Dear Scientific American, Left hand, meet right hand

I get that third-party vendors of digital magazines like Zinio may not share subscription information with the source magazine in question. So when I subscribed to New Scientist through Zinio and I kept getting renewal messages from New Scientist, it kind of made sense, in a bizarro-world kind of way. New Scientist simply didn’t have any way of knowing that I was still a subscriber through Zinio.

But Scientific American is another story. I love Scientific American and have been a subscriber for 15+ years now. Recently, I let my paper subscription lapse and replaced it with a digital subscription. The digital subscription is not through Zinio, but through Scientific American‘s website. You’d think all of this would be associated and recorded in the same database, but I keep getting e-mail from Scientific American with urgent warnings that my subscription has lapsed and I am going to miss out on vital scientific reporting, to say nothing of great savings on my subscription.

Wrong. I am not missing out on anything. I have the latest issues, all of them. I got them using my subscription to the digital (PDF) version of Scientific American, to which I subscribed through the Scientific American website. Why can’t their subscription department figure this out and stop pestering me? You’d think that a magazine that reports on science and technology–including articles on information technology–would have a clue and get their act together.

Come on, folks, you can do better than this. After all, you are Scientific American for crying out loud!