A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

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Major Havoc
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A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by Major Havoc » Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:25 pm

Hi

I’m a long time reader and huge fan of Retro Gamer magazine since it’s inception and have been a subscriber for the last three years without any problems. However, the last four issues I’ve been sent (170-174) have all seemed like possible rejects from the production plant.

I was wondering if it was just me, of if any fellow subscribers seem to be receiving damaged copies recently?

My last three issues oddly enough have identical 2 inch crease marks in exactly the same place and at the same angle. I’m sure it’s not a problem with the post, as the mailing bags are always unmarked and as you can hopefully see – the marks seem like they’ve occurred when the magazines have been mechanically snatched off the production plant.

If one was being cynical, one could wonder if either policies or directives have changed recently under Future and that damaged copies that would normally be rejected by retail outlets are now allowed to be sent out to subscribers for economic reasons. Or it might just be me and I’m unlucky, or someone at the plant is perhaps less scrupulous over allowing damaged copies to go forth.

Feel free to let me know! Maybe I’m being fussy, but I frankly would much rather pay full price at retail than consistently receive damaged copies of a magazine whose content and creators I honestly, truly value.

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RichL
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by RichL » Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:54 am

I’ve had that on my last two also. Haven’t received the latest issue yet.

fm4dj
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by fm4dj » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:14 am

Exactly the same here - i live in Austria.
I have to ask for a replacement. A look at the bruised PC Engine Cover makes me cry.

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ArchaicKoala
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by ArchaicKoala » Fri Oct 06, 2017 7:40 am

I've had exactly the same issue for the past 3-4 months.
It's not ruined the magazine as such but it is really annoying :evil:

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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:42 am

We're looking into this because it absolutely should not be happening.
Will hopefully have more details next week.
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Eric
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by Eric » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:55 am

The last 3 to 4 issues for me have all roughly the same marks as the above photos at near enough the same position on the cover with no tears to the plastic bag.

thegamesnotoveryet
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by thegamesnotoveryet » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:36 am

WOW, same for my issues, and I just really noticed it was the same across a few different ones. My DK cover has the exact same light crease/scratch at the same angle, but probably 3 inches higher than yours. So I would guess, their machine that spits these out has some kind of defect that is adding that crease to each cover as it's produced, as my angle is exactly the same, just higher.

Only the DK cover looks scratched, while my 172 has the crease lower down, but in the exact same line as 171. While the crease was annoying, the rest of the issue was in pretty good shape and compared to what I had been getting, this is still in pretty good shape.

I think I may have even mentioned it on my 171 in a different thread, as I stated it was the only damage to an otherwise nice issue(the first one to arrive in pretty good shape after a run of pretty bad ones), and how the crease extended to the top few pages within the magazine as well. I had been getting replacements for several issues before this, due to way worse damages that I knew happened during shipping(I figured this was happening at production). Considering the reduced cost of these subscription issues, I'm OK with some slight defects, as I don't think I would ever get a perfect issue thru the post otherwise.

I can of course get perfect issues at local retail, but then I'm paying probably 3-4x the cost, so as long as any defects can't be easily noticed, I let it go. But if an issue has damages that are easily seen, or can be distracting while reading, I'll request a replacement. So yeah, some one should point out to whomever is doing the production of these issues, that there is a problem on the line, and hopefully it doesn't take years to get fixed. But for this to be such a wide spread problem, quality control should have caught it, which tells me there was no quality control in place(which explains a lot), sadly. LOL

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ArchaicKoala
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by ArchaicKoala » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:55 am

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:42 am
We're looking into this because it absolutely should not be happening.
Will hopefully have more details next week.
Thanks Darren :)

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Major Havoc
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by Major Havoc » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:07 pm

Firstly, thank you very much to everyone for your replies and whilst on the one hand I’m glad I’m not the only one, I’m sorry to hear that other subscribers are receiving copies which were damaged at the production plant too. At least we can establish this is an external problem which can (hopefully) be addressed.

Secondly, thank you very much Darren for swiftly picking up on this and I’ll look forward to any further details you can provide from the publisher in due course. I appreciate it’s not exactly under your purview as editor (internal, rather than external quality control) but I think it’s fair to say its only because we value the quality that goes into each issue, that we care about the quality of the printed result.

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Mayhem
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by Mayhem » Sat Oct 07, 2017 11:24 am

My recent issues have been okay, bar #172 which does have a bit of cover damage in a similar vein, but nothing like what's shown in the photos.
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Crusty Starfish
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by Crusty Starfish » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:21 pm

Just had a look at the last few issues and was quite surprised to see a crease in exactly the same place as the photos in the first post. Would never have noticed them as I'm not bothered by that kind of thing, but there does seem to be an issue with the printers!

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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by Antiriad2097 » Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:02 am

I'd always thought it was our postie since it happens so often.
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PostieDoc
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by PostieDoc » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:18 pm

Crease marks in the same place on my most recent issue.

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Major Havoc
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by Major Havoc » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:08 am

Just to say that my subscription issue of Retro Gamer #174 arrived in perfect condition! The first time in five issues, so it was a very nice and welcome surprise. :D

I know Darran said Future were looking into it, so if (as seems to be the case with me at least) they've stopped sending out knowingly damaged copies, then I'm back to being one happy customer.

I think they're still having problems sending out replacement issues (even the replacement for my missing replacement issue is missing) but if their subscription copies are now minty fresh, then hopefully that should cease to matter.

Still, just to really say a belated thank you to whomsoever helped solve the problem. :wink:

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subscriptions
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Re: A Question for Subscribers (magazines now sent out damaged?)

Post by subscriptions » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:49 am

Morning all,

Just following on from Mr Havoc's comment below.

There were a couple of things done differently with the sending out of 174 that differed to 173, which I will explain a little bit.

Due to the recent reports of damaged copies, one of my colleagues (who I will refer to as 'Big Manager Man,' BMM for short) was at the printing house on the day that 174 was printed. BMM did this because the printing house wasn't reporting anything wrong on their quality assurance system, so BMM wanted to check it out for himself. So we already have one difference, of BMM just triple checking everything. As far as I am aware, BMM is going to be at the printing house for the next two copies of Retro Gamer, just to ensure that nothing gets through the cracks. He did say that the printing was fine and their quality assurance checks were sound but worth keeping an eye on things to make sure the high quality continues.

Also, BMM and I had a look at the way the magazines were packaged at the printing house. Beforehand they were being wrapped up and strapped down with these big ol' plastic ties. Now, the strange this is that all our other magazines are wrapped up in this way but do not get damaged. Maybe the Retro Gamer magazines are extra sensitive, who knows?! But we stopped that for Retro. Now the magazines are shrink wrapped like their life depends on it before they head off on their adventures around the globe.

It has been some time since 174 was printed and so far there have only been a couple of reports of damaged magazines. However, the damage isn't random indentation, but damage from the postman being a little bit heavy-handed when it comes to those tricky letterboxes.

I am going to continue to monitor everything, but so far everything seems to be running much smoother.

As always, if you lot have damaged copies etc. then please let me know and I will let the relevant people know and do some digging once more. But I am optimistic that this particular issue has been solved.

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