Startup Blog

Marketing Pitfall: US Weekly Magazine Making it Hard to Buy Something

Posted by Mike Volpe on 2/13/09 10:08 AM

It is amazing to me how hard people make it to buy things sometimes.  I admire companies that do not need to play games with pricing and discounting and there is just one price per product through all channels.

How complicated do you make it to buy your products?


Me: Hi, I'd like to renew my wife's subscription for her birthday.

US Weekly Magazine: Sure, that will be $67.

Me: Actually, I got something in the mail that says it is $51.

US Weekly Magazine: Do you have the offer code?  I can't give you that deal without the offer code.

Me:  No, the letter is in my recycle bin at home.  Can you tell me what the offer code is and I will repeat it back to you?

US Weekly Magazine: No.

Me:  OK.  I also found the same deal on and this number was in the listing.  I figured it was easier to call so it would just get added onto the current subscription.

US Weekly Magazine:I can't honor online pricing.  There are a lot of websites out there selling unauthorized subscriptions.

Me: is selling your magazine without authorization?  I mean, this 800 number I called was in the

US Weekly Magazine:  I don't know about that Amazon thing, but I can't honor online prices. 

Me:  OK.  What should I do.

US Weekly Magazine: Well, I'll give you her account number.  Then you can go to our website, log in, and then renew online on our website and that will give you the best price.

Me: But you can't honor that price right here?  I have my credit card in my hand... 

US Weekly Magazine: No.  Sorry.

Me:  OK... Fine.  What's the account number and URL I need...?

Mike Volpe

Written by Mike Volpe

Mike Volpe is a startup advisor and angel investor based in Boston.

Topics: strategy, customer happiness

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