I had subscribed to A&M in October 2000, after being wooed by their advertisement regarding guaranteed gifts for all those who subscribe.[For those not in the loop, A&M is Advertising & Marketing – India’s leading magazine on the Advertising & Marketing industry.]
For a 5 year subscription (amounting to Rs 2,695), the guaranteed gifts were a Track Suit, a VIP Elanza, a VIP Strolly, a VIP Tote Bag, and a Rs 500 discount voucher.
Though the magazine received my credit card payment, and began sending me the magazine regularly, I did not hear from them regarding the “promised gifts”
While I lost my patience after sending two emails to them, and after nearly five months had passed, I wrote this detailed mail to the A&M subscription desk at firstname.lastname@example.org:
Ms Indira Shetty
Manager – Subscriptions
A&M, Spectrum Magazines Limited,
This is the second mail I am writing to your office, although there was no courtesy of reply shown to my first mail dated February 09, 2001 (as given below).
The query is still the same: I have not received ANY of my promised gifts, details of which can be found in the earlier mail. Kindly note that it has since been almost four and half months since I placed my five year subscription to your A&M magazine (Subscriber code: MV26422) under the ‘Best of the Business Offer’ scheme.
Last heard from your department, I got a draft letter apologising for the delay, and promising to despatch the gifts in such a way that they reach me by 21st March 2001. March 21 2001 passed by without any event.
Today being 23rd March, I haven’t yet heard anything from your end. If I do not see anything constructive happening in the next five days, i.e. by Wednesday 28th March, I will be forced to take more stringent actions… Consumer & Redressal Forums being just one of them. I do not think it is necessary to brief you about the course of action I may be forced to resort to.
Being a subscriber of at least five magazines (both national and international), I really I do not know, nor understand, why this delay is being caused only with subscriptions relating to A&M of Spectrum Magazines.
Furthermore, at least three of my close acquaintances, who have subscribed with you as part of earlier schemes, also shared with me their bitter experiences with the delay in receiving the promised gifts. It hurts me to think that a magazine devoted to Advertising & Marketing, one that acts as a representative of the twin-industries, may be resorting to misleading advertisements and marketing techniques.
I sincerely hope that I will receive a personal letter / mail in response to my two mails. After all, professional courtesy demands that you do at least that much.
Thanking you, in anticipation,
Well, this posting I am making today, as I have not heard anything in reply to my three mails, nor otherwise. And as you can see the above mail was sent by me on March 23!!
One of my friends too had a similar experience, and had to actually send a lawyer notice before things started happening.
I now plan to take the legal route… starting with a lawyer notice… 😉
Have you or anybody you know faced a similar problem with A&M or Spectrum Magazines in India? If so, I would love to hear from you, as I plan to take this up with the Advertising Standards Council of India.