Comments about the latest C&SC

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James Elliott
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Chris, I am taking this up with the subs team and will report back. 

I am well aware that it takes a long time for the mag to get on the news-stands in Aus (we are always looking into whether it is viable to print locally), but subscribers really shouldn't have to wait that long. There's something going wrong there.

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Chris Martin
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James Elliott wrote:

Chris, I am taking this up with the subs team and will report back. 

I am well aware that it takes a long time for the mag to get on the news-stands in Aus (we are always looking into whether it is viable to print locally), but subscribers really shouldn't have to wait that long. There's something going wrong there.

Yeah, thanks.

It was fine until earlier this year, usually about a week after publication date, once even within three days, but this year it has been two and three weeks late, and now this time, over a month. Too much of a pattern to be a coincidence, I suggest you look at your courier/carrier/postal system. Would be interested to know if there are many other subscribers here in Australia, and how long they are waiting too.

Chris M.

 

James Elliott
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Ok, an initial response:

"There are some delivery issues within Australia which would explain some of these delays the subscribers have been receiving. There are huge issues within the inland postal network in Australia at the current time but as usual with PPOs there is nothing official on any of the incident sites at this current time. We are waiting for further details and as soon as I get them I will let you know."

Now, that reads very much like "it's not my fault Guv", but does it ring true at all?

Either way, I am still pressing for a fuller explanation.

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Chris Martin
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James Elliott wrote:

Ok, an initial response:

"There are some delivery issues within Australia which would explain some of these delays the subscribers have been receiving. There are huge issues within the inland postal network in Australia at the current time but as usual with PPOs there is nothing official on any of the incident sites at this current time. We are waiting for further details and as soon as I get them I will let you know."

Now, that reads very much like "it's not my fault Guv", but does it ring true at all?

Either way, I am still pressing for a fuller explanation.

You're right there James, it is a standard reply you will get when you question any courier/carrier/postal company, always calim there is a problem at the other end. The only problem with that is when the (would be) recipient at the other end knows there are no particular issues with the Australian Post, at least no more or less than any other post system would have, and this is particualrly noticeable when that same recipient has been noting lengthening delays for more than six months now, while other mail, including magazine subscriptions, from both the UK and the USA manages to get here within what one would call a 'reasonable' time.

I am replying now because the August C&SC did finally arrive here today; the 7th, about a month late. I had never bothered to study the packaging in any detail before, but maybe the following would suggest better reasons for the delays?

The magazine is mailed in a clear plastic wrapper with a printed address label inside. On the outside is a small postage paid sticker (like a computer generated postage stamp) which states AIRMAIL NEW ZEALAND DIRECT with a return address in Auckland NZ. The address label which is inside the sealed wrapper has a Haymarket logo and my subscriber reference number above my address, but then in the top right corner is a POSTEN SVERIGE AB stamp with a return address in Malmö Sweden.

So, do I deduce the magazine is printed by a company based in Cornwall UK, then bulk shipped. mailed or trucked to Sweden where it is then onforwarded to a New Zealand depot for distribution to presumably Australia and NZ (and possibly any other subscribers in Oceania)?

If so, I am surprised it gets here that fast!

Chris M.

 

James Elliott
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Chris,

Your points have been put to the relevant person and this was the response:

"It does seem that there is an issue with International Mail entering Australia (rather than the actual inland delivery network), which we believe is being resolved."

Not exactly the end of the matter, but we're getting closer. We must keep on it, however, to ensure delivery times are improved.

By the way, thanks for bringing this to our attention: with certain parts of our service inevitably sub-contracted, it is impossible for us to address problems or shortcomings unless people tell us about them.

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James Elliott
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And more:

"The normal routing for these copies was via a company called Direct Link (Scandinavian Postal authority), however we advised that there were issues with importing mail into Australia recently. As such we looked to source an alternate method to ensure the deliveries are processed as quickly as possible. The original address sheet would have been printed with the Swedish postal impression, but then would have been overstuck with the new PPI as the routing was changed at the time of processing the data (This is why the subscriber found the NZ  impression)."

It has been pointed out that the new "quicker" system might need some re-assessment.

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Mario Laguna
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Hi James. Chris has a point which represents the views of many C&SC's subscribers. Luxembourg is closer to GB than Australia indeed, but I rather like buying C&SC at newsagents' shops. There are many good reasons to subscribe to C&SC. I was myself a keen C&SC subscriber for many years, but I got frustrated because it was available at newsagents before the new issues hit my mailbox. In addition, as I travel frequently, I buy C&SC wherever I see it first. Recently, for the same reason, a good friend of mine, who is a genuine British classic cars enthusiast and owns DB2, Lotus Elan SE and a few others, gave up his C&SC subscription and got back to the newsagents procedures. For the record, C&SC arrives to Luxembourg the first Wednesday following the first Thursday of the month, in short, a week after than it is available in GB, which is pretty good, though. Nevertheless, I went yesterday (Wednesday) to the shop and... misfire! Today, the September issue is still missing.

 

Chris Martin
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The main point of my mentioning the delays is that it has only affected C&SC, none of my other mail or subscriptions, and also it is only really over the last six, or maybe eight months it has been significantly late. So has something in the mailing arrangements been changed this year? If so, it is definitely not working. As I already said above, all of my other overseas mail is getting here without undue delay, so if the carrier Haymarket is using is claiming "It does seem that there is an issue with International Mail entering Australia (rather than the actual inland delivery network), which we believe is being resolved." and it is only that carrier that is having such a problem, maybe they are doing something wrong? Or is the delay just because of sending it all to NZ first? Either way, there used to be no delay, now there is. Does the contract go to the cheapest, rather than the fastest carrier?

I am not sure what benefit there is to publishers pushing for us to take out a subscription at all, presumably it helps to get our money up front as it were, but maybe also it has some bearing on predicted copies sold and therefore advertising revenue?

As Mario says above, it is frustrating when the magazine arrives in the shops before a subscriber receives it, and this month the shops that get the latest 'Airfreight' copies had it THREE WEEKS before me.

I certainly do not have any complaint with Haymarket as I understand the problems are outsourced contractors, and I only emailed James with this problem as it is his name at the bottom of the letters from the subscription department. Also, a Michelle at customer service has been prompt in looking into it and replying.

Thanks all, now we will see when the September mag' gets here..........meanwhile I can get back to reading this one, excellent stuff as usual.

Chris M.

 

 

Nuno Granja
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CSC September issue, arrived last friday at Caminha news agent (the last portuguese northern seaside village before Spain ) just in time to enjoy it during the summer holidays...

 

nuno granja

Nuno Granja
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I have just finished with the September issue.

As usual a good source of information, petrolhead comments and interesting articles.

I simple love the  Bill Cosby's words "The car had not moved, I hadn't put my foot on the gas pedal, yet it was killimg people" on the Cobra article, and as Mick Walsh I'd rather prefer the Shelby Cobra Daytona to the GTO.

I also loved the  Shelby photo story, a bigger than life character, but I didn't find the Alfa Romeo Praho a beauty. From my point of view is  not an happy design and that centre binnacle is awfull.

I had some envy, well a lot , when readind the W125 drive around the Ring and I found the article about "imporoved" Type E, Interceptor and MGB GT article very interesting, as this kind of modifications improve usability, and from my point of view, its a big plus as cars are to be used on the wild.

The article about the less obvious Bond car it's interisting and I notice the Miata on the regular section "Your classics". The Miata is not one of my favorite cars, but is a good car in all matters,  have a promising future on our world and more important will bring new people to it.

To finish, a small remark, I miss some of 70's or 80's working class heros, but at least we have an article about theyr 60's counterparts.

keep the good job, and I'm waiting for the next one.

nuno granja