this magazine is a rip-off!

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Rob Mo » Fri, 28 Jun 1996 04:00:00


To the attention of the International Figure Skating staff:

I have been a subscriber to your magazine for the past year.  Like every
other U.S. subscriber, I pay $20 for a year subscription.  The single issue
price is listed as $3.45.  Similar story for your Canadian subscribers:
$28 per year, $4.75 per issue.

Your publishing credits in every issue state the following:  "International
Figure Skating (ISSN 1070-9568) is published six times a year by Paragraph
Communications Inc."

I expect six issues per year for that $20, and I see that this is not going
to be the case this year.  If you are only going to put out four issues,
then I demand that my subscription be extended to reflect the number of
actual issues I am entitled to receive.

Your magazine is defrauding its readership.  I intend to share this
information with as many other subscribers as possible, inviting them to
express their displeasure as well.

These are the facts from your very own web page <http://www.magamall.com>
regarding the magazine for the past year.

on sale date:  8/28/95          October/November '95 issue
on sale date:  12/18/95         January/February '96 issue
on sale date:  3/18/96          April/May '96 issue
on sale date:  6/24/96          July/August '96 issue

I believe you owe us all an explanation.  I also expect you to do right by
your subscribers.

Sincerely,


Coralville, Iowa

cc:     International Figure Skating
        55 Ideal Road
        Worcester, MA 01604
        fax (508) 792-5981

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by GW Dore » Fri, 28 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Any other disgruntled subscribers can send email to IFS at:


 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by ElfmanE » Fri, 28 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Dear Mr. Moes:

In response to your unfounded and deliberately maligning "demand," I issue
this response on behalf of "International Figure Skating."

Of course you are going to receive six issues of "International Figure
Skating" for your $20 subscription.  Did anyone ever inform you otherwise?
 Did you even ask?

While IFS may not have adhered to its six issues per year cycle, that is
due to our determinated efforts to put out the best magazine possible.
Rather than cranking one out, we endeavor to present an informative,
exciting and thorough publication.

Anyone and everyone who paid for six issues will get six issues.
Similarly, anyone who paid for a two year subscription will receive twelve
issues.  

Consider your demand satisfied.  Thank you.

Lois Elfman
Editor-in-Chief
International Figure Skating

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Fiona McQuarr » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

: Dear Mr. Moes:

: In response to your unfounded and deliberately maligning "demand," I issue
: this response on behalf of "International Figure Skating."

: Of course you are going to receive six issues of "International Figure
: Skating" for your $20 subscription.  Did anyone ever inform you otherwise?
:  Did you even ask?

Wow, this is really good customer relations to respond like this.
I'd like to know, Ms. Elfman, (since you are obviously reading this
exchange) why you are so annoyed that a four-issue-a-year publishing
schedule - as outlined on your web page- might, just might, lead
a subscriber to think that a two year subscription might, just might,
result in eight rather than twelve issues.

: due to our determinated efforts

"Determinated?" I hope that might include investing in a spellchecker
or grammar checker.

: Consider your demand satisfied.  Thank you.

: Lois Elfman
: Editor-in-Chief
: International Figure Skating

Well, I must admit I had been thinking about subscribing to IFS,
but if this is the way IFS thinks is appropriate to respond to legitimate
customer concerns, I think I'll be taking my money elsewhere.

Cheers, Fiona

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Susann » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

> Dear Mr. Moes:

> In response to your unfounded and deliberately maligning "demand," I issue
> this response on behalf of "International Figure Skating."

Ah, I see.  You agreed your publication could not satisfy your stated
subscription demand but said to Mr. Moes' complaint was deemed "unfounded".

Exercising the rights of a subscription reader and requesting an explanation
of your unfulfilled printing cycle becomes a deliberately maligning "demand".

Quote:
> Of course you are going to receive six issues of "International Figure
> Skating" for your $20 subscription.  Did anyone ever inform you otherwise?
>  Did you even ask?
> While IFS may not have adhered to its six issues per year cycle, that is
> due to our determinated efforts to put out the best magazine possible.
> Rather than cranking one out, we endeavor to present an informative,
> exciting and thorough publication.

> Anyone and everyone who paid for six issues will get six issues.
> Similarly, anyone who paid for a two year subscription will receive twelve
> issues.

> Consider your demand satisfied.  Thank you.

And should I assume this is a "polite response" to your customer?  What kind
of customer service is this?!

Dear Ms. Elfman:

As a reader of "International Figure Skating", I am truly taken aback by your
rude response to Mr. Moes.  How can we depend on your magazine for true,
responsible reporting when as the editor-in-chief and a representative of
"International Figure Skating", you cover your mistakes with lame excuses
rather than offering a sincere apology to your customers?

Please remember the success of your magazine rely largely on the enthusiasms
of the skating community and their fans.  With the popularity of internet in
today's society, do not discount the effect of r.s.s.i.f. and skatefans-L on
the skating community either.  Your irresponsible message to your customer is
sure going to give "International Figure Skating" a bad rap.

I will be the first one to stop buying your magazine as a protest to your
rude reply to Mr. Moes and I'll make sure the people in my skating club will
hear about this unfortunate incidence.

Susanna

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Nijins » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

I have also had problems with IFS. I tried to subscribe about a year ago,
and never received any magazines, or a bill for them. I tried calling
them, and was assured that it was an oversight, and the magazine would
arrive in a couple weeks. I never did receive any kind of correspondence
from them. At least I hadn't given them any money. They don't seem very
organized, or concerned about their subscribers. I ended up subscribing to
Blades on Ice instead, which seems to be much more professional.

--Marie

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Christopher Jefferso » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Quote:

>Dear Mr. Moes:

>In response to your unfounded and deliberately maligning "demand," I issue
>this response on behalf of "International Figure Skating."

>Of course you are going to receive six issues of "International Figure
>Skating" for your $20 subscription.  Did anyone ever inform you otherwise?
> Did you even ask?

>While IFS may not have adhered to its six issues per year cycle, that is
>due to our determinated efforts to put out the best magazine possible.
>Rather than cranking one out, we endeavor to present an informative,
>exciting and thorough publication.

>Anyone and everyone who paid for six issues will get six issues.
>Similarly, anyone who paid for a two year subscription will receive twelve
>issues.  

>Consider your demand satisfied.  Thank you.

>Lois Elfman
>Editor-in-Chief
>International Figure Skating

Now look what you did, klutz. You ticked everybody off! Geez, now
everybody's gonna go and subscribe to that USFSA House Organ, "Blades On
Ice" magazine.
Don't take this personally, Lois, but I'm in the sales and service
business. And trust me on this: THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT!
You want to expand your subscription base? Don't hand the customer an
attitude. Remember, in the final analysis, they pay your salary.:)

Be Seeing You,

Chris

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Louis Epste » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

:
: Now look what you did, klutz. You ticked everybody off! Geez, now
: everybody's gonna go and subscribe to that USFSA House Organ, "Blades On
: Ice" magazine.

USFSA is trying to get a broader market for its actual house organ,SKATING...
but in this debate,maybe we should be talking up AMERICAN SKATING WORLD
and TRACINGS,as potential better values...in early 1995,when IFS claimed
to publish 8 issues a year for $25,TRACINGS was $18/8 issues...the IFS
publisher has apparently had a history of failures that led some Worcester
dealers not to stock the mag...

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Kevin Anders » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

: Dear Mr. Moes:

: In response to your unfounded and deliberately maligning "demand," I issue
: this response on behalf of "International Figure Skating."

: Of course you are going to receive six issues of "International Figure
: Skating" for your $20 subscription.  Did anyone ever inform you otherwise?
:  Did you even ask?

: Consider your demand satisfied.  Thank you.

: Lois Elfman
: Editor-in-Chief
: International Figure Skating

Some free business advice:

1) The customer is always right, even if they're wrong
2) Learn how to kiss ***
3) Don't trash a customer in front of the whole world.  Business before ego.

You might have tried an approach like,

---------------------------------------------------------
Dear Mr. XXX,

I'm sorry for the apparent misunderstanding regarding the number of issues
received for your $20....if there is anything else we can do for you,
please don't hesitate to ask.  Thank you for subscribing to IFS.
--------------------------------------------------------------

I don't know anything about your magazine, but seeing how you respond to
complaints in such a public forum I would never consider subscribing.

Kevin

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Jeanne-Marie Hoffma » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Ms. Elman:

I am a recent subscriber and, I must admit, enjoyed my first issue.

However, it appears my initial concern over the 20 week delay in receiving my first
issue is founded in other areas of your publication.

I am in the Customer Service field, training Customer Service employees in a very
large computer corporation.  Although our company prides itself on excellent
Customer Service, I find it a disgrace and an embarrassment to the industry when I
come across the rude and unacceptable remarks you have communicated to all your
subscribers, not only Mr. Moes.

If the number of issues and the calendar year do not always correspond, your
subscription notices should indicate your random delivery to forewarn your
customers in advance.  Mr. Moes concerns, as a new subscriber, are valid, as he has
had no reference to the manner in which you conduct business.   Advance service,
including informative advance notices, ally your customers to your business, rather
than alienating them.  This method of service is called proactive service.  While
your customer is purchasing a product-your magazine, they are also purchasing a
service, in which you are providing.  This service includes your knowledge, your
respect, your action.  

I, personally, believe you have voiced the type of service you provide in your loudest
voice and, I hope, everyone has heard you and shall respond accordingly.

Sincerely,

Jeanne-Marie Hoffman

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Sk8mayv » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

Quote:
>and TRACINGS,as potential better values...in early 1995,when IFS claimed
>to publish 8 issues a year for $25,TRACINGS was $18/8 issues...the IFS
>publisher has apparently had a history of failures that led some
Worcester
>dealers not to stock the mag...

TRACINGS is definitely a better value, despite having only black & white
photos and a regional (New England-centered) approach. I have supported
them loyally for years and have every intention of continuing to do so.


 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Lorrie K » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

        I've been following the IFS melee with some dismay.  I have gotten
the impression that they are underfunded and understaffed.  I have also
been much happier with their articles than those of any other magazine
I've seen, because they are thought-provoking and journalistic (the first
one that impressed me was a feature on "piracy on ice," pondering the
intellectual property status of skating moves), and don't limit themselves
to profiles and reporting safe things after they've happened.  I haven't
seen American Skating World or Tracings, but I find IFS a better read
than Blades on Ice, which is geared toward a younger audience, or the
USFSA's Skating, which of course is not international, nor as thoughtful.
        I would be sorry to see a campaign against IFS based on Lois
Elfman's e-mail.  Although she did sound rather affronted, and did not
directly answer the charge that IFS promises a certain number of issues
per year and does not deliver, I hope that one person's mood on one
particular day is not the only criterion people use to judge the magazine.
        There are reasons to boycott a publication, but so far IFS hasn't
tripped any of mine.  There doesn't seem to be anything wrong with their
journalistic ethics, and they don't seem to have terribly shady,
large-scale financial wrongdoing.  I appreciate their watchdog stance
whenever something questionable happens in the world of skating (poorly
run pro events, the USFSA reinstatement screwup, etc.).  If they do
anything disgusting, I'll end my subscription; until then, I'd just warn
potential subscribers that they might not get issues as frequently or as
promptly as they might hope (although they will get them).

                                        Lorrie Kim

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by Andrew Sta » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

: Wow, this is really good customer relations to respond like this.
: I'd like to know, Ms. Elfman, (since you are obviously reading this
: exchange) why you are so annoyed that a four-issue-a-year publishing
: schedule - as outlined on your web page- might, just might, lead
: a subscriber to think that a two year subscription might, just might,
: result in eight rather than twelve issues.

While your point is correct that four per year would lead one to believe
eight over two years, I just looked up the original post in AltaVista.
Perhaps Mr. Moes could have corresponded privately with "International
Figure Skating" and asked calmly what was going on before posting such a
hostile-sounding message. If he then got a reply indicating that he would
not be getting his money's worth, I could see such a post as warranted.
But in the absence of such an indication, it seems mean-spirited to post
such a message in such a public forum before giving a good faith effort
to contact the magazine directly.

: : due to our determinated efforts

: "Determinated?" I hope that might include investing in a spellchecker
: or grammar checker.
Spelling flames. I thought Usenet was over that phase. Granted, more
might be expected from a publisher, but at the publisher for which I
worked, while we tried to make sure anything going out of our offices was
correct, the most effort was directed towards the actual product.

: Well, I must admit I had been thinking about subscribing to IFS,
: but if this is the way IFS thinks is appropriate to respond to legitimate
: customer concerns, I think I'll be taking my money elsewhere.
As I said above, a legitimate concern that might have been calmly asked
privately. I have never seen IFS; I don't know the people who run IFS;
but if you were going to give it a chance anyway, please do so anyway.
Don't let Mr. Moe succeed in his provocation.

-Andrew

--
________________________________
Andrew Starr                       _____________./'>

http://www.amherst.edu/~atstarr    |_________ _  {__/'>  of Massachusetts
________________________________             ' \__.,/'

 
 
 

this magazine is a rip-off!

Post by S. Hen » Sat, 29 Jun 1996 04:00:00

On Jun 28, 1996 17:42:00 in article <Re: this magazine is a rip-off!>,

Quote:

>You might have tried an approach like,

>---------------------------------------------------------
>Dear Mr. XXX,

>I'm sorry for the apparent misunderstanding regarding the number of issues
>received for your $20....if there is anything else we can do for you,
>please don't hesitate to ask.  Thank you for subscribing to IFS.
>--------------------------------------------------------------

>I don't know anything about your magazine, but seeing how you respond to
>complaints in such a public forum I would never consider subscribing.

>Kevin

I agree with Kevin (though the letter never addressed WHY the
magazine couldn't come with the promised number of issues).
Could we place a copy of Lois Elfman's _public_ post in the Skating
FAQ under 'skating magazines' so that potential subscribers will
get a preview of International Figure Skating's customer service
techniques.   I cannot imagine how the magazine plans on staying
in business...I mean Lois Elfman cashed this guy's check, banked
his money, renegged on her agreement (6 issues a year) and then
_trashed_ the guy in public.  

I'm sorry, but I just can't help but view an instant replay of Lois'
letter ("roll it, boys"):

: In response to your unfounded and deliberately maligning "demand,"  
: I issue this response on behalf of "International Figure Skating."
: Of course you are going to receive six issues of "International Figure
: Skating" for your $20 subscription.  Did anyone ever inform you
otherwise?
: Did you even ask?
: Consider your demand satisfied.  Thank you.
:
: Lois Elfman
: Editor-in-Chief
: International Figure Skating

An apology to Mr. Moes would certainly seem prudent, I mean
what if he turned out to be a lawyer capable of getting together
a class action law suite?  --IFS could bite the big one.

Sean