Monday, November 03, 2003

Go west, young Ruddy Ruddy

The newest arrival to the Ruddy Ruddy mail depository is the most far-reaching piece of junk mail yet, and a contender or the biggest. Coming all the way from Phoenix, Arizona is a giant envelope stuffed full of brochures, pamphlets and road maps trying to get Ruddy Ruddy to vacation at Best Western. It's nice to know that once I'm inevitably forced to flee criminal charges of mail fraud, the good folks at Best Western have my route all planned out, and in style at that.

The package itself presents a storage problem: Normally, I've been taping stuff up on the wall, but this envelope is just too heavy. Moreover, it's badly ripped, and is held together mostly by an elastic band. Since there's no grovelling apology from the US Postal Service, I'm led to either of two conclusions:

1. The US Postal Service only apologizes when they damage your mail itself. They don't care about the envelope.

2. Canada Post did it.

I'm leaning toward the second. I like what I've seen out of the US Postal Service so far: a major government service that grovels for my approval. So, I'll leave it for Scott, a sometime Canada Post employee, to defend his home and native mailmen.

Another new development comes not by snail mail, but by e-mail. I mailed RealSimple to tell them to stop sending stuff to my house since we'd never heard of this "Ruddy Ruddy" character. I got this back:

From: | Add to Address Book,
Subject: RE: Other,Do not provide my e-mail address to third parties,Do not contact me with e-mail offers for Time Inc,
Date: Tue, 28 Oct 2003 17:17:30 GMT

Dear REAL SIMPLE Customer:

Thank you for contacting Real Simple Customer Service.

Your message was received at 12:17pm Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday,
Oct 28 2003 and was assigned
the incident number 2088200.

Your message will be forwarded to a representative as soon as possible
for review.

You may not be aware that we can accommodate many of your customer
service requests online-- instantly! Just go to:

Change your address, check your payment status, renew your
subscription, report missing issues, cancel your subscription, find the answers to
frequently asked questions-- and more!

We appreciate your interest in Real Simple and look forward to serving
you soon.

Real Simple Customer Service

If you do not wish to be contacted in the future with offers for Time
Inc. products and services, please visit our Customer Service site at, and send us an email. Please be sure
to include your name and mailing address as it appears on your magazine

And then I got this:

From: "Realsimple Subscriber Services"
Subject: Re: Other,Do not provide my e-mail address to third parties,Do not contact me with e-mail offers for Time Inc, <<#1128371-2088200#>>
Date: Wed, 29 Oct 2003 15:15:17 GMT


Thank you for contacting REAL SIMPLE Customer Service.

We canceled your subscription as requested. If you recently received a
billing notice, please disregard it.

Because our mailing labels are preprinted, you may receive one or two
more issues. Please discard them or share them with a friend. We are
sorry that you are canceling and hope that you will consider ordering
with us in the future.

Please be assured that we removed your personal information from our
promotional listings effective immediately. If your information was
already on our files, you may have been selected for a recent promotion. If
so, you will receive one more mailing. After that, you will not
receive future promotions. If you are just providing us with your contact
information, you will not be added to the promotional listings.


Real Simple Customer Service

I have a few observations:

1. Time Inc. is mixed up in this? I didn't realize they were the parent company of RealSimple. And now that I look at it, RealSimple was named Magazine of the Year in 2002 by Ad Age. Maybe I should just keep getting it.

2. I can't figure out whether to spell it RealSimple or Real Simple, and neither can they, it seems. It seems to be two words except when referring to their website or on the front of the magazine itself. If they're so confused about their branding, I can't see how they won any awards from Ad Age. Maybe I shouldn't get RealSimple -- or Ad Age, for that matter.

3. Why are they saying they took my personal information out of their promotional listings? They didn't have my personal information -- only Ruddy Ruddy's. Of course, now that I've e-mailed them, they have my personal information now. It looks like I'll probably be getting RealSimple and the rest of the Time Warner family from now on, whether I like it or not.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

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5/08/2008 10:40:00 AM  

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