Kalmbach "Urgent Warning"

I got my renewal notice for Model Railroader in the mail today, and in the package was a small pink slip that said:
URGENT WARNING!
You may be contacted by unauthorized companies asking you to renew your subscription. Two that we are aware of are Publishers Service Exchange and United Publishers Network. These companies are NOT authorized to represent Kalmbach Publishing Go. and are NOT affiliated with us in any way. DO NOT RENEW your subscription with any phone solicitor. Authentic renewals will only come from a PO Box in Milwaukee or Waukesha, WI. Most importantly, do not give them your credit card information or payment of any kind.
Does anyone know what is the story behind this? Are they credit card scams, or is Kalmbach just concerned because they don't get as good of a cut from subscriptions through these companies as opposed to a direct subscription?
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I've gotten a lot of 'renewal notices' from 3rd party companies. Their prices are usually MUCH more than the publisher's own price. It may just be that Kalmbach doesn't get enough cut, but I rather believe that Kalmbach thinks this is a rip-off. What would be worse is if these are traps for credit card info, and they don't send you the magazine you paid for.
I don't know if any of this is the case, and I'm not interested in finding out :-(
            dave
Mark Mathu wrote:

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:

I've gotten a few of these.....from PSE. And promptly threw them in the trash can out by the mailboxes at our complex. It didn't take long to note that their subscription prices were higher than Kalmbach's!!!
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wrote : I've gotten a few of these.....from PSE. And promptly threw them in : the trash can out by the mailboxes at our complex. It didn't take : long to note that their subscription prices were higher than : Kalmbach's!!!
Has anyone bothered to ask Kalmbach just HOW these companies got the subscriber lists in the first place? Seems that they must of either stolen them or BOUGHT them...
Woody
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On 12/19/03 9:02 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@corp.supernews.com, "Woody"

Hello? Kalmbach sells their lists!
--

Brian Ehni


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Not sure that that is where it's from - I've been a Kalmbach subscriber for years and I've never seen anything from Publishers Service Exchange nor United Publishers Network.
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Another strange thing are the subscriptions of MR on Ebay. They sold for a lot less than the original Kalmbach subscription. Don't know, if they are still around. I sent MR an email about this phenomenon but never got an answer ...
Does anyone know more about those?
Regards,
George Werner Pflaum
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Do you know more about it? What company, what seller? If you want more, the least you could do is help out.
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a
are
the
I don't know a lot more about them - that is why I asked. Easily found another offer on Ebay: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item574656546&category )330
The offer I tried to find out more about in May was more expensive at the time: $ 24.95 - now the price is down to $ 18.95. Offer valid for US only. MR themselves charge $ 39.95. Go figure.
Regards,
George Werner Pflaum
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2003 11:39:27 +0100, "Werner-G.Pflaum"

No personal experience and I have no particulars but on one mailing list i subscribe to, one "member" obtained a subscription to Classic Toy Trains [Kalmbach Pub] via Ebay for a significantly lower price. He stated it took 3 months for the magazine to start showing up, but he didn't get ripped off.
Ray Hobin NMRA Life # 1735; TCA # HR-78-12540; ARHS # 2421 Durham, NC [Where tobacco was king; now The City of Medicine]
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FWIW That time lag might be a tip-off. Someone makes a deal with a publisher to take all their unsold/returned copies off their hands after the next issue comes out and then sells cheap subscriptions that will arrive at the subscriber's 2 to 3 months after the original publishers subscriptions. Of course, this is predicated on a magazine publisher being willing to sell unsold issues off cheap in bulk to re-coup their printing costs.
                            Bill Shuey
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FWIW That time lag might be a tip-off. Someone makes a deal with a publisher to take all their unsold/returned copies off their hands after the next issue comes out and then sells cheap subscriptions that will arrive at the subscriber's 2 to 3 months after the original publishers subscriptions. Of course, this is predicated on a magazine publisher being willing to sell unsold issues off cheap in bulk to re-coup their printing costs.
                            Bill Shuey
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FWIW That time lag might be a tip-off. Someone makes a deal with a publisher to take all their unsold/returned copies off their hands after the next issue comes out and then sells cheap subscriptions that will arrive at the subscriber's 2 to 3 months after the original publishers subscriptions. Of course, this is predicated on a magazine publisher being willing to sell unsold issues off cheap in bulk to re-coup their printing costs.
                            Bill Shuey
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Bill,
Your theory does not work. Unsold magazines do NOT have to be returned to Kalmbach - they just rip off the cover/masthead and mail those back within 6 months to get 'credit'. That is one reason you see old MR's with the top ripped off for 'free' at some hobby shops....they cannot be resold after getting credit....
Jim Bernier
"William H. Shuey" wrote:

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I found a site a few years ago that sold subs. and added a year to RMC. It was legit but took almost a year to register. The various publishing companies do send out low cost subscriptions to various venders. It like price loss leaders. It sometimes helps to increase readership. They don't like regular subscribers to find out about it however.
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Clambake sells it. They also sell your info if you register for the crappy website. Clambake = spambake.
wrote

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May not be a scam[ but more often than not it is!!!!], but you would pay more for the magazine than renewing directly

scams,
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If you got a renewal notice from them, your subscription must be running out.........in 9 months.

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I got this last year as well. IIRC, the Trains web page had a warning back around mid-2002 that somebody was using their magazines as part of a scam. I remember seeing the slips in the renewal around Xmas02 (when they send me mine).
Kennedy
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offers
problems,
after the

Theoretically true. But in this case, where a subscription is paid for and you start waiting and waiting ... for the first issue. You might well miss the deadline to reclaim your money. AFAIK, this is somewhere around 6 weeks. Still, even if it is longer, you might receive 1 or 2 issues ... thus, I don't really believe in disputes after a transaction. This is different for a regular auction, like a loco for $ 100, where you can expect it to arrive after a given time.
However, I am surprised to hear that those subsciptions seem to be ok. Big price difference, wow.
Regards,
George Werner Pflaum
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