A National Collection Agency
751 Summa Avenue • Westbury, N.Y. 11590
ACCOUNT STATUS: DELINQUENT
Dr Mr Jake _______,
We are a collection agency and our business is to collect. But we are also in the business of helping to resolve problems which (sic) occasionally arise between publications and their subscribers.
MEN’S HEALTH has informed us that you have not paid for your subscription. They would rather keep you as a satisfied subscriber than have to consider further collection notifications.
Send your payment in the amount of $19.97 and we will report that payment to our client. Your account will be cleared and you will receive the remaining issues in your original subscription.
Mail your check, payable to North Shore Agency, in the enclosed envelope.
THIS IS AN ATTEMPT TO COLLECT A DEBT AND ANY INFORMATION OBTAINED WILL BE USED FOR THAT PURPOSE.
1234 NoFo Road
Chicago, IL 60600
North Shore Agency, Inc.
751 Summa Avenue
Westbury, N.Y. 11590
Mr. or Ms. Sullivan:
A collection agency. For a canceled magazine subscription. Wow.
So here’s the deal:
• I mailed my free-issue-of-Men’s-Health response card a couple months ago.
• I got my free issue and quickly remembered exactly why I let my previous subscription expire (puerile heterocentrist copywriting, clumsily homoerotic photography (to keep both subscriber demographics happy, no doubt), that jaw-droppingly-stupid “Ask Jimmy the Bartender” column, etc. etc. etc.).
• I politely mailed my “please cancel” notice when the bill came.
• I politely mailed yet another “please cancel” notice when the first threatening letter came.
• I figured if the unskilled laborers at Men’s Health can’t manage the simple task of data entry when it comes to canceling subscriptions, it’s really not my problem if they keep wasting postage trying to contact me about it. So I simply threw away the next five or so invoices that cluttered up my mailbox.
And then your letter arrives, full of vaguely ominous threats rendered in all caps and 36-point bold Arial. (Brrrr! Hear that? It’s my spine tingling!)
So now it’s come to this. I’ll type this part slowly so you can read it:
I’ve canceled this subscription TWICE. I’m now writing you a third time to cancel yet again. You people never spring for postage. Do you KNOW how much stamps cost these days?
And here’s the important part. Pay attention. (Just a few more sentences. You can do it!)
I have ended this business-consumer relationship in accordance with the terms of your free trial offer. I owe you nothing. I will pay you nothing.
You are hereby commanded to register me as a canceled (and increasingly disgruntled) subscriber. In every database you have. Every. Last. Database. And you are hereby forbidden to contact me on this matter again. Got it? Good. Now go drink your milk and wash up for your nap.
P.S. “They would rather keep you as a satisfied subscriber than have to consider further collection notifications.” Amen to THAT! Nobody wants to suffer the unmitigated horror of further collection notifications. Nobody.