The New Yorker thinks I’m bad at math

(Things are busy here at the offices of My Brilliant Mistakes. As soon as we can we’ll post a wrap-up of last Friday’s BlogFest, complete with linked sign-in sheet and other visual artifacts. For now, please enjoy this angry note I sent today to the New Yorker.)

Dear New Yorker Subscriptions:

A few months ago I let my subscription lapse. I had received several notices that it was about to expire; but I also received blow-in subscription cards in the magazines, and I couldn’t help noticing that the subscription price for new subscribers ($47 for 47 issues) was lower than the “preferred subscriber” rate I was offered to renew ($49.95 for 46 issues).

Yes, the price difference was small, but even so the discrepancy made me angry, so I decided simply not to renew or to start a new subscription. I could do without for a while.

But I continue to receive reinstatement notices. The one I got today promises to be the last, and its tone is quite scolding. “As a courtesy to you, we are extending this one final opportunity to reinstate your subscription at the preferred insider savings reserved for subscribers in good standing.” The rate is still $49.95 for 46 issues, and the two year rate also costs more than a new two-year subscription would.

If you can’t offer renewing subscribers a better rate than you give to new subscribers, can’t you at least give them the same rate?

I’m insulted by this pricing and the attitude presented in your subscriber services. Please go away.

Cynthia Closkey

UPDATE: Apparently the New Yorker does not necessarily think I’m bad at math. Rather, it appears to think I’m lazy. To wit, here’s the reply I received from the Subscription Department today:

Thank you for contacting us concerning a lower subscription price that you have recently seen. We have many different offers to attract new
subscribers. These offers can also be available to you. Please respond with your special offer information and we will be happy to enter your subscription.

If you should need further assistance, please be sure to include all previous e-mail correspondence.

Thank you for subscribing to The New Yorker.

[name redacted]

Even putting aside that I’d already explained the special offers I’d seen, the whole shebang reeks of poor customer relations. It makes me weary.

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