Rodale Forces A Calendar On Its Customers [Consumer]

by on December 31, 2009

in consumer

A product review, sort of.† Do you remember back in September of 2009 how I lamented the fact that Rodale Spammed my†inbox with literally hundreds of SPAM, I mean marketing material from ALL†their partners?† Rodale does provide a means to opt-out of an email, but you need to do it for each client.† Rodale reps MANY clients and it took a while to opt-out of everything.† (3 months later, Iím still getting the sporadic offer I didnít catch earlier.)† Rodale: Live Your Whole Life..† (opting out of junk email!!!)

All this for just signing up to participate in a blog on Runnerís World.

Now Rodale gave me something new to vent / warn / apprise you about.

Last week we received a completely unsolicited calendar in the mail.† Itís a Runnerís World calendar and itís pretty awesome, execpt… um, the calendar just showed up out of the blue.† No one asked for it.

At first we thought that it accompanied our subscription to Runnerís World magazine.† But we were quickly corrected when we got the unsolicited bill for ~$20 for the unsolicited calendar.† TWENTY BUCKS!!!† (And you can pick it up for under $10 on Amazon*.† Huh?)

Did I mention the calendar was unsolicited?

So again, Rodale strikes with their SPAM technique, but this time itís in the U.S. Postal sytem mail.† Now Rodale has forced me to have to make an extra trip to the post office to return the fracking thing.

On the bright side, we were provided with a return label so that the only thing this strong-arm technique debacle will only cost us the time to get to the Post Office and the time to rewrap it.

My Opinion On The Matter (You knew this was coming!)

This technique to force a product on you and then send you a bill is rather insidious.† If someone can afford it, and is lazy enough, theyíve got themselves a calendar.† And I bet Rodale does this with other products they represent, in the hopes people are too lazy to take action to return an item.

My first bit of advice is, at least for myself, to avoid anything I can that Rodale represents.† I just didnít know what I was in for when I signed up for a mere blog, or getting a simple subscription.† Cripes.

Despite my link to Amazon to the Runner’s World 2010 Deluxe Wall Calendar, I would be remiss as your chosen consumer advocate to not mention a customerís review at the bottom of the Amazon†page that says the items were perfect but they were charged $18 for shipping on 3 items sent in the same shipment.† Zing!† And Rodale strikes again!?

Runnerís World:† Do yourself a favor and get another rep company.† Every day I find something new to turn a critical eye to when it comes to Rodale!

Rodale:† There are much better ways to interact with your customer base than to strong arm us with SPAM email and unsolicited products you try to trick us into buying.† (Trick is the term used to say you, Rodale, hope your customer is too lazy or not strapped for cash to pay you for this stunt.)

SoB Consumers:† As you, the consumer, donít let yourself be hoodwinked by these strong arm techniques.† It Is Your Money!† Take the initiative.† Make the right calls or send the right emails to correct the problem.† Take the moment to send the item back.† Then celebrate by taking that extra $$ you would have spent and hit up your favorite restaurant to celebrate beating the system.† Yea, I get emotionally even by giving that money to someone else.† HA!† Or put it to the piggy bank or a bill, if you must be completely practical.† There’s nothing wrong with practical.

Regardless, donít let yourself get hoodwinked.† Nothing good is for free.† Especially, in this case, unsolicited products received†from Rodale.

Brought to you by your Consumer Advocate reporter, Bruce E. Simmons.

Runner’s World 2010 Deluxe Wall Calendar ;Runner’s World (1-year subscription) on AMAZON

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Victoria April 19, 2015 at 11:23 am

Hi guys, I realize this is an old, old post, but I found it by accident. The same thing happened to me… I subscribed to Runner’s World for years, and then one year they sent me the calendar. Except, they also expected me to pay to ship it back if I didn’t want to buy it. I ignored everything, and eventually started getting threatening letters in invoices asking for the payment. I did some research and found out that in the province where I live (Ontario), according to the consumer protection act, it is actually illegal to request payment for unsolicited goods. I quote the Delivery of Goods section of the government website here: “You also canít be charged for receiving an item or service that you did not request. You can use the item or throw it away.”
I wrote a lengthy letter to Rodale reminding them that they had actually broken the law (probably thousands of times), and thanking them very much for the free calendar, and also thanking them in advance for ceasing all of the threats. At the time, I was also working for a very well-known retail chain specializing in athletic and running clothing, and so I informed them that it is so unfortunate that they annoyed me the way they did, because of the influence my opinions had in the running community in our city.
They left me alone, and I eventually cancelled the magazine too, which kinda sucks because I loved it and I miss it, but I just don’t want to bother with dealing with this kind of thing again. (That and the fact that at the time they would continue to bill me unless I cancelled the magazine- rather than cancelling my magazine at the end of my subscription and requiring me to actively choose to re-order it which bothered me as well.)
Figure out your consumer protection laws in your area, and you might end up with some freebies! ūüôā

Bruce Simmons September 4, 2010 at 9:02 am

Once you opt out Judy, they’re pretty good about adhering to the policy. The only time that changes is if you sign up for another magazine website. After Runner’s World, about 18 mo’s later, I signed up for Men’s Health. Grroooan. Because I resign up, I had a chance to “experience” the fun all over again, though I think they realized how bad we viewed the spamming and the experience wasn’t as prolific as before.

And yes, if you go to “Runner’s World” and scroll to the very bottom, you’ll see a “Rodale” link down there…

Judy September 4, 2010 at 8:40 am

Totally agree about Rodale and their spamming techniques! It was ridiculous how much email I was getting from them last year. Like you, I opted out of the emails…several of them. But it didn’t take that long to be completely removed since they sent an email literally every day. After a week of opt-outs, I was home free. I wonder if Runner’s World is still working with them? I haven’t gotten a Rodale email or snail mail in quite some time.

kle January 6, 2010 at 7:02 pm

Ugh…Wish I’d come across this post before I signed up for something from Rodale a few months ago (a free pdf download, I think). I have been getting bombarded ever since. I keep unsubscribing but it hasn’t even slowed! It’s ridiculous. Luckily, it’s not my primary email, but I’m also not prepared to give it up because of spam from one company. If they try and send me an unsolicited calendar too, I’m going to be seriously annoyed.

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