Monday, May 20, 2013

Holmes Group says it can't afford to compensate subscribers

Good story from the Toronto Star consumer columnist Ellen Roseman, exposing the chicanery of the Mike Holmes organization when it came to living up to its contracts with subscribers. It cannot be good for our business when Roseman advises her readers not to buy long-term subscriptions to new magazines.

We have written here before about the disgraceful behaviour of publishers who leave their subscribers in the lurch after a magazine is closed or goes out of business, for whatever reason. 

In November 2011, the magazine Holmes was suspended by its publisher Dauphin Media Group of Mississauga. Holmes has been a collaboration with the Holmes Group, within which Holmes's team supplied editorial and Dauphin did the publishing side, including fulfillment of subscriptions. 

Various anodyne statements were made by both Dauphin and the Holmes Group about making things right for subscribers, but in the end nothing happened. Dauphin went bust (after a disastrous and still curious deal with the National Football League) and the Holmes Group now says it's too expansive to refund subscriptions or arrange at least for a substitute publication. It has effectively washed its hands of responsibility.
“Mike never did receive the revenue from those subscriptions, so we’re not in a position to reimburse those subscribers. The cost is prohibitive,” said Liza Drozdov, vice-president of the Holmes Group . 
“My hope is that we could successfully launch a regular digital publication of the magazine, so we could at least offer that to subscribers. But sadly, we are a long way off from that being more than an idea.”
Now, a special interest publication called Make It Right: 10 Years of Mike Holmes on TV is on the newsstands, retailing for $9.99 the result of a deal between the Holmes Group and Transcontinental Media, Canada's largest English language magazine publisher. It's not a surprise that a subscriber who paid $40 for 30 issues, but received only 5, is angry and disappointed. From the perspective of magazine publishers in this country, this kind of sharp practice gives everyone a black eye, including the doughty Holmes himself.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is, caveat emptor, etc, etc.

$40 for 30 issues of a (brand new) glossy magazine delivered to your door should sound alarm bells for you.

8:55 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That sounds like the advice Mike would give every home owner when talking to contractors? Ironic no?

4:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cant afford it? I thought Mike was Canada's Richest TV Contractor? How did he burn through all that money he was paid to use his mug as the face of the magazine? Or are we exspected to believe he did that for free?

4:38 pm  

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