Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rant du Jour - FREE Gifts

About 9 months ago I began receiving US WEEKLY magazine in the mail. Funny, I didn't (and wouldn't) subscribe to that kind of trash. But there it was in my mailbox every week. At first, I tried to get the USPS to send it back saying there must be some kind of mistake. The USPS is not interested in stopping mail that is delivered in error - they are interested in keeping their jobs - so no help from the USPS.
Knowing that US Weekly is the kind of junk that most of my neighbors would enjoy, I started giving it to a neighbor who lives on gossip about celebrity culture. Over time, I got tired of taking it to her mailbox - it isn't like it was a quality gift or something I was giving her, but it did warrant at least a HELLO when our paths crossed.

So, over the months, I simply took to tossing the magazine into the recycling bin. Unread. I mean, who cares about so and so's 6 pack abs? I got stuff to do.
Then, I started receiving bills from US Weekly.

Getting billed for trash made me angry. I began a campaign with email messages. To be fair, I guess there was a response - automated. Still, the trashy rag kept showing up in my mailbox.
I started again with second campaign. Hunting for the magazine's impressum only took most of 10 minutes as it is barely there - buried on the last page, at the bottom of the page, in tiny font, is the legally required impressum. But there isn't any good contact info.... hmmmm.
Online I find that there is a hint that US Weekly may be owned by Rolling Stone Magazine. What a huge letdown. An institution from my contemporaries - and here it is, the owner of celebrity soft porn.

Finally! I get a phone number. I call US WEEKLY. 3 Days later I am no closer to finding out where US Weekly got my name, who started the subscription, etc.
I try again, this time threatening legal action. AHA! Someone with a pulse and connecting synapses on the other end of the phone! And yes, my "subscription" was initiated by...... LIVE NATION TICKETING.
Yes, well I did buy tickets for Michael Franti and Spearhead last January from LiveNation. Those same tickets barely paid the band - most of the charges were taxation/entertainment fees, administration fees, and fees on fees because it seems to be a good idea. As if Live Nation wasn't making enough money as middleman on fees alone - they had to sell my name (or add it to their corporate marketing list).
So, does Rolling Stone own Live Nation? How is Live Nation tied in to US Weekly?
Will I ever buy another fecking concert admission from Live Nation? I think I'd rather pull out my toenails with a tweezer.

BTW, the "subscription" is canceled. At least I won't be subjected to naked torsos and 6 pack abs as I reach for the Hagan Daz and wish that winter was over.

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