Readers Digest
The Farce?

When I was a five-year-old, our wooden desks had an inkwell in the top right-hand corner
because ballpoint pens hadn't been invented. Another thing I remember was visiting my local stationers shop to buy the New Zealand version of the Junior Readers Digest. It was the "in thing" and had lots of interesting stories for boys. More than sixty years later, it's a different ball game. From being an instructive magazine, Readers Digest has deteriorated into a marketing exercise of financial aggression. The customer is viewed a source of unlimited funds and to hell with their wants or needs.

About four or five months ago I decided I didn't want any more unordered monthly books. So I wrote all over the return envelope and all over the bill containing my CC details to pay for the book I had received (it was the decent thing to do), "Please do not send any more unwanted books etc." They could read well enough to utilise my CC details but not well enough to follow the instructions. For, low and behold, a month later another unwanted book arrived by courier. It was left on my doorstep and wasn't signed for by me. Several days later I returned the unopened parcel to Readers Digest via NZ Post, with the instructions to "Read the instructions I have already sent you." I also wrote all over the parcel a number of suggestions.

I rang their help line, but they couldn't understand simple instructions like, "don't send any more books. I don't want them and I'm not going to pay for them." I also suggested they take a class in adult literacy as it might help them to read more than dollar signs.

A month later a letter arrived advising me that the book I had returned unopened had not been paid for and send $49.98 forthwith. I returned the letter with my instructions "not to send anymore books and that I'm not going to pay for the book I didn't want and have already returned etc." I also rang and emailed them with various suggestions, like, it's about time you take notice of your customers or you will lose business. Example, by not following my instructions they have lost my business

As an extra, I emailed their American website in the hope that once they realised that New
Zealand was not a town in Florida that they would suggest to their NZ office that they should
follow my instructions. After a barrage of American replies that didn't make sense, I think they realised that in their view, the best thing was to do absolutely nothing. This was of course exactly what the NZ office has being doing. Maybe ignoring the customer is Readers Digest official worldwide policy?

Yesterday I received a letter from Readers Digest and guess what? It was a reminder that I hadn't paid for the book that I had returned and please send the loot without delay. I get the impression that Readers Digest is run by a bunch of arrogant dickheads and because it's a worldwide organisation, they think they can get way with murder.

Ps, a neighbour is having trouble with Readers Digest and has also cancelled her subscription.

Update 26/3/12.  I have today received yet another demand for $49.98. How dumb is the Readers Dumgest management?

27/3/12. Sent the following email to Readers Digest.

Please forward this to your Chief Excecutive Officer.

Dear Sir,

I'm tired of dealing with people who can't understand basic English. Please
look at the following:
I have tried for many months to get a commonsense result from your
organisation but nothing sensible ever happens. However, since my story has
been online I've had a number of emails from people suffering the same
official idiocy that I've received.

For God's sake, get your act together and stop treating your customers like

2/4/12. Have yet to receive a reply. Maybe Readers Digest belives that silence is golden? Or am I being deliberately ignored again?

26/4/12. Recently I received a letter from RD dated 16 April 2012. It's from their debt collecting department demanding the $48.98 that I do not owe. In other words they haven't taken the slightest of notice of anything I've said since this dispute started. So dear RD debt department, please forward this to your Chief Executive Office (CEO) so he can see just how stupid his employees are. Also tell him to have a look at
This website tells the story of this disagreement and no doubt highlights the incompetence of the RD system. I'm not short of money so if RD want the bad publicity I will generate over this matter, so be it. I'm also thinking of contacting the Fair Go TV program. RD can bury its head in the sand if it wants to but as some of my internet columns get about half a million readers, I'm not exactly unknown. Might I respectfully suggest that RD try using a little bit of commonsense and forget about its mindless accounting procedures. Please don't send me any more books or letters to my address. My rubbish tin is over flowing with RD junk mail.

19/5/12.  have today received yet another demand for $49.98 from RD. I guess nothing seems to sink in but I honestly didn't realise just how stupid they are. I guess I'll just have to contact the Fair Go TV people. I find it hard to believe that RD lack the ability to use ten cents worth of commonsense to solve this problem to everybody's advantage. What does it take for them to look up their records and check them with mine?

1/6/12. Contacted The Fair Go people about Readers Digest but they obviously don't want to know about the private persons injustices while dealing with big businesses. Watching their TV shows it's obvious they don't take on councils or government departments either. So I guess Fair Go is a complete and utter waste of time for those suffering from officialdom and big business arrogance. I wonder if the Target program would be any different? I wonder where Fair Go and Target get their funding from?

19/6/12. Got a "demand payment letter" from Active Debt Collections. It turns out that they are a division of Readers Digest Pty Australia Ltd. The style of the Demand letter is onviously designed to frighten people to pay or else get a bad credit rating. I can't help wondering if RD operates in the real world or lives in a world of complete fantasy.

Dear Readers Digest. I don't owe you a cent. As you have already been told numerous times the book The Chosen One was returned unopened to your office by the NZ Post branch in the Upper Hutt Mall. Why don't you send NZ Post the bill for $49.98? .ps I wonder how many customers you've lost in the last month because of your stupidity?

I sent the following letter to RD on 25/6/12. It's not a backdown because I have arranged many people to dump RD.  We all save money and RD loses money. One things for sure, RD has and will lose millions
because of their inbuilt stupidity.

The Chief Executive Officer
Readers Digest
PO Box 90487
Victoria Street West
Auckland 1142

Dear Sir,

Hopefully you will have a brain that has the ability to think for itself. Sadly, none of your employees have any brains at all.

For many months I have being trying to settle a ridiculous situation caused by your workers. Go to the following website to see a blow by blow description of what has happened.

I have had a number of people contact me and advise that they have had similar situations with RD and have also dumped your products because of the arrogance shown by your workers. Over the years it must have cost you many millions for the demonstrated lack of commonsense. No doubt you have a policy that determines that RD is right about everything and the customer's opinion is irrelevant. Money is obviously more important than truth and honesty. In the real world it's called corruption.

I suggested to my family (about 300 people) that RD should be placed on their no-go list and I have been advised that some have already cancelled their subscriptions. In this sort of situation you get exactly what you deserve. In your case, you lose customers.

However to bring this matter to a close I have decided to pay the $49.98 wrongfully demanded for an unopened, unwanted book returned to you via NZ Post (Cheque enclosed). This ends my 60 plus years of indulging RD products. Don't bother sending any more junk mail to my address because you're not going to get another penny from me or anybody I can persuade to think for themselves.

Might I suggest you advise your workers the ten cents worth of commonsense will solve most problems. But I doubt that they will comprehend. All they have been trained to see are the $$$$$$ signs. Do you cotton on? Or doesn't anything sensible sink in? I ponder what you see when you look in the mirror?

Yours Faithfully

13/1/13.  I can't stop laughing. Every couple of weeks since the above letter I've received an envelope from RD saying I'm the next winner and offering all sorts of bullshit to try and persuade me to purchase their products. The postage and printing costs must be a couple of bucks per letter and the $48.98 they cheated from me has long since disappeared. I'm thinking about asking them to buy me a rubbish bin to collect their junk mail. Then I'll publish a photo of the bin overflowing with their unwarranted expenditure. And NO! I'n going to spend a penny on RD. They can get completely and utterly stuffed.

Yours, financially wealthier since 25/6/12.