My 1-year subscription to a magazine is about to expire, I know this because nearly everyday I receive something in the mail alerting me to this fact. It started about 9 months ago with notices stating “your subscription will soon expire, renew now at this special rate!” Huh? Clearly their definition of “soon” and mine differ greatly. At this point in our relationship, I was still trying to decide whether or not this magazine was worthy of my limited reading time. A particularly interesting issue that I lifted from a doctor’s waiting room had seduced me into signing up for a full year of home delivery, but now that we were regularly seeing one another some of the shine had worn off. It just wasn’t as exciting as that first “stolen” date.
A couple of months later and the envelopes started arriving in bright colors with enticing words printed on the outside. “Act now and save.” “This special won’t last long.” “VIP offer.” By this time I’d pretty much decided that I was over this mag and renewal was not in my future. I found myself lazily flipping the pages, barely interested in the contents. I knew I’d made the right decision when I tried “recycling” them to my neighbor and even she couldn’t muster enough enthusiasm to accept a free magazine.
And then it was crunch time; less than 4 months to go before my subscription ran out. Was I aware of this? If so, then why wasn’t I taking action? The envelopes turned red, literally, and the messages printed on the outside that were once so appealing started to take on a darker tone and contained at least one, if not more, of the following words: urgent, late, expire, terminate, last – you get the idea. I began to feel like a hunted woman; these people would not give up. I just wanted the whole thing to end. I didn’t even care if I got the last couple of issues still owed to me and I was afraid to go to the mailbox.
And then there was a light at the end of the tunnel; my husband handed me the mail and there was an envelope marked “Final Notice”. YEAH! On the same day I also received my last issue; I know this was my last issue because it arrived with a paper cover that was printed with the words “LAST ISSUE” on it. I get it. This is my last chance. They’re not going to stick around forever while I ignore them. They have more self-respect than that. Finally, the long year was over and we had finally broken up. I looked forward to digging into some good books.
And then, just like any good horror film, or the boyfriend that you can never really break up with, they were back. I received a brightly colored yellow envelope letting me know that as a courtesy they’ve extended my subscription for another 2 months, free of charge, because apparently they were concerned that perhaps I’d fallen, and couldn’t get up, and had missed the last 9 months’ renewal notices, and if I acted now I could take advantage of the very, very low – one time only – special renewal rate of…