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Not happy about the change to 6 issues a year - here's why

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  • Member since
    January 2012
  • From: Cincinnati, OH
Not happy about the change to 6 issues a year - here's why
Posted by DanR1967 on Friday, October 8, 2021 3:21 PM

All - if you haven't noticed in the latest issue, FSM is going from 10 issues a year to 6. I'm disappointed in that because with the demise of Scale Auto, I was hoping that we might eventually see FSM published year round. But those wishes aside, my main problem is that - I subscribed for 3 years with the expectation of receiving 30 issues. The blurb in the magazine states that subscribers will continue to receive issues normally for however many years they're subscribed, but my 30 issues just went to 18 issues, but THE PRICE IS THE SAME!!!

I think there are two solutions here:

1) FSM compensates by adding at least one additional year to my sub (and adjusting accordingly for all others - I would say that you should at least get half of what you lost, so if you suddenly went from 10 issues to 6, you should get 2 issues added to your subscription, etc).

2) A good faith refund of some kind should be issued.

What do you guys think? Am I off base here??

Dan

https://danr67.imgur.com/

  • Member since
    October 2021
Posted by Plastik_Dackel on Friday, October 8, 2021 3:54 PM

I think you are spot on with this. I too was dismayed to read this, literally the day after I mailed in my 2-year renewal form and check. I am also wondering about the larger implications. Much has been said and written about fewer and fewer new scale modellers entering the hobby vs. more and more exiting the hobby or the world due to age. Will FSM go the route of SCALE AUTO ? If even a giant like KALMBACH has to cut issues due to costs and dwindling demand, then things do not look too rosy.

The notice said among other things that more and more modellers of all ages are seeking content online and that FSM would offer more content online to compensate for the reduced number of issues. Well, in that case, why even have a printed magazine at all ? Maybe E-zines are a partial answer and they take up no physical space in the house. FSM is a great magazine and I would hate to see it disappear.

It is what it is and we all have seen magazines and manufacturers go under or discontinue products (TESTOR's paints come to mind). Scale modellers will always exist, but will increasingly be a small niche hobby, unless there is a sudden influx of younger modellers. I'll enjoy what we have now and I will always have fond memories of the glory days of modelling.

Still, I think FSM should offer their subscribers some sort of compensation. This whole thing just felt a bit disingenuous and came across as a typical exercise in Corporate Whitewash.

Just my $ 0.02 worth.

Plastik_Dackel

 

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Friday, October 8, 2021 7:13 PM

I'm with you Dan. I too paid for a 3 year sub. If FSM couldn't guarantee that, they should not have taken our money. To make an offer and accept our payment is the basis of a contract and FSM have broken that. Some form of compensation must be forthcoming.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Hatboro, PA
Posted by Justinryan215 on Friday, October 8, 2021 7:49 PM

An important lesson that my dad taught me was to never subscribe to a magazine for longer than a one year plan, as you never know what may come of that magazine...

"...failure to do anything because someone else can do better makes us rather dull and lazy..."

Mortal as I am,I know that I am born for a day.  But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the Earth...

 

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Friday, October 8, 2021 7:59 PM

I'm sure in the files somewhere is a clause that they can put out as many or few issues as they want, with no recourse.

Yeah, I subscribed for 10 a year, and just renewed last month.  Not happy with losing 40% (and a third of this year's cycle) of my investment in the magazine with no compensation either via refund or extension, but it looks like we're going to be stuck with it.  If it lasts until the end of subscriptions, them you can make a decision to either renew or not.  I for one probably won't.  If I even last till then.

 Edit....renewal notice states, number of issues subject to change at any time.

My metal detecting mag went belly up a couple years ago, and the other one is 97% east Coast and civil war, nothing worth mentioning for the west coast, even though it has both East and West in the name.

  • Member since
    January 2012
  • From: Cincinnati, OH
Posted by DanR1967 on Friday, October 8, 2021 11:15 PM

Dodgy

I'm with you Dan. I too paid for a 3 year sub. If FSM couldn't guarantee that, they should not have taken our money. To make an offer and accept our payment is the basis of a contract and FSM have broken that. Some form of compensation must be forthcoming.

 

I was thinking about it further and when I subscribed, it was for 3 years/30 issues. This isn't like a car warranty where it's 3 years or 36000 miles, whichever comes first. I paid for 30 issues. I think FSM is obligated to provide me with 30 issues and I intend to pursue this further. I paid for 30 issues and should get them, even if it means waiting 5 years instead of 3.

Dan

https://danr67.imgur.com/

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Saturday, October 9, 2021 4:05 AM

I'm with you mate, but I think Goldhammer has the right of it. There will be something in the fine print.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    June 2003
Posted by Jammer on Saturday, October 9, 2021 12:48 PM

I see it as a state of the magazine industry problem.  Cost keep going up, interest goes down since a lot of what they produce is on the internet.  History and wargame magazine that remain are running in the $9.99 and up realm, so the $7.99 FSM cover price doesn't come off too bad.  Heck, I just checked comic book prices and they are $4.99 an issue.

As to FSM, it's in enough of a niche market I rather doubt that the principals involved are getting rich off of it.  I rather doubt that the editors and publishers came to the decision based on how much more money they could make off of it, rather I'm willing to bet this was a decision based on how to stay solvent rather than folding altogether.  Look at where SAE, Military Modeler, Model Cars Magazine, etc. are now.

I still like getting FSM and am really liking the e-version more than I thought I would.  I still read it cover to cover when it comes in.  I'm reasonably certain that eventually they will be either an all electronic magazine, a subscription-based website, or a fond memory.  It's just the nature of the market and the direction media is moving.  FSM is the only magazine I still receive, I stopped getting news and gaming magazines a long while ago.  So if paying the same price for 6 issues instead of 10 will keep it afloat a little longer, I'm fine with that since I think demanding refunds or extensions will only hasten the demise.

 

My $0.02 worth

 

Doug

 

  • Member since
    August 2021
Posted by goldhammer88 on Saturday, October 9, 2021 3:07 PM

Doug has a point, at $8 an issue on the magazine rack, that's $48 for a year, saving a few bucks over the subscription price.  And here I thought for years that subscription to any magazine was a savings over buying issues on the rack.  Looks like I've been proven wrong----again.

  • Member since
    March 2013
Posted by patrick206 on Saturday, October 9, 2021 3:59 PM

DanR1967

All - if you haven't noticed in the latest issue, FSM is going from 10 issues a year to 6. I'm disappointed in that because with the demise of Scale Auto, I was hoping that we might eventually see FSM published year round. But those wishes aside, my main problem is that - I subscribed for 3 years with the expectation of receiving 30 issues. The blurb in the magazine states that subscribers will continue to receive issues normally for however many years they're subscribed, but my 30 issues just went to 18 issues, but THE PRICE IS THE SAME!!!

I think there are two solutions here:

1) FSM compensates by adding at least one additional year to my sub (and adjusting accordingly for all others - I would say that you should at least get half of what you lost, so if you suddenly went from 10 issues to 6, you should get 2 issues added to your subscription, etc).

2) A good faith refund of some kind should be issued.

What do you guys think? Am I off base here??

 

No, not off base at all. I subscribed to both FSM and SAE in the early 80's, when SAE went away it was disappointing, but I was happy to still receive FSM. For several years the content gave many hours of good reading, photos and how to's on building, detailing, painting, etc. I'm not overstating when I say the majority of whatever modeling skills I have today, and the enjoyment derived, are primarily the result of the FSM magazine.

With no intention to insult or demean builders of subjects other than aircraft, ships, armor, dioramas and such, Cup O' Noodles, Frankenstein, the Martian attack craft in War of the Worlds etc, just have nothing of interest for me.  So, after nearly four decades I did not renew my subscription early this year, and I surely miss the way it was not all that long ago.

As to this reduction of issues per year, when subscibers re-upped for say three years, to me that formed a contractual agreement for thirty issues as stated on the re-up notice. No matter what verbage may be pointed to in the "fine print" posted in the magazine about "changes at any time," still subscribers are not getting what they paid for when issue volume is reduced, following renewal of subscription.

By that logic, the publishers could just make it one issue every three years and call it service obligation met. At the least, subscibers should expect a subscription extension of an appropriate amount, or a refund of an equitable amount. Subscribers that wish to, should be able to just cancel the remainder of the subscription and be refunded accordingly, if satisfactory adjustment cannot be reached by the subscribers.

I am not a lawyer, but I do think that fairness all around should be the deciding consideration, when this reduction is addressed by the subscribers. We'll see what shakes out of this.

Patrick     

  • Member since
    April 2009
  • From: Longmont, Colorado
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Saturday, October 9, 2021 4:53 PM

Very disappointed at this disregard for customers.  I'm taking my checkbook and walking. Time to renew, but I shall not do so.

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Sunday, October 10, 2021 4:45 AM

I too am frustrated at the situation, but I'm sorry to see you go Chuck. Can you please PM me with your details as I would like to stay in touch?

Cheers

Ferg

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    February 2003
  • From: East Bethel, MN
Posted by midnightprowler on Sunday, October 10, 2021 8:27 AM

Dodgy

I too am frustrated at the situation, but I'm sorry to see you go Chuck. Can you please PM me with your details as I would like to stay in touch?

Cheers

Ferg

 

I don't think he meant leaving the forum, I think he meant he is no longer subscribing.

Hi, I am Lee, I am a plastiholic.

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  • Member since
    June 2021
Posted by rocketman2000 on Sunday, October 10, 2021 8:55 AM

Do we need this discussion in both General Modeling and Ready Room?  I believe this forum is probably read by more followers than RR.  If folks agree I will lobby in RR to end the thread there.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Sunday, October 10, 2021 11:21 AM

Hello!

I sure do hope Chuck stays with us here on the forums! Let me say I never subscribed the magazine. I have bought many issues, even had my photo published in one. The again I aways had my problems with a subscription - one of the most annoying things at Kalmbach is the issue that they don't really have any decent payment options - they want to get your credit card number like it's 2001 - no paypal, no any other options - that kept me from doing business with them many times.

That said, I'm on the forums for many years and I actually find it more useful that the mag in some ways. Here again Kalmbach did a lot to drive people away - like all this times when they changed the forum software. They are also missing the opportunities - like letting people upload their pictures easier (own photo hosting) or hosting online ads buy/sell, if you know what I mean.

So despite all my problems I'm staying here as a non-subscriber and I hope the forums can get more life again and be a place where we can meet paople and exchange ideas.

Thanks for reading and have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    January 2011
Posted by Bugatti Fan on Sunday, October 10, 2021 1:26 PM

FSM going down to 6 copies a year so shortly after 'absorbing' Scale Auto?  Hmmmm?

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, October 10, 2021 3:08 PM

Bugatti Fan

FSM going down to 6 copies a year so shortly after 'absorbing' Scale Auto?  Hmmmm?

 

prepare to be assimilated... resistance is futile...

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    July 2014
  • From: Franklin Wi
Posted by Bakster on Sunday, October 10, 2021 3:24 PM

Dodgy

I'm with you Dan. I too paid for a 3 year sub. If FSM couldn't guarantee that, they should not have taken our money. To make an offer and accept our payment is the basis of a contract and FSM have broken that. Some form of compensation must be forthcoming.

 

Agreed. I am disappointed with FSM and in more ways than one. For the first time in years I won't be resubscribing. Their recent subscription mailing went gleefully straight to the garbage.

To be honest about it... I don't get much out of their magazine. I skim through it with the hope of finding something interesting. Within minutes of perusing, I am done. It's the same old stuff regurgitated. The magazine is sterile to me. The most interesting section is the reader gallery. It is there that I find some interesting and cool builds. No offence to others that value the magazine. It's just my opinion on how the magazine interacts with me.

But to be clear about it: My primary reason to lapse FSM is their poor service. You can't treat customers poorly and expect to keep them. I am truly disgusted by their approach to a loyal customer base.

I give people a long rope, FSMs has run out.

  • Member since
    January 2011
Posted by Bugatti Fan on Monday, October 11, 2021 2:16 AM

Model Cars Magazine appears to be going through a resurgence and Model Car Builder presumably is still going as specialist magazines. There are others around however.

The only other general subject matter modelling magazines as well as FSM are Tamiya International and Airfix Modelworld. The Airfix one runs 12 copies a year but I do not know what yearly output is of of the Tamiya one. These are the only two others that I know of that are in English.

I guess all printed periodicals are going through a lot of change at present.

  • Member since
    September 2011
  • From: Milaca, Minnesota
Posted by falconmod on Monday, October 11, 2021 6:50 AM

I just hope since they are putting 2 months into each issue that the  issue gets a little thicker.

 

On the Bench: 1/72 Ki-67, 1/48 T-38

1/72 EF-111, 1/144 AC-130, 1/72 JL-8

  • Member since
    February 2005
  • From: Nashotah, WI
Posted by Glamdring on Monday, October 11, 2021 12:15 PM

falconmod

I just hope since they are putting 2 months into each issue that the  issue gets a little thicker.

 

 

My understanding is that the other content will be online only behind the subscriber pay wall, and the magazine is staying at the same page count.

Robert

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm." 

  • Member since
    January 2012
  • From: Cincinnati, OH
Posted by DanR1967 on Monday, October 11, 2021 1:22 PM

falconmod

I just hope since they are putting 2 months into each issue that the  issue gets a little thicker.

 

 

I had hoped for that after Scale Auto went away, but that did not happen. I don't expect a larger magazine to be published. I know that they are moving more content to the website and putting it behind a paywall, but for me, it's easy to read the magazine while sitting on the bowl. It's not so easy to rest a computer on your leg. Bowl time is the perfect time for some casual reading. You boys know what I'm talking about...

Dan

https://danr67.imgur.com/

  • Member since
    August 2020
  • From: Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia.
Posted by Dodgy on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 3:02 AM

rocketman2000

Do we need this discussion in both General Modeling and Ready Room?  I believe this forum is probably read by more followers than RR.  If folks agree I will lobby in RR to end the thread there.

 

 

I agree with you Don. Bring them both together.

I long to live in a world where chickens can cross the road without having their motives questioned

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 11:23 AM

Well, the basic subject is now a week old, and still not a peep from the admin/mods on the subject in either thread. 

 

F is for FIRE, That burns down the whole town!

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 11:39 AM

Dodgy
 
rocketman2000

Do we need this discussion in both General Modeling and Ready Room?  I believe this forum is probably read by more followers than RR.  If folks agree I will lobby in RR to end the thread there. 

I agree with you Don. Bring them both together. 

If we're talking about ending a thread, I would end the newer of the two as the duplicate of the original.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 12:46 PM

stikpusher

Well, the basic subject is now a week old, and still not a peep from the admin/mods on the subject in either thread. 

Well, Stik, we need to post a pair of (.)(.) here, this always gets their attention!

Ant THAT word is also censored here!

Sorry, couldn't hold myself from writing that! Have a nice day

Paweł

All comments and critique welcomed. Thanks for your honest opinions!

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    September 2021
Posted by DooeyPyle67 on Wednesday, October 13, 2021 7:44 PM

stikpusher

 

 
Bugatti Fan

FSM going down to 6 copies a year so shortly after 'absorbing' Scale Auto?  Hmmmm?

 

 

 

prepare to be assimilated... resistance is futile...

 

 

ROFL!!!!

  • Member since
    December 2020
Posted by Archimedes on Thursday, October 14, 2021 8:42 PM

I find it sad that nobody at FSM has the guts to defend this decision in the forum. 

I don't care if they reduce the number of issues per year.  I do care that this change was done without redress to the people who are the most ardent supporters of the magazine.

 

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