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In-Fisherman Rant


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O.K., here's the story; A couple of months ago I received a package of 3 Powerbait worms and a VCR tape about fishing for 'eyes, sunnys, and bass. I didn't read the letter that came with it, but I figured it must have been a perk for reupping my subscription or for being a long time subscriber. I threw the powerbaits in the tacklebox and put the tape away for viewing at some later time.

Then yesterday I received a letter from I-F stating that they are waiting for my decision to join the subscriber-only video club or not. If I join, then I'm supposed to send them a check for the VCR tape I already have in hand, if not I'm supposed to return the tape with a pre-paid postage slip provided by I-F. It just irks me that they have the gall to send me something I didn't ask for, and then expect me to return it or pay for it. BUT, I do get to keep the three Powerworms just for viewing the tape, woohoo! wink.gif
It just makes me sad that my favorite fish mag has resorted to these tactics. Have I been drinking to many Duff Bitter Beers lately? Or do you guys/gals think it's no big deal in today’s marketplace?

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My understanding of the law is that they can not require you to do anything by sending you something. Meaning... if they send you something you don't have to pay for it and don't have to return it.
I'm not positive on this, but that's what I've been told. If you are really mad, call the Better Business Bureau.
Scott

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I'm not that PO'd about it, just a little disappointed. And if I don't respond at all, can I expect another tape to show up in the coming months asking for payment?? Just a small rant on my end now that the ball is in my court and I've got to deal with it whether I want to or not. I'm just curious how others have or would handle it.

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I handled it OK, I read the letter.

"Nothing is free", remember that Eh.

Granted it is a poor marketing strategy, it was not too popular. Your not the only one who didn't read the letter and got billed.

You will have to pay for that tape, your stuck, then cancel the program if you do not wish for any more.

By not sending in the tape right away you excepted the deal they offered. You will get bugged tell the end of time for that payment, so just pay it or they will put it & you on the credit report if you do not.

ALWAYS read........Eh.

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  • 'we have more fun' FishingMN Creators

If they sent you something you did not request or agree to in a prior contract then you have no further obligation. That means you do not have to pay for it or return it either. Call Primedia and tell them you are unhappy with how they are handling the marketing of their videos and that you do not wish to be billed for the video or enrolled in their program.

Reading or not reading a letter does form an obligation. An obligation or contract requires agreement from all parties involved.

I have a good friend who received the same video. He called Primedia and complained. They told him to keep the video and he would not be billed for it.

I suspect Primedia is well aware of this and was prepared to accept their losses in return for the gain of so many who will just take it to avoid the hassle.

[This message has been edited by Rick (edited 06-10-2003).]

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I too recieved a tape and thought the same until I read the letter.I was quite upset.NAFC had done this sort of thing a few years ago and they found out quickly that it only cost them subscribers.I sent off an email immediately and told InFish how I felt about it.I was to the point but polite and recieved a reply a day or two later explianing to me that I could just keep the tape and that they were sorry.
It almost cost them a subscriber and I am still not happy with this type of "pressured sales" technique.

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This has happened to me several times. It has been nahc and nafc. There were some others but cannot remember. When these marketing companies do this I refuse to subscibe to them again. I was thinking of subscribing to in-fisherman but now a little reluctant.

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Got the same thing, watched it, and thank them for the free tape. They cannot charge you for something you did not ask for.

I did contact Primedia and let them know that I thought In_Fisherman should be above this sort of advertising...

Wally

PS Decent video though...

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In-fish has declined in quality I hate to say. I have nearly every issue published and it simply isn't the same. I no longer subscribe however I do scope them out at the supermarket to see if there is anything that has'nt been published before or that is pertinent. It is increasingly unable to meet these criteria. I think that in order to reduce cost that they heap more work on an allready stretched thin staff. I think we are seeing the "Last of the Mohicans".

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I'd have to agree with Esox. I remember when I used to read it cover to cover right when I got it. Now I just throw it on the coffee table 'cause the cover painting is so cool looking.
Of course if they advertised on this site I might change my opinion. Hee-hee

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I am a postal service employee. The previous comment is correct: you aren't required by law to either pay for or return a promotional item mailed to you. The regs are specific in differentiating between these items and something sent to you by accident or mistake. In this case there was no mistake, the company in question was "trolling" for new business.

In short: Keep the tape and tell 'em to jump in the lake. wink.gif Polar Bear

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Duffman -

If Primemedia wont get off your butt, file a complaint with the MN Attorney General office.

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It was a poor promotional effort by Prime Media.

Don't blame the In-Fisherman for it, it was a Prime Media deal, not a In-Fish type deal. Corporate America is another thing all together guys, keep that in mind.

I dislike any pro-mo like that, just a bit too @#$ pushy for me. I sent it back just out of disgust for the promo format, not because of the content of the In-Fisherman video's.

Many of the tapes are great, well worth the bucks for sure. But IF I want one, I will order it. Most folks feel the same way too.

(FYI) You can get In-Fisherman media on line through RealOne Player. Including the tapes they sell on the tape club program. You do buy the In-Fisherman material, because it is their media product to sell, fair enough. Yet it is a handy way to download CD quality media for home use. High quality and easy to store or burn to CD/MIDI if you wish.

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Show your true disappointment and cancel the subscription. I used to get I-F for many many years but finally cancelled as they never could get their records strait. I would be signed up for a year and they would auto bill me for an annual subscription every 6 months. Once I-F was sold to a big business I lost interest anyway. Big business will focus on the advertising dollar and the marketing to make every penny they can and the content and customer service will suffer. Don't bother writing in your concerns. The small subscrition fee you pay annually is not what the company is interested in. In is the big company's that advsertise in the magazine that they are concerned about.

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That is very true, but if enough people decide not to send in their "small" annual subscription fee then the Big company will notice that they are losing subscribers so therefore they won't have the need for Advertisers because their won't be a magazine left.

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Did ya ever notice that this sort of thing never happened when the Lindners were in charge? I have been a subscriber to In-fish since 90. During that time we never had this kind of promotional B as in B S as in S to deal with. Have you noticed that the magazine has been on a diet? 'Cause the mag has been getting thinner and thinner. Feb 94, 162pp jun 03 96pp. Don't get me wrong I have enjoyed In-fish for a long time and will continue to purchase this periodical. I'm just waiting for Al, Ron and James come out with their own mag.
My2
God lyk!
JC

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Prime Media owns lots of media interests, and thinks accordingly. The old IN-FISH network was a much more family type format and decisions were made closer to home. Things change when cooperate media get new acquisitions, some good, some not so good.

"Clear Channel", "Turner Broadcasting", and others are more good examples of big media gobbling up smaller media.

Right now this is a big concern with many because the few can dictate what the many may read, view, and subsequently discern from the news. This was the backdrop for the classic movie "Citizen Cain", a good flick too Eh. "ROSEBUD" smile.gif

I think we see cycles of Mogul acquisitions every 20 years or so, then they bust up again. So what comes around go's around. People are not as dumb as many may think.

Yet, when I see all the new so called "Reality TV" Shows, I have to wonder if that is true?

wink.gif

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Thanks for the responses guys! Like I said, not that big of a deal, but I was curious what my fellow fisherman have done. I too have noticed the decline in quality of I-F over the last couple of years, but it is still one of the best fish mags out there. I guess you can only add so many twists to the techniques we have used over the years before the same ideas get rehashed again and again. Except for your article Toad! smile.gif It was a good read.
Let's just hope the suits in charge don't let In-Fisherman go down the same road as Sports Afield.

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Duffman, Backwater Eddy. I also received this tape. The kicker is I DID read the letter and sent it back to them. Then, much to my surprise I received a letter a week later saying that I either need to send the tape back or pay for it. So, I should have just kept the tape and e-mailed a complaint, which I don't like to do. This should not be my responsibility. I was fairly upset as I have been a subscriber to Infisherman and Walleye Insider for many, many years now. If I want to order a tape I would like to do it on my dime. Welcome to Marketing Strategies 2003!

[This message has been edited by Mykal (edited 06-11-2003).]

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Backwater Eddy, you say that this may end up as a negative account on someones credit bureau? Wow if that is the case count on In-fisherman seeing a class action lawsuit. First of all their marketing startegy is questionable at best. Keep in mind marketing/fair lending practices and collections are required to allow interpretation to the lowest level consumer. I would argue that the lowest level consumer (myself included) would assume it was a gift (the power worms are).

I find it very hard to believe In-Fisherman would report someones credit report. Think about some fellow fisherman about to close on his family's house and the closing being cancelled because of a scenario like this. Bad PR not to mention a storm of complaints and eventually someone like myself circling some wagons and filing a class action lawsuit. I love the mag but don't be bullied.

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I recieved the same video which I thought was very good. I did call the 1-800 number listed on the letter and the customer service rep simply told me I could keep the video NO CHARGE. I still think its a great magazine and they put out a good video which I have already watched a couple of times

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I agree with Erik. It's ridiculous to think that they will report you to the credit bureaus if they send you an unsolicited tape and you neiter pay for it nor send it back. The companies that do this can not honestly expect to have 100% of these tapes either paid for or returned. They do these promotions with some amount of risk assumed!

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I got my "free" tape a while back. Never had any intention of paying for it since I didn't ask for it. They are sending me notices every so often which I am filling landfill space with. Can't wait for the phone calls. That will end it real quick.

mm

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DUFFMAN
Now you did it! Panic and disorder. I recieved the tape also. If P.M is that idiotic to send me something that I did not choose to order...too bad. I am a life member of n.a.f.c. and n.a.h.c. They have been sending me hard covered fishing and hunting books, tapes, shirts, beltbuckles, and now the latest gimmick fisherman coins. Read the post RICK P. put up on the board, He is right on the money and I have dealt with this type of marketing tactic for years with these companies. The only thing..it's kind of hard to cancel a subcription if you are a life member.
Don't sweat it, nobody is obligated to buy anything somebody sends it unless you have somekind of contractual agrreement. So you have the choice of the hassle to send it back or keep it free of charge...or you can do what GISSERT said take it up with the Attorney General if they, the marketing personel, keep hassling you for payment.
---------------------------------------------
There is a fine line between genious and madness!

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Mistermom, you won't receive any calls. First of all In-fisherman doe's not have the infrastructure to create a collections department. They are better off marketing to new customers rather than trying to collect a small debt. It would actually cost them more money to collect the debt if we can make the assumption that they sent two letters and made two phone calls. It also costs money to report to the three major credit bureaus Experian Equifax and Trans union. I have worked in credit and risk analysis for 10 years and have never seen a magazine cause a negative credit bureau report.

I mean doesn't history tell any of us 30 and 40 something year olds anything. I never had the Columbia House Record Club report my credit bureau. God help us if they ever had.

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The main thing to remember in this little ordeal is that it isn't so much the In-Fish who is causing a stink. Their parent company is the one who does the mailing sneakiness. I guess this is the second batch of mailings they have done, and this is roughly the same response they had the first time........hmmmmmm I wonder who was listening.


Tight Lines!

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I just got a letter in the mail asking me to please pay for the vid or return it.Sorry I am through!No more In Fish for me.
Its the principal of it.I won't be bullied and won't have anything to do with a company that uses this type of high pressure sales.Just like these dang pop ups telling me to get a pop up protector!ARRGH I am going crazy!

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I still look forward to the Mag. I'll bet the guys up in Brainerd are just as disgusted with this pressure sales bit as we are.

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Look at the Mag. and tel me how many articles have just been recycled! My subscription ran out when I signed up for 2 years and after about 14 months didnt recieve my mags. Of course they passed the buck. If I see a issue I like I buy it at my wifes bookstore. Most are the same old same old.

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