Friday, 3 September 2010
SCIENCE FICTION: SFX MAGAZINE
I've been reading SFX since around issue 50 and started subscribing about twenty issues later. Round about issue 150 a certain person who shall be nameless wanted me to cut down on my spending so I didn't renew my sub and only bought the occasional issue which became even more infrequent when the better Deathray, with its more intelligent approach, came out. Sadly, Deathray didn't last and so when I found myself with a little spare cash, subscribed to SFX again. The sweetener which sealed the deal was a freebie Stanley Kubrick DVD box set.
And I waited for it to arrive.
After about six weeks I emailed the subscription dept and received an automated reply telling me I'd be contacted by a human being.
And I waited. For two weeks and sent off another email and received an automated reply.
And I waited. For ten days and sent off another email and received an automated reply. And a couple of days later promising that all would be sorted.
And I waited. And nothing happened so I sent off another email threatening to cancel my sub and demand a full refund and received an automated reply. Followed by an apologetic letter saying SFX would be in the post very quickly and although they'd run out of the Kubrick box set, if I rang a certain number I would be given a choice of whatever was available.
And within a couple of days I received the previous two issues of SFX, neither of them subscribers copies without all the words on the front but at least I got them and then a week later the latest issue (see above) a subscribers copy. I was too apathetic to phone the number and also annoyed that I'd have to spend money to claim a freebie.
In that issue one of the regular staff writers wrote the Soapbox feature about what a good idea it was to subscribe....
So I wrote in agreeing with him, in theory, but...
A couple of days later I received a very apologetic email from the editor himself telling me that they'd recently changed their subscription company to avoid things like that and that he'd look into it. In my reply thanking him I asked if it would be possible to email me a list of the freebies so I could make a considered choice rather than a hurried one over the phone.
This happened and I picked Smallville Season 8 (I'll write about this series some other time) which I received last week and I'm currently watching. Then today I received a large box which I wasn't expecting. It contained three of their expensive specials and five books, three of them hardbacks, by way of an apology. This is a very gracious gesture which of course I'll reply to and thank them.