Readers Digest Indigestion

21 05 2009

I have recently paid to be harassed by a well-known, slightly pedestrian publication! For just $40 I subscribed to Readers Digest and in return have got my monthly magazine and a labyrinth of papered paraphernalia that is set to send me over the edge.

 My subscription relationship  with the Reader’s Digest started off well but soon unravelled into a nightmare. Can I take out a restraining order against a magazine?

 The promise of a glossy magazine to join the usual bills in the mail box initially sucked me in, oh yeah and the chance to win one million dollars and a hot sports car.

 The magazine arrived faithfully each month, but then the mind games started. Each week I would get these verbose and personalised letters saying I was closer to winning the money and was instructed to look out in the mail soon for a “specially marked” envelop with further instructions. When this first started happening I was mildly thrilled by the prospect. A day or two later, the aforementioned envelop would arrive and I would then have to spend ten minutes (that’s a lot in this time-poor generation) sorting through a myriad of booklets and leaflets to find a particular sticker that then needed to be placed on a certain coupon and returned. I was given set dead lines in which to return the material to still be in the running. This process became more frequent and elaborate as time went on.

 Whose idea was this? This pointless exercise of letters foretelling more letters that contained stickers that needed to be stuck!!

To soften the aggressive marketing that was about to be unleashed, I was sent a  little “free” gift.  Then the next wave of letters and instructions came. They were more complicated and sneaky, but through the op-shop of new junk on offer, the million-dollar carrot was dangled. Dazed with the hope of potential win (I was now in the final group of potential winners – the letter said so!) I got confused and stuck the wrong sticker in the wrong place and then books and poorly made things-you-don’t-really-need started arriving, followed swiftly by the bill. The price was exorbitant and I felt trapped. This whole relationship with the Readers Digest was getting out of hand. In a moment of clarity I decided to send the junk back and start boycotting the whole process.

 I now ride out the subscription period hoping the letter-box shakes, aggressive outbursts and sticker aversion ( I now even struggle to post ordinary letters and bills) will subside.




2 responses

24 05 2009

Well done, I did get a giggle out of this one! I think the only decent way to get the Reader’s Digest is secretly, from a Coles check-out. Alternatively, you can appear benevolent and be conniving at the same time by sending a subscription to someone close, but needing to be under your mind-control (In-laws work a treat!) and simply pick up the old editions once read. The mountain of enticing sweepstakes letters can be stuffed in their “little boy’s” old bedroom…. 🙂

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