicker, and for half the price.

Feedback to the subs team is ignored, and tickets are not answered.

I don't accept COVID as an excuse either, the service has been going downhill since Future took over. It's telling that Chris Wilkins can get his Zzap and Crash magazines to me in Australia in less than a week, and a major publisher like Future seems to have problems doing the same thing in 3 months.

antsbull
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by antsbull » Tue Apr 20, 2021 7:38 pm

I'm right on the edge of cancelling my sub after 200 issues. Currently to New Zealand, they are sending issues out 4 months behind, still waiting for #215 to arrive. The last three issues I've bought in a magazine shop that gets them a month earlier than my subs show up (if they show up at all).

I just don't understand how the service could be so appalling, when for 15 years it was faultless for me. What on earth is different that they are struggling so much to simply pop a magazine in a bag and post it?

Unhappy Customer
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Unhappy Customer » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:29 am

Australia here as well. I am on the verge of cancelling my sub. I've received up to issue 216 with issue 214 missing. I went and ordered issue 214 on a seperate account and paid by a credit card weeks ago and still that has not been delivered - so I've effectively wasted money trying to keep my collection in order. I've paid for issue 214 twice and still no delivery!. Covid-19 is no excuse, especially throughout the crisis Amazon and other companies have delivered on time. I just received an email to say I have access to the digital magazine... I don't own an Android or iOS device to view them and my subscription is for a hard copy only. This is not good enough... Future takes our money and they do not deliver. Until Covid-19 I had no problems with the service. Get this sorted out because your oversee customers are getting pissed off with this!

And I suspect it will be hard to get your money back if you cancel the sub. If that happens they will never get any business from me ever again. Pathetic service!

flugle
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by flugle » Wed Apr 21, 2021 10:00 pm

Conicidentally I got a renewal letter today. They are offering 6 issues for $42 USD, so $7 an issue. However a 1 year subscription (13 issues) is $93USD, which comes to $7.15.
I'm a little baffled as to why a 12 month sub would be dearer than rolling a 6 month sub

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Rory Milne
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Rory Milne » Thu Apr 22, 2021 5:49 am

Unhappy Customer wrote:
Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:29 am
And I suspect it will be hard to get your money back if you cancel the sub. If that happens they will never get any business from me ever again.
If you call Magazines Direct on 44 330 333 4333 and let them know the dates that you ordered your issue 214s they'll give you a refund no questions asked. Just make it clear that you're phoning about "single issue orders" not a sub.

They might offer to send out replacements in the first instance, but ask for them to be refunded and they'll get it done without any arguments.

I'm not sure where you are in Australia, but having checked Google it looks like somewhere between your late-afternoon and evening will be our morning here in the UK. Magazines Direct can be called from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday UK time. Their number is the same cost to call as a standard UK phone number, and I've always got straight through to someone.

Also, just to explain, the guys who work on Retro Gamer have nothing to do with Magazines Direct and no way to contact them at a higher-up level than our readers - and that includes Retro Gamer's editor Darran. As you can imagine, it's monumentally frustrating for all concerned, but all we can do is focus on making the best mag possible.

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Crusty Starfish
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Crusty Starfish » Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:53 am

Just out of interest, seeing as no staff or even the editor can make contact with Magazines Direct, who within Future Publishing can?

There must be someone that deals with them! It's a bit crazy that a mega company such as Future seem to have no control over a distribution company that is doing a job for them (assuming it's outsourced)... If it is owned by Future, then they should have representatives that can deal with issues like this.

It may only be a few people on a dead forum, but if it's happening to them, how many more people are suffering with this unbelievable problem and thinking 'f*ck it, I'll stop my sub and screw the mag'?

It's a fantastic magazine and it seems such a shame these people are having to ditch it through no fault of their own :(

Sabreman64
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Sabreman64 » Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:30 am

flatapex wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:04 pm
The latest debacle where terms that newsstand readers get different/more content than loyal subscribers is nothing short of a shambles.
What content have newsagent buyers of the magazine received that we subscribers didn't also receive? I know that there is the Nintendo Archives 'bookazine' with the latest issue (219) which we subscribers did not receive. And I know that the retail covers are different from the subscriber covers. But what else is there? As far as freebies are concerned, we subscribers have received all the CDs, booklets, stickers and calendars which were included with retail copies in the last few years.

By the way, on the subject of Retro Gamer calendars, there have been calendars for only 2019 and 2020 in the last few years, haven't there? I was going through my mags a few days ago and those two calendars were the only ones I could find. There wasn't a 2021 calendar, was there?

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merman
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by merman » Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:14 pm

The Nintendo Archives was an existing bookazine made up of reprinted articles from the mag.
And no, no 2021 calendar.
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Sabreman64
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Sabreman64 » Sun Apr 25, 2021 11:15 am

merman wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:14 pm
The Nintendo Archives was an existing bookazine made up of reprinted articles from the mag.
I'm aware of that, yes. I was not too bothered about not receiving it with my subscription copy of 219 since I already own all that content anyway.

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Nikolai
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Nikolai » Sun Apr 25, 2021 1:11 pm

I'm subbing to digital only through my iPad, and seeing how Future treats paper subs, I'm glad I am.

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Antiriad2097
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Antiriad2097 » Sun Apr 25, 2021 3:34 pm

Are the digital subs tied to some horrid very specific viewer app so they can't be viewed on other systems, or otherwise terribly restricted by DRM? Any time in the past I've looked at an 'official' digital version of a mag, the viewers have been hideous unwieldy things that really didn't suit my reading requirements.
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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Re: Cancelling my sub

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Mon Apr 26, 2021 6:50 am

Sabreman64 wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 10:30 am
flatapex wrote:
Mon Apr 19, 2021 2:04 pm
The latest debacle where terms that newsstand readers get different/more content than loyal subscribers is nothing short of a shambles.
What content have newsagent buyers of the magazine received that we subscribers didn't also receive? I know that there is the Nintendo Archives 'bookazine' with the latest issue (219) which we subscribers did not receive. And I know that the retail covers are different from the subscriber covers. But what else is there? As far as freebies are concerned, we subscribers have received all the CDs, booklets, stickers and calendars which were included with retail copies in the last few years.

By the way, on the subject of Retro Gamer calendars, there have been calendars for only 2019 and 2020 in the last few years, haven't there? I was going through my mags a few days ago and those two calendars were the only ones I could find. There wasn't a 2021 calendar, was there?
To me knowledge this has been the only time that something like this has happened. It's also been the only time the newsstand version has cost £7.99.
A calendar was planned and already to go but was stopped after we went into lockdown for the second time.
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