In late December and early January I subscribed to a few magazines related to building electronics/embedded hardware and I did so via Amazon.com. My experience has been --- less than ideal.
Upon placing the order, Amazon said that it would take roughly 2 months to receive my first issues. Pretty standard for subscribing to periodicals. However, for 3 (SERVO Magazine, Nuts and Volts, and Everyday Practical Electronics) of the 4 subscriptions I have still not received them. The one subscription (Circuit Cellar) that I have started received has already missed sending me my March issue – I have the February and April issue. I contacted Circuit Cellar customer support about this and they said they would get the March issue out to me immediately. No big deal.
For the other subscriptions, I contacted Amazon Customer Service and they informed me that I could not deal directly with them to resolve these issues and proactively gave me contact information for the magazine distributors. I didn’t like that fact that I couldn’t deal with Amazon, but at least I didn’t have to go hunting down phone numbers and email addresses for the distributors.
I contacted the two distributors via email and I did not get a response for a couple days. The first one for Everyday Practical Electronics asked me to confirm my address. Once I did, the next day I got an email saying that they are looking into it and they should get back to me in the next 5 to 7 days! And that’s business days! Not the response I expect. The other distributor for SERVO Magazine and Nuts and Volts never even knew about my subscription and said that it would take another 6 to 8 weeks to receive my first copies.
This strikes me as a poorly setup and run operation between Amazon and these distributors. I don’t know if by some random convergence of events I was the one person who was affected by this, if this is endemic to these few magazine distributors, or if this affects the entire network of distributors that sell magazines through Amazon. All I know is I was looking for a simple way to subscribe to some magazines – so much for that!