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rbgarr
02-01-2012, 10:57 PM
I rec'd a discounted subscription offer in the mail today. Thank you.

Unless there's a particular reason not to, it would be helpful if your subscription fulfillment service listed my account number on the pre-addressed form. I tried to look up how long my current subscription is paid up for on the magazine's website and without my account number I can't find out, at least not by using the online method. Like many, I presume, I remove/discard the address label with my account number when I read and shelve it. Thus the number's not anywhere handy.

The online retrieval method also did not recognize or accept my e-mail address, even with the repeated requests for re-entering it. I entered each of my e-addresses several times.

I don't know whether I should be addressing these concerns to WB or the subscription service.

I will call the 800 number sometime during working hours on the west coast to check whether I need to renew now or can wait, but in any case, it's been a bit frustrating.

Scot
02-02-2012, 05:24 AM
I've just forwarded to Rick, he heads-up the circulation side of things.

-Scot

JonWilson
02-02-2012, 07:39 AM
Also, we're focusing hard, right now, on making this whole process simpler and more reliable. For example, if your e-mail address was your account number, wouldn't that be the ultimate unique identifier? I ask because this is the only simple and direct way I can think of to do this. No one knows -- or wants to find -- their account number from the label. Not that they can't, but why not use an easily-recalled unique identifier that you can refer to from anywhere and any device? Does this make sense to you as it does to me?

Rich VanValkenburg
02-02-2012, 08:30 AM
Not the best idea, Jon. I've had to abandon email addresses whenever I switches ISP's. As a programmer, I've always assigned a computer-generated number to identify accounts, customers, etc. That number should appear on anything that you want a response to from the customer.

JonWilson
02-02-2012, 08:51 AM
Damn. I was really hoping you'd say, 'Great idea.' The problem is that the identifier needs to be simple, and yet unique. Ideally, a customer doesn't have to look it up anywhere. I see what you mean about changing ISPs, however. I'm blind to that because we use web-based e-mail. I'm just trying to find a way to utilize dead-simple identifiers, so people can, as I said, ID their accounts from anywhere and any thing. Thanks very much for your thoughts.

carlg
02-02-2012, 10:20 AM
Imanaged to check my subscription status without my mailing label not too long ago. Did something change?

JonWilson
02-02-2012, 10:51 AM
No. I'm just looking for greater simplification. Some readers have 'issues' with this. I don't like it when even one has an issue. Thanks again.

Rich VanValkenburg
02-02-2012, 11:47 AM
It needs to be something about each subscriber that doesn't change, and there are few things that qualify. Most are personal, like SSN# or state driver's license number. There's always a boat state registration number, and if most folks keep those up they won't change unless sold, but there are some that have federal registration. The idea needs some work. Some of us don't even have a boat and just like the mag.

Something like a combination of a customer's initials, (or user name) and birthday. Very little else stays constant.

jimkeen
02-02-2012, 09:28 PM
I agree, accessing the subscription service on line is a frustrating futile experience. That said, the telephone CSR's are very proficient and helpful. It is just so convenient to be able to access the account anytime I need to.
Maybe a phone number would work as an identifier since they are now transportable and people tend to keep them.

JonWilson
02-03-2012, 07:16 AM
This is continuing to be helpful to us, so thank you.

Railmeat
02-05-2012, 01:27 AM
Or maybe use our forum user names as acct #s! :)

rbgarr
02-06-2012, 07:27 PM
The only time I recall needing my account number (except for delayed or missing issues, when your telephone assistance crew is indeed helpful) is when I get the re-up notices. If the account number can't be on the pre-addressed form, maybe my current subscription 'last issue' date could? That's all I need to decide how to respond to the offers you make.

Mad Scientist
02-07-2012, 06:05 PM
When I needed my acct # a few years ago, I e-mailed the WB office and got a prompt reply. It still didn't look like anything on the mailing label, but Canadian subscriber copies go through a roundabout mailing route...

Tom

Torna
02-07-2012, 07:00 PM
I've lost track of friends when their email addresses changed and lost others when mine changed. Email addresses are no good because they change. You want something that will find me 15 years from now when I've lost track of you, and you've lost track of me.
One of the beauties of a Facebook ID is that it's as unchanging and easily remembered as a friend's name, yet worldwide unique. And I can get messages via Facebook. Of course Facebook isn't universally loved among your subscribers, but for those of us who do facebook, it could answer this issue.
-leif

rufustr
02-07-2012, 07:28 PM
I have always found an email to the Subscription Department brought a prompt and helpful response.

Perhaps the WB Email address on the package is the way to go.

hikingchrs
02-13-2012, 08:36 PM
I find in this new electronic world that we have lost the personal touch... I have had good luck calling a CSR at WoodenBoat; new and improved is not always better.
Chris

Old Dryfoot
02-14-2012, 01:46 AM
I've lost track of friends when their email addresses changed and lost others when mine changed. Email addresses are no good because they change. You want something that will find me 15 years from now when I've lost track of you, and you've lost track of me.
One of the beauties of a Facebook ID is that it's as unchanging and easily remembered as a friend's name, yet worldwide unique. And I can get messages via Facebook. Of course Facebook isn't universally loved among your subscribers, but for those of us who do facebook, it could answer this issue.
-leif

I have a Gmail email address, it works with almost any email program, will store a huge number messages, has some very nice spam filtering features, and it never changes. I signed up probably 10 years ago while it was in beta and have swapped ISPs a half dozen times since and never missed an email.

Sailor
02-18-2012, 09:18 PM
I don't even bother trying to renew online. I call. They are always helpful. In fact, the first time I called after moving here 7 years ago, I renewed and when I told the lady where I lived I said, "don't worry, I'll spell it". She said, that's ok, I know how to spell it. I used to live near there. I live in Shubenacadie Nova Scotia and it's a tiny little community. Just call, it's way easier than trying to mess around online.

TerryLL
02-18-2012, 09:44 PM
Hey Sailor,
I never did get around to thanking you for your help with that lady building the cosine wherry. That was a class act.

Mad Scientist
02-24-2012, 08:56 PM
I just renewed online. The account # was right there, on the label, and on the letter that WB sent me.

So, WB changed their account #'s sometime in the past, and I didn't even notice. That explains why the account # I talked about in post #13 didn't appear on the mailing label...

The renewal went perfectly!

Tom

Carl Cramer
02-24-2012, 09:48 PM
We do love "perfectly." That's what we strive for, and hope to attain.

Thanks, all, for all your comments. We do try to have unmatched customer service.

And we rely on you to tell us if/when we fall short. It matters so much to us.

Thanks, Carl

essaunders
02-24-2012, 10:09 PM
I just re-up my subscription every year at the boat show. I just hope no one minds I'm paid several years in advance.

Concordia...41
02-26-2012, 06:22 PM
WoodenBoat and all the folks in Maine = wonderful. Some of you (and you know who you are ;)) are especially wonderful. :)

The company / subscription service with the Palm Coast address, which mailed out several recent renewal offers = horrid, mean, and nasty (from previous interactions as they handle Cruisng World, Sailing World and several sailing rags that I subscribe(d) to)

I was sooooo disappointed to see the Palm Coast return address on a WB subscription notice :(. I started to say something then, but thought maybe it's been that way for a while and I'm just getting around to noticing. :(

As long as I can deal with WB directly, that's fine. And I know to renew my Cruising World subscription through their website or at one of the shows as I will never ever in a trillion years respond to anything with a return address of Palm Coast.

.02

-M

Scot
02-26-2012, 07:17 PM
Dear Margo:

Fret not.

Palm Coast is now out of the picture. Rick W., our circ director has recently hired ESP (westy coast outfit) to handle it.

Cheers,

Scot

Sailor
02-26-2012, 08:08 PM
Also, we're focusing hard, right now, on making this whole process simpler and more reliable. For example, if your e-mail address was your account number, wouldn't that be the ultimate unique identifier? I ask because this is the only simple and direct way I can think of to do this. No one knows -- or wants to find -- their account number from the label. Not that they can't, but why not use an easily-recalled unique identifier that you can refer to from anywhere and any device? Does this make sense to you as it does to me?


No, I disagree Jon. I think your name would be a pretty ultimate unique identifier. I thougth subscription numbers were numbers for the purpose of organizing them numerically or in order of how they were initially subsribed or something. If an email address would work, why wouldn't our name work? Add a year of birth or month and day of birth after or something just to keep any other Daniel A. Willis from getting my subscription. I'm not likely to forget it, not likely to change it and it won't get deleted when my computer crashes. If it can be something other than a number, then why not just use our names?

Sailor
02-26-2012, 08:09 PM
Funny, I didn't get around to getting back for a little row around the lake either.... I guess I'll have to call her up in the spring to see how she's doing.


Hey Sailor,
I never did get around to thanking you for your help with that lady building the cosine wherry. That was a class act.

Mad Scientist
02-28-2012, 04:03 PM
My subscription renewal reminder included an information sheet, which answers plenty of questions, including what your subscription number is, and where to look for it on the label.

Tom