Subscription Renewals:  Can We Move to the 21st Century?

Subscription Renewals: Can We Move to the 21st Century?

If my fitness regimen can be Internet enabled, why can’t my magazine subscription renewals be?

We all get them. Some come in emails while most use the phone call approach. You know, the “unrecognizable number” call that has a ‘few’ questions to answer that turns into many minutes of either repeating the information to or from the other speaker. If you do not answer, they continually call at various times until they finally reach you. So you need to answer these just to remove additional calls. Personally, if I do not recognize the call, I will let it go to voicemail. My experience, vmails are only left by important people that want you to call back. I have never had a voicemail from a renewal. But if I do not answer, the calls will continue….. Just this week, I had three separate renewals, at least one of them has been calling about a week.

I am sure these callers are nice people and they have their quotas to hit. But we have had the Internet for decades and for me to quickly review my previous subscription information and only change data that needs updating takes seconds. And I do it on my time when I am not in the middle of something. The phone call is hampered by the speed at which we can speak versus the speed we can read. A long list is so much easier to quickly read because our brains are so much more efficient visually.

This past year, I have started to refuse any phone calls for renewing subscriptions. To stop the continual calls, I will answer and quickly state: “please send me an email with a url subscription”. If they send one, I will take the time to fill out. If they do not, I will no longer get their subscription. Several weeks ago, one of these renewal calls caused me to write the editor of this magazine. I mentioned about their antiquated renewals process. I was shocked when a reply came back stating that they would look into my suggestions. I hope they do and possibly set a new course for subscription renewals that allow me to do it at my convenience. My fingers are crossed.

It amazes me that many renewal calls are from ‘high technology’ media that are living in the 20th century. We have plenty of articles that talk about IoE or IoT and yet ‘everything’ or ‘things’ does NOT include magazine subscription renewals. And speaking of the IoE/IoT, the Internet has always allowed for the connection of anything that has an IP address. I remember long ago configuring DSL modems by using the modem’s IP address to access and change various parameters on the Internet. From my perspective, the “Internet” itself is already the “IoE” or “IoT”; the difference is that other products are now being enabled with IP addresses and SW to allow remote monitoring and/or configuration. “Internet enabled” might be a better term for any of these new devices similar to the “Intel Inside®” brand*. ~ B. Martin

* Intel Inside is a trademark of Intel Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries