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Subscription Renewal Just Isn't Worth It, IMHO

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  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: West of the rock and east of the hard place!
Subscription Renewal Just Isn't Worth It, IMHO
Posted by murph on Monday, October 23, 2023 2:36 PM

Kalmbach has been trying to get me to renew my subsription to FSM for about six months now.  In my opinion, the quality and content of the magazine has been steadily going downhill for some time.  I didn't mind paying for 11 printed issues per year but when they went down to six issues per year, with no change in price...um, no.  I used to look forward to getting the latest edition in the mail.  Now...yeah, not so much.

Add to that, in the most recent issue, there was only ONE article that piqued my curiousity.  I had no interest in any of the rest of the builds.

Next, the editors announce that the four digital issues they provided to subscribers are now being discontinued.  Nice.

Page 8 of the magazine is the New Products page.  All text.  No graphics to give any indication as to what these releases might look like.

The Reader Gallery is two pages with four entries and photos.  Brutal.

As a Canadian subscriber (I've been so for a LONG time), I can't justify spending close to $235 CDN for a three year subscription (~$16 per issue X 15 issues) to a magazine that has been dying a slow death for a while.  It just isn't worth it.  I'll keep an eye on at the newsstand and if a particular issues strikes my fancy, I might pick it up.

I'll stick around on the forums but I hate to say that I think that the print editon of FSM is becoming more irrelevant by the day.

Retired and living the dream!

  • Member since
    November 2008
  • From: Central Florida
Posted by plasticjunkie on Wednesday, October 25, 2023 1:45 PM

murph

Kalmbach has been trying to get me to renew my subsription to FSM for about six months now.  In my opinion, the quality and content of the magazine has been steadily going downhill for some time.  I didn't mind paying for 11 printed issues per year but when they went down to six issues per year, with no change in price...um, no.  I used to look forward to getting the latest edition in the mail.  Now...yeah, not so much.

Add to that, in the most recent issue, there was only ONE article that piqued my curiousity.  I had no interest in any of the rest of the builds.

Next, the editors announce that the four digital issues they provided to subscribers are now being discontinued.  Nice.

Page 8 of the magazine is the New Products page.  All text.  No graphics to give any indication as to what these releases might look like.

The Reader Gallery is two pages with four entries and photos.  Brutal.

As a Canadian subscriber (I've been so for a LONG time), I can't justify spending close to $235 CDN for a three year subscription (~$16 per issue X 15 issues) to a magazine that has been dying a slow death for a while.  It just isn't worth it.  I'll keep an eye on at the newsstand and if a particular issues strikes my fancy, I might pick it up.

I'll stick around on the forums but I hate to say that I think that the print editon of FSM is becoming more irrelevant by the day.

 

I share your opinion. I haven't renewed in years and with the reduction of issues is just another negative in my book. 

 GIFMaker.org_jy_Ayj_O

 

 

Too many models to build, not enough time in a lifetime!!

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: West of the rock and east of the hard place!
Posted by murph on Saturday, October 28, 2023 4:58 PM

As an addendum, I got an e-mail from FSM customer service the other day informing me that 'Time is running out' and that 'There's still time to renew at our Low Rate...'.  I replied to that e-mail with the text from my post here and received a canned reply informing me that "Thank you for contacting the Fine Scale Modeler customer service team. We have received your e-mail message and have assigned it to one of our team members for follow-up. You will receive a follow-up reply as soon as possible."  Haven't heard from anyone (Mr. Kidwell, Mr. Skinner, Customer Service, etc) yet to that e-mail or my post in this forum.

Kinda makes me wonder how much of a valued customer I really am?

Retired and living the dream!

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: West of the rock and east of the hard place!
Posted by murph on Sunday, October 29, 2023 2:04 PM

Amazing!

I got an e-mail from FSM Costomer Service that included the following text:

"...FineScale Modeler appreciates your business and is committed to your satisfaction with our services.

Our records indicate that FineScale Modeler Customer Service responded to a question or request on your behalf. We would like to invite you to use our Customer Service Survey to provide feedback on your experience and quality of service. Your evaluation of our performance is extremely valuable and will help us be more responsive to your future needs."  The only problem is, they never sent any e-mail other than the one attempting to have me renew my subscription and the one noted above.  There has been no response to my corresondence about why I won't be renewing.  Does the left hand talk to the right hand at Kalmbach or FSM?  Just curious.

I responded to the survey like they asked and included this in my reply:

'I received this survey in an e-mail which stated "Our records indicate that FineScale Modeler Customer Service responded to a question or request on your behalf."  Only mail I got from FSM was to advise my subscription about to expire, encouraging me to renew.  I sent e-mail to say why I wouldn't renew and I got no reply except an invitation to complete this survey.  There have been no messages addressing my concerns about me non-renewal.  Don't ask me to rate customer service when I haven't received any.'  Like I asked above does the left hand talk to the right?  Apparently not.  No wonder they appear to be in trouble.

Retired and living the dream!

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Sunday, October 29, 2023 4:24 PM

I'd be curious to see the survey questions sent to you.

 

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

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: West of the rock and east of the hard place!
Posted by murph on Monday, October 30, 2023 2:27 PM

stikpusher

I'd be curious to see the survey questions sent to you.

Stik...it was a very short survey.  Kinda kicking myself in the pants for not doing a screenshot before submitting it.  Going from memory, it was something like this:

From a drop down menu, why did you contact FSM Customer Service?  I chose 'Other' and wrote reasons for not renewing my subscription in the blank area provided.

On a scale of 1-10, how likely are you to recommend a subscription to FSM? I gave them a three.

Rate your level of satisfaction with FSM Customer Service.  I gave them a zero.

Please provide a reason for this rating.  In the box provided, I wrote:

Only mail I got from FSM was to advise my subscription about to expire, encouraging me to renew.  I sent e-mail to say why I wouldn't renew and I got no reply except an invitation to complete this survey.  There have been no messages addressing my concerns about my non-renewal.  Don't ask me to rate customer service when I haven't received any.

This isn't exact but you get the gist of it.

Retired and living the dream!

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: West of the rock and east of the hard place!
Posted by murph on Friday, November 10, 2023 7:38 PM

Still nothing from Customer Service, Mr. Kidwell or the editorial Staff.  Kind of shows me how much of a "valued customer" I really am, or was, in their eyes.

Retired and living the dream!

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Monday, November 13, 2023 1:20 PM

murph

As a Canadian subscriber (I've been so for a LONG time), I can't justify spending close to $235 CDN for a three year subscription (~$16 per issue X 15 issues) to a magazine that has been dying a slow death for a while.  It just isn't worth it.  I'll keep an eye on at the newsstand and if a particular issues strikes my fancy, I might pick it up.

I just went back and re read this whole thread. Just curious, but what is the cover price for a copy of the print magazine in your locale? $16 seems quite steep for a single magazine cover price. Is that what retailers currently charge per issue? 

 

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

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    January 2003
  • From: West of the rock and east of the hard place!
Posted by murph on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 12:16 PM

I have no idea what an issue would cost at the news stand.  I haven't bought one since I've been a subscriber, well over 15 years.  Also take into the consideration that the Canadian dollar is taking a real beating against the U.S dollar.  35% on the dollar is not an unreasonable exchange rate.  Further, shipping / handling fees are obnoxious too.

Retired and living the dream!

  • Member since
    May 2009
  • From: Poland
Posted by Pawel on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 2:46 PM

For example in Poland you would have to pay an equivalent of over 22$ to get the September/October issue...

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

www.vietnam.net.pl

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 9:47 PM

I didn't think of prices outside the USA. But for those prices, that's about what you'd pay for an Osprey book from the Duel, Campaign, or Vanguard series.

 

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

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    June 2006
  • From: Asheville,NC
Posted by georgebluhm on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 8:25 AM

Hi everyone, I do not post much here. I am 71 years old and have been building most of my life. I am retired now after 45 years in customer service. I recently subscribed for 1 year and glad it was for that long. when I got my Nov./Dec 23 issue, I was very disappointed. I look forward to the new products section, and it was 1 page with no pics. FSM seems more wanting to sell ads than put in articles and tips for us to build better models.

I will not be renewing !!!

  • Member since
    December 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 11:43 AM

Same, I may look at some of the pictures, but I probably read less than the captions and maybe an article every so often.

But, this goes for many of my magazines that often come in the mail. Sports Illustrated, yeah, that often does not even get opened. An AARP magazine usually goes straight to the recycle bin. VFW magazine gets looked at for some veteran war story, usually a Vietnam era vet. AAA magazine I might open it if I plan on traveling somewhere soon.

I get a Springfield Armory magazine, I give it to my brother-in-law without opening it. Countless other magzine type items never get looked at.

I know I also get Yankee magazine and a New England magazine that I'll give to my mother-in-law. Once upon a time I had subscriptions to those magazines as gifts and every so often they will send me a magazine in hopes I resubscribe.

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 12:20 PM

stikpusher

I just went back and re read this whole thread. Just curious, but what is the cover price for a copy of the print magazine in your locale? $16 seems quite steep for a single magazine cover price. Is that what retailers currently charge per issue? 

 
That's an excellent question, Stik!  The cover shows $8.99, but I'll have to look at the supermarket the next time I go, and see if they're charging the same, more, or discounting it.
 
We need to remember, too, that the subscription price includes postage, taxes, and fees, as applicable.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    July 2004
  • From: Sonora Desert
Posted by stikpusher on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 2:27 PM

the Baron

 

 
stikpusher

I just went back and re read this whole thread. Just curious, but what is the cover price for a copy of the print magazine in your locale? $16 seems quite steep for a single magazine cover price. Is that what retailers currently charge per issue? 

 

 

 
That's an excellent question, Stik!  The cover shows $8.99, but I'll have to look at the supermarket the next time I go, and see if they're charging the same, more, or discounting it.
 
We need to remember, too, that the subscription price includes postage, taxes, and fees, as applicable.
 

When I used to subscribe, the subscription price was a good discount off of the cover price. Lets say it was something like 20% off, give or take a few percentage points. Longer subscriptions gave a higher discount, thus the advantage of not having to pay cover price, plus waiting for the LHS or seller to have the magazine in stock. But if the cost now is what Murph here was saying... yikes!

 

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

U is for URANIUM... BOMBS!

N is for NO SURVIVORS...

       - Plankton

LSM

 

  • Member since
    October 2016
  • From: Louisiana Gulf South
Posted by Mrchntmarine on Wednesday, November 15, 2023 5:18 PM

Dropped my sub awhile back.  Kept getting thinner & thinner.  Dont hold your breath on C/S in my opinion.  Glad i save a bunch of back issues & all the issues i bought on a CD - 2008 to 2017 issues

Keep on modeling!

All the best,

William

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Thursday, November 16, 2023 8:05 AM

Yeah, mine's up for renewal, too, and every time it comes up, I do think it over.  This time around, I'm leaning toward not renewing, either.

I don't mind content on subjects I don't build.  I have always approached modeling publications, and clubs, with the viewpoint that I might not build a given subject, but I can still appreciate the skill that went in to building a particular model.  Same goes for the magazine.

But as others have pointed out, the content sure seems to have gotten thinner over the years, accelerating particularly since COVID and the lockdowns.

That the "downloadable content" is being discontinued made me ask, is that content going to show up in the hardcopy?  If it is, then we haven't lost anything, in this case.  If it's not, though, then we're getting that much less for our money.

I have meant to buy the CDs, too, to have as an archive.  Maybe it's time not to renew, and put the money towards that.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    March 2007
  • From: Northeast WA State
Posted by armornut on Thursday, November 16, 2023 8:34 AM

    Hi all, Armornut is making a command decsion that unfortunatly I won't be re upping either. 

     I know that there are apps that will stop the pop up adds, but I am tired of " working" and finding a " solution" to simply pist a pic or even a response to threads...3 pop ups so far just typing this.

     I really enjoyed the interactions with the people here and feel I have been a real help to some however, the adds, log in issues, pic posting and cost for content has made the FSM site less enjoyable.

     I hope thaf the powers that be can pivot, rebuild, and return as a site worthy of my time and subsription money. I also hope they continue to pist You Tube content as it is fun and informative....and free.

     If anybody wants to find me I will be found stumbling around at MSC under the name Armornutii. Good luck y'all and happy modelling.

we're modelers it's what we do

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Friday, November 17, 2023 7:46 AM

I loved FSM as a kid and have also noticed the decline. As far as content goes, not a biggy for me as I would buy some of the issues just for the cover art Stick out tongue.

Let's face it folks, it's a changed world. Producing a paper magaize in a digital based, inter-web landscape, is very challenging. I am sure there is a marked reduction, 80 % or so I would guess, in people contributing articles, tips, gallery items and the like as well. I might just re-subscribe to help em out and send in a few tips. 

Happy  Modeling.

On the Bench: Too Much

  • Member since
    September 2006
  • From: Bethlehem PA
Posted by the Baron on Friday, November 17, 2023 9:27 AM

armornut

    Hi all, Armornut is making a command decsion that unfortunatly I won't be re upping either. 

     I know that there are apps that will stop the pop up adds, but I am tired of " working" and finding a " solution" to simply pist a pic or even a response to threads...3 pop ups so far just typing this.

     I really enjoyed the interactions with the people here and feel I have been a real help to some however, the adds, log in issues, pic posting and cost for content has made the FSM site less enjoyable.

     I hope thaf the powers that be can pivot, rebuild, and return as a site worthy of my time and subsription money. I also hope they continue to pist You Tube content as it is fun and informative....and free.

     If anybody wants to find me I will be found stumbling around at MSC under the name Armornutii. Good luck y'all and happy modelling.

I think you're conflating renewing our subscriptions to the magazine with participating in the forum.  The two things aren't related in any way; you don't need to subscribe to FSM to access the forum.  I don't think any of us are planning to stop participating in the forum.

The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen.

 

 

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Friday, November 17, 2023 10:12 AM

My sub recently autorenewed without any warning or emails. Kinda shady if you ask me to do it that way. I like having the mag, but I am worried they will up and pull another Scale Auto on us here and POOF, its gone. The fact that they dropped the digital portion of the sub is also quite concerning. I guess I'll see how this year goes and decide from there. But ya, not overly thrilled with the way it's all being done ATM.

BK

On the bench:

A lot !! And I mean A LOT!!

2024 Kits on deck / in process / completed   

                         14 / 5 / 2  

                              Tongue Tied

  • Member since
    April 2003
  • From: USA
Posted by keavdog on Friday, November 17, 2023 11:50 AM

I'm not renewing.  I think March is my last issue.  Love the magazine, don't trust the organization any longer since they did a bait and switch with cutting the number of issues and promising digital issues, which I was okay with and appreciated the content and production - and then they revoked that.

 

Thanks,

John

  • Member since
    May 2004
  • From: Land of Lakes
Posted by cbaltrin on Monday, November 20, 2023 7:07 AM

cbaltrin

I loved FSM as a kid and have also noticed the decline. As far as content goes, not a biggy for me as I would buy some of the issues just for the cover art Stick out tongue.

Let's face it folks, it's a changed world. Producing a paper magaize in a digital based, inter-web landscape, is very challenging. I am sure there is a marked reduction, 80 % or so I would guess, in people contributing articles, tips, gallery items and the like as well. I might just re-subscribe to help em out and send in a few tips. 

Happy  Modeling.

 

 
You know what's funny, I must have re-subscribed (after about 10 years) to FSM a few months ago and forgot, and the day after I post the above, I get my first copy in the mail.  Have not had much of a chance to go through it yet, but I did hit the reader gallery and it actually was not bad...

On the Bench: Too Much

  • Member since
    June 2014
Posted by BrandonK on Monday, November 20, 2023 9:40 AM

The mag itself isn't all that bad. A bit too many subjects, but they are trying to cover all the bases with members. I'm just not pleased with how they keep reducing what we get. I would like to see some sort of special perks for being a subbed reader here on the forums. We should get some sort of special ability or frills on the site to help make us "readers" feel more special when we log in. Just a thought.

BK

On the bench:

A lot !! And I mean A LOT!!

2024 Kits on deck / in process / completed   

                         14 / 5 / 2  

                              Tongue Tied

  • Member since
    May 2008
  • From: San Francisco Bay Area
Posted by pcengine on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 12:42 AM

murph

Kalmbach has been trying to get me to renew my subsription to FSM for about six months now.  In my opinion, the quality and content of the magazine has been steadily going downhill for some time.  I didn't mind paying for 11 printed issues per year but when they went down to six issues per year, with no change in price...um, no.  I used to look forward to getting the latest edition in the mail.  Now...yeah, not so much.

Add to that, in the most recent issue, there was only ONE article that piqued my curiousity.  I had no interest in any of the rest of the builds.

Next, the editors announce that the four digital issues they provided to subscribers are now being discontinued.  Nice.

Page 8 of the magazine is the New Products page.  All text.  No graphics to give any indication as to what these releases might look like.

The Reader Gallery is two pages with four entries and photos.  Brutal.

As a Canadian subscriber (I've been so for a LONG time), I can't justify spending close to $235 CDN for a three year subscription (~$16 per issue X 15 issues) to a magazine that has been dying a slow death for a while.  It just isn't worth it.  I'll keep an eye on at the newsstand and if a particular issues strikes my fancy, I might pick it up.

I'll stick around on the forums but I hate to say that I think that the print editon of FSM is becoming more irrelevant by the day.

 

 I called for a clarication on the renewal terms as my upcoming May/June issue will be my last issue.  The reponse is that the subscription is per year and the number of issues are subject to change. I expressed my concern that I, as a subsriber, I have no control if the magzine decides just to reduce the number of issues per year at will.  They can just become a quaertly magazine without telling the subsribers.  I think they probably will go quarterly later this year...  I have been a subscriber since 2010.  It is unlikely I will renew as the May/June 2024 issue probably will be my last FSM in the mail.

  • Member since
    January 2011
Posted by Bugatti Fan on Tuesday, February 6, 2024 9:55 AM

Scale Auto was my 'go to' magazine at one time and it was a pity it got axed and  'absorbed' into FSM. The online gallery that so many contributed to on it gone in a flash when the magazine finished.

Seen a number of one subject modelling magazines get 'absorbed' into another general modelling  magazine title and the content quickly dwindle to almost nothing having to jostle for position with all the other unrelated content.

Scale model magazine production has always been a bit of a fickle world and I have seen quite a number come and go over the years. The internet now being the main challenge with so many dedicated forums to access.

  • Member since
    November 2023
Posted by Trid1977 on Monday, February 19, 2024 8:08 AM

thanks for this letter. I'm also canadian. I can buy issues that look interesting for $12 (Canadian $) at the store. I usually don't buy every issue. I started to look into subscribing, but it never indicates whether it's US or CDN $. I'm guessing US. Which, even if I wanted every issue - it's less at the grocery store.

Tags: subscription
  • Member since
    March 2003
  • From: Western North Carolina
Posted by Tojo72 on Tuesday, February 20, 2024 8:54 AM

$12 an issue,that's why paper magazines are going the way of the dinosaur,I just won't do it,not for any magazine.

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