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November 12, 2007

Consumer Reports Gift Subscriptions: $18 ?

Filed under: Business,Uncategorized — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 7:46 am

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Edgar Dworsky For 25 years, Consumer World, the creator of Mouse Print*, has served readers with the latest consumer news, money-saving tips, and independent investigations. It is your generosity (and not advertising nor corporate contributions) that keeps Mouse Print* and Consumer World available as free consumer resources. So MrConsumer turns to you and humbly asks for your support again this year. Your gift will be most appreciated.

The December issue of Consumer Reports comes to subscribers wrapped in a full page offer for one year gift subscriptions to the magazine at a bargain price. “Best Gift Under $20” the headline claims:

CU gift subscription offer small

If you quickly fill out the postcard with the gift recipient’s name, you might be surprised come January when the bills arrives. It won’t be for $18.

*MOUSE PRINT:  The first subscription is actually $26 and only additional subscriptions beyond that are $18.

CU gift offer string

In effect, the offer is really “buy a subscription at regular price, get additional subscriptions at only $18.”

Why couldn’t they just say that?

[Shameless Plug: Consumer World can lead you to a deal to get a year of Consumer Reports for less than $18 without having to buy anything else!]

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  1. Funny how a magazine devoted to helping Consumers make the most of their purchases, tries to get one over on its readers. I have seen this tactic numerous times with other magazines I subscribe to. Granted the $26 is still a savings over buying at the local bookstore, but just don’t hide it from us.

    Comment by Robert — November 12, 2007 @ 8:32 am
  2. I find it interesting that a site connected to Consumer Reports is not afraid to attack its own… 🙂

    On a related issue, I had once noticed that many monthly (or periodic) magazines entice you with a free copy of their magazine, then send you a bill to subscribe by paying for the remaining 11 months. So the magazine is only free as long as you don’t subscribe. If it’s free, they really shouldn’t charge you for it if you become a customer–they should give you an addition *12* months when you pay.

    Back to this one, I’d call it a minorly deceptive issue since the “clip-out coupon” rather clearly shows that the first one is $26.

    BTW…thanks for the shameless plug; maybe when my 5-year subscription runs out I know where to go…

    Comment by RS — November 12, 2007 @ 10:23 am
  3. Not sure that this site is connected with Consumer Reports, it’s a service of “Consumer World”.
    So they are not attacking their own, as much as trying to embarass a competitor.
    My understanding of this marketing is that they hope you will buy the first subscription for yourself at full price, then buy gift subscriptions at the reduced price. Misleading at best.

    Comment by Tom S — November 12, 2007 @ 2:19 pm
  4. For a magazine that clearly states that it doesn’t accept advertising, it sure knows how to toot its own horn with numerous reminders and postcards!

    Comment by Frankie — November 12, 2007 @ 9:48 pm
  5. expect to get an angry-gram from consumer reports high paid legal attack dogs demanding you remove their logo and any reference to their name. They are do this all the time. It is one thing to stop your reports being used to sell stuff without your permission, it is quite another to pay lawyers to be bastards and squash any and all mentions of your publication, or anything within the publications, however indirect.

    Comment by justin — November 16, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

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