Reader’s Digest Cares!

Addendum 2010/11/17

Text of a conversation with RD representative – someone actually cares!

Well now – don’t that beat all! 

Who’d ever have thought it would happen, that you could complain semi-anonymously over the Internet, and lo and behold, somebody cares!  You read of course that I enjoy RD, and you should know that I’ve never found anything objectionable in the content of RD or the “books” and gifts and so on.  It’s just that, and my sister and wife and I all agree on this, the books and gifts my mother gets are mostly on nutrition and health, and after awhile all those books say pretty much the same thing:  Eat healthy, exercise, enjoy life, laugh, love, get plenty of sleep and take your vitamins and you’ll live long.  I mean, that’s what all of us try to do I think, at least those of us who aren’t out there leading hedonistic life-styles, burning the candle at both ends so to speak.  I was there once, and perhaps you were as well.

But, I still sternly object to solicitors bothering an old lady over the phone, one deserving of our respect and admiration for being a “self-made” woman.  She’s a great example for my sister and I, and all the folks she knows, especially the ones who work for her – they admire her to no end.  I got a chance to speak with her plumber the other day, and this fellow just admires the heck out of my mom.  Her condition, the Alzheimer’s, limits her faculties now, but not her personality.  She’s still the effervescent gal she always was, just can’t remember what she was doing 5 minutes ago (like we all don’t experience that several times a day, no?).

So, I would indeed appreciate if you all down there at RD would curb your enthusiasm for selling in (her) this instance, and stop pestering my mom over the phone for all that (mostly) useless stuff.

My mother:

Beverly B.

My sister is Trustee of her estate, and has full power of attorney.  I have nothing but a voice which I choose to use and rant and rave sometimes.  If you like, I’ll publish this entire conversation (less my mother’s personal info) as an “addendum” to that blog article.  It’s always interesting to me when somebody cares as I said.  After all, that’s what matters: caring about others and treating them as you want to be treated, eh?Thanks so much.


-Scott deBeaubien
Denver, CO

ps.  Even before you wrote, I was pretty sure we’d always have subscriptions to RD – you needn’t worry about that!

Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2010 12:31:01 -0600
Subject: Mother’s Account 

Dear Mr DeBeaubien:
Your blog regarding your Mother’s account was forwarded to my attention.
I would be happy to check your Mother’s accounts for you, and stop future mailings and calls to her regarding our products and magazines.  We can also stop future orders from being processed on her account.
If you would reply with your mother’s name and mailing address, I will research her accounts.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Marsha R.
Customer Care
Reader’s Digest
Now, here’s my original post that was forwarded to Marsh R. @ RD (the original title of my blog post was “Reader’s Digest Latest Scams”):

I confess I like to read Reader’s Digest (RD) just like the rest of you.  However, and this is HUGE, I sternly object to their recent policies of targeting older folks such as my mother with never-ending campaigns to get them to spend large amounts of money on worthless books and other “awards.”  I was in California recently and in the span of a week witnessed a book being delivered from RD every day!  Then, I saw my mother’s bill for these “awards” and “Customer appreciation gifts:”  $195!  And that was just a single month!  My mother is elderly, and she has Alzheimer’s and she doesn’t always remember that she’s already signed up for some special program from RD, so they often bill her twice for the same thing.

We also have a subscription to RD, as does my sister, since they ask her if anybody else would like a “gift” subscription.  Gads, we’re the only ones I know about, I hope there’s nobody else!  But they trick her using every slimy sales technique in the book.  They call her every day and ask her to renew her subscription for something or other, and lacking proper memory facilities, she often just goes ahead and renews – no matter what it is – over the phone.  RD is just one of those nasty organizations that does that to her.  My sister told me that mom gave donations to the Democratic Party – 4 days in a row!  Can you imagine the nerve of those people?  I have some choice words for them, but I’ll try to be nice and just tell them to “LEAVE MY MOM THE HECK ALONE!”

Mom’s phone number is on the National Do Not Call List which helps prevent solicitors from calling her, unless it’s for “renewals” or those silly award programs, and it also doesn’t prevent charities (SPCA, World Wildlife Fund, etc…)  from calling her.  I try to teach her to just say “NO!” but for now, we’re having to live with mom’s choices in a somewhat painful fashion.  The choices are not entirely her fault though, since my sister and I both believe these folks are preying on her since she’s such an easy touch.  Predators, sales folks.  I hate them with a passion!


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