The con job that is India Today magazine subscriptions!!

Posted: May 8, 2009 in Uncategorized
Tags: ,

India’s leading magazine, India Today, may have a great reputation on the content side, but they are a perfect fraud with regards to their promises on the subscriptions front.

I must share a rather pathetic experience that I have had.

At the time of subscription purchase, there are a lot of lures. Free gifts and the like. I went ahead and subscribed. An email of confirmation came sometime later. Interestingly it was from an email id that was called “WE CARE”. That must be the biggest irony. The more appropriate one should have been “WE DO NOT CARE”!!

It was at the point of receiving this email that I discovered that the ‘free gift’ with the subscription will only come 12-14 weeks later!! Can you imagine? In this world of e-commerce, courier delivery etc., they need 12 to 14 WEEKS to deliver the gift?? What world are they living in?

I realized later that their game was about subscribers forgetting that a gift was ever promised. I mean, how many of us would remember after 12-14 weeks? And in that assumption that people will not remember, is their business model, perhaps!

Well, when I read that long delivery schedule and having a calendar handy (Google Calendar), I put a note for myself. And after the full 14 weeks had gone by, there was no sign of the gift. So I decided to write back to the “WE CARE” (lol) id of India Today. They must have been surprised that someone actually remembered about the gift! Taken by surprise, they kept a polite facade and proposed that it will take another 4-5 weeks to deliver. Okay! 12-14 weeks was obviously not enough. They are not tuned in for “express delivery” it was clear 🙂 So they needed another 4-5 weeks.

I was not happy. I made it amply clear. The oh-so-polite “WE CARE” chap apologised a plenty, and promised that it will reach definitely in 4-5 weeks. So now as I write this post, those 5 weeks are up. And there is certainly no sign of the gift. Looks like someone has seen through their game. They did not have any plan for any gift at all, after all?!

With the holier than thou reputation that the magazine claims to have, we now know the goings on behind the scene. What shocks me is the absolute lack of fredom to act, for their executives. I mean, how many people are likely to take up the case for a gift as strongly as I did? All it took was to find a way to send a gift across to me, even if it was completely out of the system, just to “shut me up”. But that liberty was obviously not given to them.

Clearly an old economy company which does not get the new realities. I read recently a report that quoted Aroon Purie, head of India Today, saying that they do not expect to make more investments into Digital media. Obviously not. They don’t get it!

  1. […] I feel frustrated as well as sad. How the mighty brand has sunk to a low-low!! In continuation with my earlier post on the subject, I would like to reproduce the chronological details of the sorry saga. The […]

  2. Lakshmi Raja says:

    I am not sure whether such a reputed group can resort to such low level. It could be a straight case of not giving importance to logistics. To save money on delivery I think they might be using a real snail post.

    Anyway I just placed an order for 1 year subscription of India Today magazine after going through their current offer at

    Will report here if I don’t get the gift.

    • Sanjay Mehta says:

      My frustration was much after giving them all the benefit of doubt. It does not take 6 months even by snail mail!
      As for you, I can only wish you luck about getting the gift…

  3. Was planning a post on this- they also send unsolicited sweepstakes offers, Mails that you’ve won a free gift-which is-you’ll get huge discount on some crappy products and other such spam. May be they’ve started digging their own grave?

  4. kamesh says:

    you guys seems to be lucky that you have an email of india today to contac!

    it is unfortunate that i can’t lolcate a damn email to contact about the payment i made via credit card few months ago. nothing came in yet.

    22 aug ’09

  5. sandipan says:

    I must say “its a typical INDIAN MENTALITY TO COMPLAIN ON THE FREE GIFTS NOTbeing offered but not to look on the brighter side as the knowledge gained through it”.
    I have read your post and i completely agree with your point of view.
    but judging a brand with its minute mistakes is wrong.
    People all over India subscribe to this magazine not just to avail free gifts but to read the articles and advertisements appearing in the magazine.
    So from my point of view you should not look at things differently as the benefits you are receiving by reading one of the top branded magazines in India is much more worthy then the free gifts.
    These are made by any company present in the market or promotion.

    • Sanjay Mehta says:

      What nationality are you? What is this mention of “typical Indian mentality”? Why are you distancing yourself such?
      I have sold to global customers, and rest assured, EVERY customer in the world wants what is promised to him, what is due to him. Without exceptions. So do not allege or condemn Indians in this manner. It is very offensive.

      Further the problem is with the brand that is India Today. If they do not have any clue about managing a logistics process, WHY get into this whole charade? The brand takes a beating, no matter how great their editorial content may be!

      And these are not just “bonus” free gifts. These are promotional lures that brands offer, to get you to subscribe. These are not just something they hand over to you, when you least expected. If their brand was really that strong that they did not have to give these, they would have not required to use these freebies. That they need the freebies to get people to sign up, also puts the onus on them to deliver the freebies. And to have their left hand know what the right hand is doing!!

  6. I am also a subscriber of India Today Group’s Readers Digest, I have first subscribed on May 2009 now it is December but still now I have not get a single free gift as promised at the time of first subscription. I have send so many reminders but thay hsve not send a free gift, They are sending letters every month for sweepstakes Prize of 26 Lacs but not yet send any gift to me. I will not renew my subscription. They are cheater I would like to inform everybody do not take a new subscriptio because they will not fulfil their promise.

    S Ganguly.

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