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Locus Subscription Monitor

For those keeping track, it took the U.S. Post Office 21 days (!) to deliver the May issue of Locus magazine.

It’s a normal sized magazine, not some giant magazine that clowns might use in a circus, so I don’t know why it would take so long. The answer is obvious: someone between Locus and my mailbox is reading it and taking their sweet old time doing it. The magazine, which is mailed with a sealed overlay page, is always delivered with those seals opened, without fail. Additionally, there have occasionally been dog-eared pages as if someone wanted to save their spot because they were interrupted with…oh, I don’t know…some actual work activity like delivering the mail.

My last attempt to find out what the hell is going on was met with:

  • Denial (Me: “My magazine has been arriving late for more than a year, even worse these last few months.” Them: “We deliver magazines as soon as we get them.”)
  • Finger-pointing (Them: “Maybe the publisher is sending it out late.” Me: “I verified that they send it out the last say of the previous month. Plus others people have gotten theirs within days.”)
  • Finger-pointing at inanimate objects (Me: “I know someone is reading it because the seals are broken.” Them: “The sorting machine can do that.” Me: “Occasionally, there are dog-eared pages.” Them: “Oh…the machine does that, too.” )
  • The Big Blow-Off (Me: “What can I do to resolve this?” Them: “The best we can do is put a trace on it.” Me: “Great. Let’s do that. How soon before I know?” Them: “You have to wait until next month’s issue is delivered.” Me: [Fuming])

The post lady who delivers my mail swears it’s not her. Apparently she’s feeling the heat. But I don’t believe it’s her; she’s the one who suggested complaining to the central post office in the first place. But Jeez, enough is enough. If this happens again – especially after this tracker placebo – I swear I’m gonna go all them on them.

It’s not libelous to call the U.S. Post Office as bunch of Jack@sses, is it? I mean, technically, to prove me wrong they’d have to prove they aren’t Jack@sses, right. And, just in case I need more evidence

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

8 Comments on Locus Subscription Monitor

  1. In Germany we have some independent mail delivery services but this competition leaves the Deutsche Post saurus completely unimpressed. For example: You can send books at a special reduced rate but at the cost of quick delivery – up to 8 days within Germany, even within the same city…(6)

    Although I seriously doubt they read books at all.

  2. Cancel your subscription and start buying it at a local comic shop or book store. Here in Dallas, Lone Star Comics usually receives issues about ten days after they ship to subscribers. That’s a whole lot better than your current situation. (Any comic shop can special order Locus for you.) Borders also gets copies but they seem to take about two weeks (or more) to arrive and that doesn’t save you much. More extreme measures might be to somehow get the magazine sent to another address–a post office box (extra cost for you) or a friend’s address (probably inconvenient). Whatever you do, fighting with the post office seems like a no-win situation. Your best bet at winning is to cancel the subscription and deny whoever is reading it any future copies.

  3. You know you should just contact the local postal inspector. In general, they tend to frown on mail being held back or misappropriated. Contact them and you may find that your mail shows up on time and unopened…

  4. Tim, the postal inspector is the one giving me the runaround. They are quick to point out how severe a situation it is and how jobs are on the line if they catch someone, but that hasn’t seemed to help the situation much.

    Maybe one of John’s suggestions is the way to go…

  5. Ask to speak to the Postal Inspector’s supervisor. If that doesn’t work, look up (Google!) for the district level. Heck, know your local Congresscritter? Nothin’ a Congresscritter likes more than the scent of a scandal! (“What? They raised postage and they are still impeding the free flow of a fan’s information! Hold a hearing!”) Well, maybe they wouldn’t go that far, but suggesting to the PI that you’re going to contact your Congresscritter, or the FBI (theft), etc., might light a bit of a fire.

    I’d only go the store route if it doesn’t end up costing more money.

  6. I’ve had the same problem with Locus. The April issue never arrived–I needed to request another copy from them. I have not yet received the May issue. And I too have received copies that have obviously been opened and have dog-eared corners.

    This is a very annoying situation! 8o|

  7. Buy your Locus on the stands, as suggested, and get a one year subscription to “Studs on the Farm” or something really alarming like that. Watch how quickly they stop reading your mail.

  8. I have had Locus by surface subscription (low carbon and the topicality value is US not Europe) for some years.

    Copies usually arrive 6 weeks to three months after publication with December Jan, Feb and March being the slowest (2 -3 months) and May the fastest.

    However at one of my former employers (who publishes science journals) we _never_ used the mail to contact with the US as its postal service was so bad. We sent everything to the US by private courrier. More expensive in one sense but at least we knew that materials got there and that made it cheaper in the long run as we had to maintain the flow of copy to keep the journals coming out.

    However it sounds like this is even worse. I do hope you get to the bottom of this. Is there no public watchdog you can complain to?


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