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SAS Designs
05-29-2015, 12:51 PM
I just posted this on the Watercolor Forum Palette Talk.

I wonder if others have had the same problems with subscriptions to magazines from F&W Media which I've had. For years, I had a subscription to Pastel Magazine, and kept NOT RECEIVING issues, so I gave up.
BUT,
ever hopeful, I tried again, this time with a subscription to Watercolor Artist. Same problem, no JUNE issue. When I called a few days ago, to ask if the June issues had been mailed, I was told yes, you should have had your June issue by now.
What a "coincidence" - I called North Light Bookstore for a "back issue" of the June 2015 Watercolor Artist - SURPRISE! They're all sold out.

SO, it seems what F&W media does, is sell their magazines to newsstands, who ever supplies the largest amount ( Barnes & Noble) BEFORE it fulfils the obligation to PRE-PAID subscribers.
This is fraud. Wonder how any others have been ripped off by Watercolor Artist, Pastel Artist, or any other magazines published by F&W Media.
They obviously use the NUMBERS of subscribers to up their advertising rates, and then don't actually deliver the magazine.
Maybe posting this PROBLEM, continuous problem, on Wet Canvas will attract some attention ( it is their site?) don't know.
I am angry ( as you can tell)


SO MANY ARE HAVING THIS PROBLEM. I hope if you have been scammed like this too, you will contact F&W Media and let them know.

Suzy

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SAS Designs
05-29-2015, 12:58 PM
I posted more on the Watercolor Forum, many others posted with the same problems!!!!!!
I tried, believe me, I am not SHY about these things. I got SUCH a run-around. It has happened SO MANY TIMES with magazines from them, it is COMMON practice, really it is, and I am TIRED of being taken advantage of by them. All they'll do is "extend your subscription" - will NOT acknowledge what they're doing, and so many just don't notice if they don't get an issue, that they get away with it.
Makes me so angry. Now, tho, I know why SO many of my artist friends refuse to buy their magazines. I sent an email, quite a long list, of artist friends around the country - and EACH person answered saying they've had the same problem with F&W Media - not worth trying to fight them. It's how they do business, and sadly get away with it, by treating it as an "individual" problem, "oh, we're so sorry, we'll extend your subscription by one issue."
No thanks. Not going to put up with it anymore.
I cancelled my subscription, only got one issue, and DEMANDED a full refund. If more people do this, maybe they'll stop the deceptive practice, but I doubt it. They know they'll get away with it.

ETA: this has happened to me several times, Pastel Magazine, and Artist's Magazine - all the friends I emailed, have had it happen SEVERAL times with the F&W Media. Not just just Watercolor Artist.
Another sneaky way F&W Media deals with subscribers, which I learned from several of those email responses from friends - is they START a subscription with older issues, when there are "extras" of them - and then don't send the one the subscription SHOULD have started with - because it's "sold out." They have gotten away with it for years.

If you can stand the frustration, the contact number ( on page 2 of Watercolor Artist) is 513 531-2222
You'll get a prompt to get list of individuals ( who would know a name?) so you'll press 0 and get the Operator, recording will tell you they are busy with other customers, please leave a message on General Voice Mail. Lotta good that will do, but maybe if they get enough of them...

Remember - when it is an "individual" problem, "oh, there's No problem, your issue must have been lost in the mail" they'll keep doing it.
I don't think there is any way to get their attention, except to STOP buying any product from them. Seriously, I am in AWE of the number of people responding to the email I sent out asking "have you missed issues of magazines: Pastel Journal, Watercolor Artist, and other one from F&W Media.?"
Yikes, I'm surprised there hasn't been a class action suit yet. Except, why bother, nothing they produce is worth it.
Books? I'd buy from Amazon - but only AFTER reading the reviews ( not those who are written by folks who get the freebies) - and notice how many readers of North Light Publications are COMPLAINING that a book is just a rehash of an earlier one, an excuse to try to get $$$ out of readers. A very, very, very common complaint of North Light published books.

Learned my lesson. Will not buy a thing from them. An investigative journalist is going to have a field day with this!

Devonlass
05-29-2015, 10:48 PM
I have taken the Pastel Journal for about five years both in Massachusetts and here in Tennessee, and never had a problem. Sorry to hear about your frustration.

SAS Designs
05-30-2015, 12:00 PM
Carol, I think you're the exception. Every person I emailed responded they had missed an issue of one of the magazines F&W Media publish. The responses to the blogs I read has been the same. NOTORIOUS problem with subscribers not getting issues of magazines. Anyone missing the JUNE issue of Watercolor Magazine who calls in MAY ( and gets someone to answer)asking why they haven't received the magazine, and will they resend it, is told it is "sold out." Too many have had this problem, for it to be an individual problem.

A way they try to get around this, is also instead of sending the issue with which a magazine is SUPPOSED to start, an older issue is sent, and then the issue which was SUPPOSED to start the subscription is suddenly "sold out" when you call to ask why you haven't received it.
Suzy

Colorix
06-01-2015, 03:39 PM
Oh, so the problem isn't limited to overseas shipping. I gave up on the paper issue, as about every other never arrived (or so it felt, and some of them were sent from India, of all places, cheap printing most likely), so I switched to the e-issue, but it isn't the same. I'm old fashioned, I *like* a magazine, so now I don't have any of their publications.

And yes, an extended subscription isn't what I want. I want that particular issue with those particular articles! They could have offered you the e-version + extended sub.

SAS Designs
06-01-2015, 05:42 PM
Hi, Colorix, sorry you've been scammed too - that's really what it is! Just not fulfilling commitments to subscribers - and getting away with it for years.
I too prefer the hard copy - EXCEPT for your WONDERFUL PASTEL SCRIBBLER MAGAZINE. I love reading that online. Know it wold be just too expensive to mail paper copies.
BUT, F&W Media USE the numbers of subscribers ( expect they include all of us who have demanded refunds too!) to keep their advertising rates up. This has been going on for years, and they get away with it by pretending it's an "individual" problem - but now we know better!

I agree, the "extended" subscription is a weak excuse, who knows how many of the "extended" issues will be sold out before they reach prepaid subscribers.
Hope you are enjoying a lovely Spring,
Suzy

Grinner
06-04-2015, 12:24 AM
Suzy, it's obvious that you are very upset about this. However, you do realize that there are many reasons why pieces of physical mail might not always arrive at their destinations, right? To accuse the company of "scamming" is unsubstantiated if all you know is that something didn't arrive; that in no way proves that it was never sent.

I've never missed an issue of The Pastel Journal. Should I be ignored because I receive my issues? Do you know the percentage of people who have missed issues versus the percentage who have not? Have you compared that number to the average overall in the US who miss mail for some reason?

There are packages that I never received. That doesn't mean I was deliberately scammed. It happens - welcome to the US Postal Service. There is misdelivered mail, there is mail that is deliberately taken by someone else (whether a postal worker or a neighbor), there is mail that gets damaged or lost in transit, etc., etc., and there is ALSO mail that isn't sent.

I am truly sorry that you have had a bad experience, but until you know that none of these other things could be possible in the cases where issues were missed, your accusations appear at best premature, at worst slanderous.

If you are this dedicated to getting to the bottom of this issue, then instead of speculating here, go hire an attorney, get access to the company's documentation of the number of issues ordered, the number sent to subscription holders as verified by postage paid, the number sent to sellers, etc. Until you have that kind of information, your accusations are based on nothing but your speculation, and that isn't enough to justify accusations this serious in a public forum when you might just be wrong.

SAS Designs
06-04-2015, 07:53 AM
I have contacted enough people to know this is not an individual problem, and yes it is being investigated because so many people are having this problem, and not able to get it resolved. It is NOT speculation, but a fact for many, many people I have contacted and who reached out to me about the same problem of not receiving issues of magazines, both Pastel Journal and Watercolor Artist. I was not "speculating" in posting here, but sharing information about a serious problem.
The problem goes far beyond "missing an issue" due to "mail problems."
Suzy

SAS Designs
06-04-2015, 12:43 PM
Grinner:
Meant to say, I was contacted specifically about missing the June issue of Watercolor Magazine by someone ( a lawyer) I met at a watercolor workshop who was angry the problem she used to have with Pastel Journal ( as did I, we spoke of it at the workshop) continued. She has contacted many other people as have I, it is NOT an individual problem.

I am happy for you if you've never missed an issue. I started in the Watercolor Forum, and copied it here, when reminded by others it was also true of their (ex) subscriptions to Pastel Journal.

Grinner
06-04-2015, 07:14 PM
It is NOT speculation, but a fact for many, many people I have contacted and who reached out to me about the same problem of not receiving issues of magazines, both Pastel Journal and Watercolor Artist.
Don't get me wrong. I am in no way questioning that you and others didn't receive some issues of the magazines, and I am not calling that speculation. That is based on your actual experience.

But accusing the publishers of "fraud" IS speculation unless you have some evidence other than the fact that some people have not received all issues by mail. Upon what do you base the following?
SO, it seems what F&W media does, is sell their magazines to newsstands, who ever supplies the largest amount ( Barnes & Noble) BEFORE it fulfils the obligation to PRE-PAID subscribers.
This is fraud.
This is a very serious accusation. So I'm asking if you have any basis for all this other than you and others not receiving some magazines. Do you have, for example, documents from the company proving that the number of subscriptions plus the number they ship for resale add up to more than the number they print? Do you have proof that the amount they pay in postage for subscriptions is less than it should be for the number of magazines they said they mailed? Maybe it is fraud, I don't know. But you need more than not getting a copy of a magazine to justify that accusation.