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A million-dollar smile

July 28, 2015

We here at the Sparky house receive a handful of magazines.  Most are shared interests, like cooking and National Geographic, which I love even though I don’t buy into the idea that my uncle was a monkey, but we also get a couple that are specific to personal interests.  I know you’ll think this is odd, but I really can’t even fathom how there can be enough new information about riding bicycles to publish a new magazine every month, but Mr. Sparky is very excited when his new cycling magazine lands in our mailbox.  Me, I like to peruse Southern Living because even if I don’t get anything else out of the issue, the last page will contain stories and musings by Rick Bragg, and somewhere in the middle Steve Bender, aka The Grumpy Gardener, will offer irreverent information on gardening that is entertaining even when it’s not all that personally useful.

A few days ago my latest copy of Southern Living arrived.  There was a jacket on the magazine telling me that my automatic renewal subscription term was ending but there was nothing I needed to do to renew.  They’d simply send me an invoice.

This is where it got confusing.

According to the information on the magazine jacket, the “Subscription Savings Report” stated my renewal term would be for 26 months.  The cover price would be $59.88 but my price would be $58.00 for a savings of 51%.

Wait, what?

I’m really bad at math, but even I could figure out that something wasn’t quite right here.  Especially when inside the magazine there were little cards advertising 26 issues for $1.35 an issue.  Basically, $36, a 70% savings off the cover price.  I figured the jacket must surely be a misprint.

So I called the customer service number on the jacket and found myself connected to someone in what I’m quite sure was India. The connection was decent if distant, her English was good and she was unfailingly polite, and I’m glad she had a job to provide for her needs, so I tried not to think about the incongruence of a southern American magazine out-sourcing their customer service to a foreign country.

The first thing I found out was that the jacket was not a misprint.  They were indeed offering me, a long-time subscriber, the fabulous rate of $1.88 total off of the two-year cover rate and somehow calling it 51%.  $58 for two years.  I questioned it and the customer service representative asked me to hold for a moment.  She came back and said she was authorized to offer me a rate of $48 for the 2 year subscription.

I asked about the card in my magazine, wondering why I wasn’t eligible for that rate.  She asked me to hold again.  When she came back she took the code from that offer and gave me the two-year subscription for $36.  I accepted that, and she offered the automatic subscription renewal service again.  I reckon they’re hoping I won’t notice the horrible rates the next time.  Heck, I’m wondering how many times in the past I’ve not noticed them.

I guess you can pay $59.88 for two years of a magazine subscription, or you can pay $36.  Or $48.  All for the exact same service and product.

I’m reminded that we often hold things in our lives and assume that those things cost the same for everyone who holds them.  But that’s not really right or fair.  It’s definitely not true.

What does a smile cost a heart that is breaking?  What does confidence cost one who has been deeply disappointed?  What does faithfulness cost a life shattered by betrayal?

Love is expensive.

Joy costs dearly.

Faith requires a reckoning.

Just because it’s inexpensive for one person doesn’t mean that it didn’t cost someone else nearly everything they have.




6 Comments leave one →
  1. July 29, 2015 10:04 pm

    Selah. Glad you got the best out of three. Love you!

  2. July 29, 2015 10:04 pm

    P.S. I like your new look!

  3. July 30, 2015 1:21 am

    Nice post please check out my blog and tell me what you think thanks

    • July 30, 2015 6:53 am

      Thanks for stopping by! And best wishes with your blog. I hope that blogging is a satisfying venture for you!

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