OFFICIAL REPLY - Subs
I put the subscription and delivery questions to Hugo and his Subs Manager was kind enough to explain how it all works as well as the problems they face. I have permission to place the letter here provided it is unamended, so here goes:
Good afternoon Charles
You may recall we spoke, when the last issue came out, about late/non delivery to Jersey.
Hugo has passed your email on to me as he felt that as the bod responsible, I could explain the situation regarding RIB's distribution more easily than he could.
Over the last few months, the increasing strength of our title has enabled us to forge two significant partnerships.
The first was with Air Business, one of the UK's leading postal distribution companies who take our complete world wide subscription list and guarantee a maximum 5 - 7 working day delivery. We have found this service reliable (less reports of missing copies) and on time. Regrettably, we have found that the inland mail delivery by Royal Mail is one of the slowest of the many world wide mail delivery services, but currently, there is no viable alternative.
Our other strategic partnership is with Comag - who provide a guaranteed 3 day distribution to retail outlets. We have been fortunate to acquire their services which in itself is a vote of confidence in our title. However, as you are perhaps now starting to realise, this has caused a problem - Comag can, in several areas, supply the newsstand before Air Business/Royal Mail can deliver the subscriber copies. It appears, after enquiry, that this is a common complaint amongst independent publishers.
Hugo and Michaela are firmly committed to the furtherance of the 'RIB' message and the well-being of the industry, and do not feel it would be fair to our loyal advertisers to delay the distribution of newsstand issues until after we can be certain that all subscriber issues have been delivered.
I do, of course, take on board your desire to get your RIB International 'fix' as early as possible - it is a lovely compliment.
I remain, at all times, very alert to the changes in distribution and am always conscious of my responsibility to provide both the subscribers and the newsstand purchasers with their product in good order, in good time and with good regularity.
I hope you now understand a little of my seemingly intractable problem and are now happy in the knowledge that you will always get your favourite magazine delivered to your door, at a saving on the cover price, and will never have to experience, as a non-subscriber, the incredible frustration of your local shop being 'sold out'.
I can now understand the problems they face, so I will wait patiently for the Royal Mail.