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Missing Magazines
April 21, 2005 10:56 AM   Subscribe

What should I do when magazines I subscribe to fail to show up? Who do I contact, what do I say? And is this just one of the drawbacks of living in Brooklyn?

A few years ago, I subscribed to WIRED and dropped the subscription because every three or four months a magazine failed to show up. I am subscribed again, and now two issues in a row have failed to arrive.
What recourse do I have?
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat to Shopping (13 answers total)
 
If you contact the magazine directly they usually will send you replacements... Is your mailbox secure? Could be postal theives
posted by edgeways at 11:07 AM on April 21, 2005


Call the subscription department. There is usually a page near the front that lists all the editors and whatnot and it is usally at the bottom of that. Call them and tell them you haven't received your issues and demand an extension your subscription. or sometimes they will priority mail you a copy, it depends on how close the the issue date you are.

Magazines seem to fall into the vortex of death around my house too (Portland). They show up 3 weeks after I see them on the newstand and sometimes not at all. If it is an ongoing thing with multiple magazines, you can talk to the post office about the situation and file a complaint if the hold up is at their end.
posted by ..ooOOoo....ooOOoo.. at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2005


Did you contact the magazine? They could probably either credit your account (probably by extending your subscription) or send you the missed issues.

Then I would contact the post office (there's a "mail delivery problems" contact number on their website) and let them know.
posted by occhiblu at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2005


(Or, you know, what ..ooOOoo....ooOOoo.. said...)
posted by occhiblu at 11:09 AM on April 21, 2005


I'm not sure what "living in Brooklyn" could conceivably have to do with it. Is your mailbox large enough to accomodate magazines along with other mail? Is it possible your carrier has to leave magazines on the ground or in an open area, and someone is stealing them?

I would contact the subscription department and ask for a refund or a free extra year. If they balk but you paid with a credit card, sic Visa on them.

Another option would be getting your magazines delivered to work. Or perhaps a P.O. box if you're concerned about mail security in general.
posted by bcwinters at 11:09 AM on April 21, 2005


Make sure you haven't gone for one of those subscription scams, where people go door to door, sell you a "subscription" and only send about 3 issues from a warehouse somewhere.

I'm sure you haven't, but it does happen and I fell for it in college.
posted by inksyndicate at 11:10 AM on April 21, 2005


This used to happen to me all the time in Seattle back when I got a lot of magazines. I had a big mailbox that shut securely so I knew the problem was somewhere other than at my house post-delivery. Here is what I did:

- Contacted the publisher/subscription people to figure out what days the magazines were mailed, more or less. After one or two missing magazines, they are less than sympathetic and tend not to want to send good magazines after bad.

- Kept a chart of when my magazines arrived [I know this sounds sort of anal but I was getting 5-7 subscriptions and I wouldn't remember which came when] on my calendar. Recordkeeping helps improve the plausibility of your claim.

- Called the post office any time a magazine was more than a few days late. They want to blame the subscription company, so it's pretty important to make sure you've talked to them first.

Eventually the post office put me on some sort of tester program where they would send me "sample" mail a few times a month. I'd get an envelope, open it, and inside would be another envelope that I had to send back saying when I got it. These sample envelopes stuck out like sore thumbs so of course they were delivered promptly, but you could always try them to put the fear into your deliery person. I always assumed that people at the PO were just reading my magazines first and then sometimes failing to return them. Ultimately, I got a PO Box which seemed to solve this problem.
posted by jessamyn at 11:22 AM on April 21, 2005


thx, as I recall a few years ago when this happened, the talks with the subscription department didn't go too well because of my obsessive nature and the strange pain I experience from having an unfilled gap in a series -- my resulting demands for back issues didn't go over well -- maybe I keep that to myself and get what I can added to the end of the current subscription.

(and I have an unsecured, collective* mailbox in a brownstone, and no control over the nature of the mailbox)

* I hate to suspect neighbors/co-inhabitants.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 11:35 AM on April 21, 2005


jessamyn -- I have stopped short of the spreadsheet tracking magazines, but if I add another subscription, I will. I understand and it makes sense whether or not it can be classified as "sort of anal" or not.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 11:37 AM on April 21, 2005


(and I have an unsecured, collective* mailbox in a brownstone, and no control over the nature of the mailbox)

* I hate to suspect neighbors/co-inhabitants.


Sure, one doesn't like to suspect neighbors, but... maybe getting a PO box or a private mailbox at Mailboxes Etc or somewhere similar might be a good idea.
posted by littleme at 12:40 PM on April 21, 2005


I've always been able to contact someone -- most mags have websites with FAQs just for this -- and they have always extended my subscription for how ever many issues were missed.
posted by bozichsl at 1:25 PM on April 21, 2005


I've had the same problem since moving to Brooklyn 5 years ago. Never had this problem in any other city. It got to the point where I talked to the P.O. manager for my district and he started 'tracking' my mail, whatever that means. Didn't do a damn thing. I live on a known mafia block and my landlady is home all the time. Mailboxes don't get f'd with on my block. My suspicion is theft at the P.O. before getting to my actual mailman or, as jessamyn said, P.O. workers reading the mag and not putting it back for delivery. Serioulsy annoying. Used to give me an aneurysm.
posted by spicynuts at 1:33 PM on April 21, 2005


Regardless of what you do with the magazine company, I'd start bugging the landlord for individual locking mailboxes. It's a short step from losing a magazine to losing actually important mail.

I don't know about Brooklyn, but here in Chicago, nearly all of the brownstones that I see have individual mail boxes for each apartment. It can't be that expensive.
posted by MrZero at 3:04 PM on April 21, 2005


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