Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Buy my magazine, puhleeze!

Early in August we reported a rumour about Maclean's magazine deep-discounting its subs. Then, it was only a rumour. Today, as a freestanding insert in the Globe and Mail, it is a fact:

The handsome, 12-page digest-sized FSI makes an offer of 4 issues free, plus 24 issues for $29.95 and 24 bonus issues for no extra cost. The total, including taxes, is $32.05 in Ontario, $34.44 elsewhere.

The effective rate (net of tax) is 57 cents a copy, apparently the lowest price for which the magazine has ever been offered. Plus there's a "personal digital assistant" as a bonus gift.

To see the same offer online, click here.


Blogger Jon Spencer said...

Wow. Exciting times, eh? So I checked it out, and then decided I'd go see what Maclean's offers to someone clicking "subscribe" directly from the magazine's home page.

Sadly, in Mozilla Firefox, at least, all they get is some HTML gibberish, instead of a subscription offer.

The first attempt with MS Internet Exploder crashed my browser. The second attempt brought me a more customary offer of 52+4 issues for $0.99 each (or $55.44), including the "PDO" premium. They also offer a 4-extra-issue bonus for prepayment by credit card. Strangely, however, the total term is cited as "56 issues in all" whether you order 52+4 or 52+4+4 for credit card prepayment. And this higher-priced offer is automatically subject to auto-renewal (no way to opt out).

Looks like they're having some circulation fun at Maclean's these days!

12:17 am  
Blogger Jon Spencer said...

Actually, I managed to mis-read the standard offer (from the website's main page) even more than I reported above:

If you stare at it long enough, you can figure out that the 4 free trial copies ARE actually free ... you'd actually be paying 52 x $0.99 = $51.48, plus GST = $55.08.

But it's worded as "If I like them, I'll get 52 more issues, 56 in all for just 99¢ an issue...", and that really sounds to me like you're paying for 56 at $0.99 each.

Moreover, it's really unclear that the GST is additional until you do the math based on the mousetype GST-inclusive price at the bottom of the page:

*Price including taxes
52 issues of Maclean's – $55.08 incl. GST; $59.20 incl. HST/QST

... and I don't see anywhere that the asterisk is leading "from" way up above.
It's not next to any of the 99-cent references, anyway.

(And as I mentioned before, it doesn't say "60 issues in all" in context of the credit card prepayment option.)

OK, that's enough quibbling. The poor folks are so busy trying out different subscription offers that they haven't got time to proofread their offers. [grin]

12:34 am  

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