June 3rd, 2005

Magazine Issues

While I was gone, I received a package of the March through June issues of Science Fiction & Fantasy magazine to make up for their error in sending my subscription to the wrong country. Now let's see if the July issue makes it here without problems.

A post from sylphon about exasperating customer service also reminded my of another magazine issue. I subscribe to InStyle magazine for my wife and for some reason didn't receive a few issues. After figuring out which issues were missing, I went to their website which had a missing issue form. I filled it out and then got an error that it couldn't be processed.

They said such requests could also be sent by email to customer service, so that was my next try. The site said that by default the subscription would be extended, though you could ask instead to have the issues replaced. So I write to them with my subscription details and the list of issues missed. Then hilarity ensues...

They reply back asking if I would like the issues replaced or the subscription extended. I thought extension was the default, but oh well.

I write back saying to please extend the subscription. I also include the previous email with my subscription details and list of missed issues.

They write back asking for my subscription address.

I write back with the subscription address. I also include the previous emails with the list of missed issues.

They write back asking for the list of missed issues.

Sensing a pattern of not reading the whole fricking email, I send back a message which includes all of the information they've requested in as simple a way as possible.

They write back that my subscription has been extended.

End of story? Oh no, that would be much too simple.

A little while later I get another email that my subscription has been extended.

It seems to me that crappy customer support like this ends up costing companies more than it saves. What should have taken one or two requests escalated into several, and then they ended up compensating me twice by mistake. That's even before counting customer dissatisfaction.

Ritek Redux

I went back and retested most of my last two 50 pack spindles of Ritek 8X DVD+R media using KProbe2. Found a total or 34 unusable or way-out-of-spec disks so far. That's a ridiculous amount, considering that prior to this I'd have maybe 1 or 2 disks per 100 as bad burns at most with Ritek media. Meanwhile, no problems at all with the various new media I bought for testing (Maxell, Benq, Philips, and Sony). Goodbye, Ritek. Let me know when you're out of rehab.