Sometimes You Can’t Even Give Your Money Away

The Curmudgeon understands that sometimes he can be a real pain in the ass.

And this was apparently one of those times.

Allow him to explain.

As he has written many times in this space, The Curmudgeon is a big fan of the New Yorker magazine. He has been reading it off and on, mostly on, since he was in college. Recently he realized he hadn’t received a new one in a while and concluded that he had inexplicably allowed his subscription to expire. As soon as he noticed he took steps to re-subscribe.

First he went to one of the magazines he still had around the house. Like most New Yorker readers, he suspects, he is usually a few weeks behind in his reading – okay, sometimes more than a few weeks. No luck: the only subscription postcard in the magazine was for 12 issues for $12: a good price but not long enough. He wanted to subscribe for a year or two. He also wanted a paper bill so he could mail a check as payment; he doesn’t like using credit cards for such things, as subscribing online would require.

So decided, he went to the magazine’s web site, where he found the same offer: 12 issues for $12. No alternatives.

The New Yorker’s web site has a “live chat” option so he decided to give it a try, feeling just a little sorry for whomever was going to draw the short straw and have to deal with him.

Once he got someone he stated his interests, described above. The person wanted his zip code and last name, and when he insisted that without the name he couldn’t help The Curmudgeon and The Curmudgeon inquired why not, the live chatter closed the chat session.

The New Yorker and The Curmudgeon:  "Reunited and it feels so good..."

The New Yorker and The Curmudgeon: “Reunited and it feels so good…”

In other words, he hung up on him.

So The Curmudgeon found a toll-free number on the New Yorker’s web site and called. The woman to whom he spoke understood what he was seeking right away and offered him the same good deal for a longer term: 47 issues for $47. She understood that he wanted a paper bill, took his name and address – but only after he heard the terms and decided he liked them – and that was that. Oh, she wanted his email address, and he told her what he tells pretty much every business that asks for his email address: “I like you guys but I’m not looking for that kind of relationship with you.”

So the first issue of The Curmudgeon’s new New Yorker subscription will arrive in early October, the same time as his bill, he will write a check, and he will be a happy camper once again.

Okay, a relatively happy camper. After all, he is still The Curmudgeon.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, the transcript of The Curmudgeon’s live chat with the New Yorker representative.




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