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The generosity of Autosport magazine


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#1 doc knutsen

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Posted 04 April 2021 - 14:40

Having been a subscriber to Autosport since travelling to the UK for University in 1970, I have lately voiced my disappointment and frustration  over the delay in having the magazine arrive here in Norway. During the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties, it never failed to arrive on the Saturday following its Thursday publication in he UK. But the last few years things have changed, and it now takes three weeks for the magazine to travel across the North Sea.

 

Now, it appears that my complaints have been noticed chez Haymarket...though in the form of quantity over quality. The last four Thusdays, my mail box has been sagging with the weight of some thirteen identical plastic envelopes, each containing one magazine as published three weeks previously...

 

Madame, who subscribes to Autosport on my behalf, for my Christmas gift, tried to e-mail the publishers two times, but never had a reply. Finally,  she got in touch over the telepone and the lady at the publishers said this mistake would be sorted right away. So peace returned to the household for a few days, until Madame was notified  that her credit card had been charged with £180,- by the Autosport publishers! My 12 month subscription was renewed last November 20th,( 2020), and was paid for at that time...  but then I realised that 13 copies delivered four times equals 52 copies, ie a whole year's worth of magazines :drunk: Think I may suggest they send me 52 copies of the magazine reporting on the 24 Heures du Mans later this year, and be done with it...



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#2 proviz

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 12:21

In this time when delivering magazines is counted on robots - either digital or human -  and applying dingy ways to shrink what used to be called mailing costs, nothing surprises me anymore. That's the reason I'm letting my sub which stretches over seven decades expire in a couple of weeks time.

(Oh, BTW, Haymarket offloaded Autosport some years ago, the publisher now is something called Autosport Media UK Ltd, apparently a subsidiary of Motorsport Network.), 



#3 proviz

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 12:36

To that said above I must add that for several years now there have been clear symptoms they really want to get rid of overseas print subscribers, with perhaps US excepted. Too much trouble, no doubt.



#4 kayemod

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 14:01

The main reason that subscribers outside the UK are receiving their magazines erratically or late is that since Covid appeared on the scene, such transport has now largely been entrusted to surface transport, usually seaborne, rather than by air. A friend in the USA was told this by MotorSport when he asked them why their delivery system was now so slow and unreliable. Air transport both for freight and passengers has come to a near halt now, though commodities such as green beans from Zimbabwe are still filling supermarket shelves, green vegetables clearly take precedence over reading matter.



#5 Gabrci

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 14:12

Air transport both for freight and passengers has come to a near halt now

 

Utterly wrong regarding freight. He also wrote "last few years" so Covid has zero relevance. 



#6 rudi

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 15:30

Utterly wrong regarding freight. He also wrote "last few years" so Covid has zero relevance. 

Yes, despite covid and Brexit, my Ebay orders never arrived si quickly.

Subscription is something else with the the publishers always testing new ways to lower the costs.



#7 kayemod

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 16:00

 

Subscription is something else with the the publishers always testing new ways to lower the costs.

 

 

Hence slow delivery of overseas subscription magazines, anyone tried to get airfreight quotes recently?

 

That's the reason for ever slower deliveries, snail freight.



#8 Mallory Dan

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 16:11

I read that freight by air is booming worldwide.



#9 Myrvold

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Posted 05 April 2021 - 16:17

I read that freight by air is booming worldwide.

 

Yup, I know multiple airlines used their passenger-planes for freight when travelling got shut down. They even filled the cabin with stuff. That way they could keep their planes and pilots going, and also get some income.



#10 proviz

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 06:52

The situation was bad enough before COVID. Most insulting in the whole system is the idiotic robot responses to reclamations etc. If I actually ask a question it's no use waiting for an answer written by a human being. They just tick boxes and press buttons.



#11 68targa

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 08:58

It beggars belief that a simple process of delivering a magazine can be so demanding - but this is the price we pay for progress in our modern technological world  :yawnface: 



#12 doc knutsen

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 10:01

Utterly wrong regarding freight. He also wrote "last few years" so Covid has zero relevance. 

This is correct, the delivery has not been noticeably slower during the 12 months of covid restrictions than what has been the case for more than three years before the pandemia. And as an update, we got through to whoever handles Autosport business on the telephone this morning  (I still hanker for the Haymarket days), and the lady at the other end told us that the reason for another credit card charge now, was that the subscription paid for on November 29th, 2020 was for a period of four months only. Now, we have always renewed subscriptions for 12 months at a time. I moved back to this country in the mid-Seventies and have had a subscription sent here since that time.

 

But this made me wonder. I checked the credit card readouts which confirmed that the card was charged £155,- on November 29th, 2020, and again £155,-  on March 29th, 2021. (Please note, £155 and not £180 which I stated previously...the Krone has dipped appreciably vs the £)  If that is correct, a full 12 months subscription would be £465,- or £39,- a month. I cannot find any reference to subscription charges in the magazine. But even allowing for p&p to Scandinavia, these prices are surely excessive? It would be interesting to know what other subscribers are paying.

 

Regardless and with regret, I have decided to cancel my subscrition. I am of an age where reading from a tablet or a smart phone does not really appeal except for brief headlines and summaries. But with the prices and the three weeks delay, I cannot justify continuing a subscription that has run since October 1969.



#13 proviz

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Posted 06 April 2021 - 11:05

Can't resist telling a story to remind how things used to be handled when most activities were centered in the same Autosport office.

In the latter part of the 70's an infuriating snag hit the delivery of my Autosport, which meant that every other issue came on time (one week to Finland then) while the next ones were regularly so late that I never received two subsequent issues in the right order.

I wrote to Autosport to complain and assumed the problem stemmed from work shifts in the UK where someone mailing my Autosport every other week made a crucial mistake. In a couple of weeks I got a letter from..... SimonTaylor! Obviously typed and signed by himself and revealing he had made proper enquiries about the matter. And it wasn't the only letter, one or two more followed, I still have at least one of them. What struck me was Simon's expression in describing dealing with the Post Office "like talking to a cheese souffle"! Bumping into Simon nearly 20 years later he claimed to still remember that correspondence.

Things eventually got sorted, but several months on I still went to visit the post office in Harlow, which Simon had revealed as the point of despatch. I spoke to a senior officer who seemed even a bit shaken and said "yes, yes, yes, it turned out someone was making a mistake here, but he's no longer with us...." Well, he would say that wouldn't he. Anyway, it was a time when there were people involved who really cared about not just producing a magazine, but also making sure it reached the customers. 



#14 F1matt

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:10

I am guessing the modern media companies would rather you read it online, therefore allowing them to track your online movements and sell your information to "carefully selected 3rd parties" or in other words anyone who is prepared to pay for it, they can't grasp that people still prefer a magazine that you can pick it up whenever you want, leave on the coffee table, and then file it away for future reference. 



#15 Vitesse2

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 11:52

Can't resist telling a story to remind how things used to be handled when most activities were centered in the same Autosport office.

In the latter part of the 70's an infuriating snag hit the delivery of my Autosport, which meant that every other issue came on time (one week to Finland then) while the next ones were regularly so late that I never received two subsequent issues in the right order.

I wrote to Autosport to complain and assumed the problem stemmed from work shifts in the UK where someone mailing my Autosport every other week made a crucial mistake. In a couple of weeks I got a letter from..... SimonTaylor! Obviously typed and signed by himself and revealing he had made proper enquiries about the matter. And it wasn't the only letter, one or two more followed, I still have at least one of them. What struck me was Simon's expression in describing dealing with the Post Office "like talking to a cheese souffle"! Bumping into Simon nearly 20 years later he claimed to still remember that correspondence.

Things eventually got sorted, but several months on I still went to visit the post office in Harlow, which Simon had revealed as the point of despatch. I spoke to a senior officer who seemed even a bit shaken and said "yes, yes, yes, it turned out someone was making a mistake here, but he's no longer with us...." Well, he would say that wouldn't he. Anyway, it was a time when there were people involved who really cared about not just producing a magazine, but also making sure it reached the customers. 

That brought to mind a problem I had with a magazine subscription in Peterborough in the 1980s. It was supposed to arrive Saturday mornings, but invariably didn't turn up until Monday. Knowing that the subscriptions were sent from only a few miles away this seemed very strange - it turned out that the distributors actually trucked the whole lot to Peterborough station, where they were loaded - in batches - onto various trains and sent on to Royal Mail regional centres for sorting and further distribution. For no obvious reason, all deliveries destined for PE postcodes went to Birmingham first; after I pointed out this fairly obvious flaw they did actually change it and introduced a second drop at the Peterborough sorting office, and from then on I got the magazine on Saturday! IIRC the sorting office was adjacent to the station at the time ...



#16 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 07 April 2021 - 23:33

I’m in the US and receive Classic and Sports Car, Octane, Magneto and The Road Rat from the U.K. Delivery has been surprisingly prompt and reliable. The exception is C&SC which has had some slow months. Enzo was a delivery disaster from issue 1, but that was well before covid arrived. For some reason they could never get their fulfillment act together even though it came from the same publisher as Octane, the delivery of which has been near flawless for, what, over 200 issues now?

#17 proviz

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Posted 08 April 2021 - 11:05

Thinking back, another thing occurred to me. At the time of my correspondence with Simo Taylor Autosport's circulation will have been six to seven times that of the print edition's in 2020.

https://www.abc.org....es/49906907.pdf



#18 nexfast

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Posted 10 April 2021 - 19:54

 

 

But this made me wonder. I checked the credit card readouts which confirmed that the card was charged £155,- on November 29th, 2020, and again £155,-  on March 29th, 2021. (Please note, £155 and not £180 which I stated previously...the Krone has dipped appreciably vs the £)  If that is correct, a full 12 months subscription would be £465,- or £39,- a month. I cannot find any reference to subscription charges in the magazine. But even allowing for p&p to Scandinavia, these prices are surely excessive? It would be interesting to know what other subscribers are paying.

 

 

 

Seems I'm one of the 394 digital subscribers from outside UK. I pay  the equivalent of 115 pounds for the privilege. I hardly read the magazine anymore (I have plenty of them in storage, including a full collection between 70 and 95), perhaps once or twice a year, but I do it to have access to the Forix database, which is the best I know (yes, there are mistakes but having in mind the quantity of data available this is to be expected).