Getting Screwed by Women’s Health Magazine

About a year ago I subscribed to Women’s Health magazine. I’m sure it was part of some renewed health kick I was on, but it was a 2 year subscription for $20 and since I knew it was a good magazine, I thought it was a great deal. So early this past December I get a package in the mail, clearly a book from the carton. I didn’t remember ordering a book so I had no idea what it was. I opened it up and it was the Women’s Health Total Fitness Guide for 2009 and it came with a workout DVD and 20 minute meals guide. I definitely didn’t order this. The enclosed letter thanked me for wanting to preview this book when I subscribed, of course I don’t recall wanting to preview this book especially since I subscribed over a year ago. So I set it on my desk and didn’t even open it, until I got an invoice in the mail last Friday saying that I owed $60 for the book and DVD. It also stated that if I didn’t want to keep the book, I could return it to them (of course I’d be paying the shipping to send it back). So I immediately called the customer service number ready spill my anger on the poor customer service rep that got my call. Unfortunatley, I got a busy signal… for the next 3 hours. I don’t understand how a call center can have a busy signal and not a queue. I figured there were plenty of other angry people calling to complain. When I finally got a ring, I went through the automated system and there was an option for returning books. I was asked for my account number and the automated system said I could login to the customer service section of (the publishing company for the magazine) and print out a return mailing label. I then went back to the main menu of the customer service phone call and tried to get to the operator just to be sure that I wouldn’t get charged any random fees, plus I still wanted to express my anger that I was sent and charged for something that I had never even requested. After a couple of rings for the operator, I get a message saying that they are experiencing high call volumes and that I should call back later. That’s it. No option to hold or leave a message. I tried for the next few hours to call back but I continued to get the busy signal, so I gave up. I printed out the return mailing label (postage paid by them, which I wouldn’t have known unless I got through on the phone and went to the return books option) and droped the package in the mail today. I guess I’ll have to wait and see if I get charged anything.

Lesson Learned: Always make sure I’m not buying or subcribing to anything extra when I make a purchase and call them immediately when I receive something I never requested.

Vegetarians – An ABCD Point of View

For those of you who don’t know, ABCD is an acronym for American Born Confused Desi. Which apparently I am. I am a meat-loving Hindu. Yes we exist.

I recently read a book called ‘Skinny Bitch’. I have to say that by reading this book I feel like I was unknowing led down a dark ally and beaten with a gluten-free soy burger. The book is marketed as a guide for a better way to lose weight and feel better and it was a New York Times Best Seller, so I figured it had to be decent. By chapter 2 I was clearly aware that this book was just a front for brainwashing you to be a vegan. I mean, subtlety went out the window. I understand the authors were using a “no-nonsense” approach by being “straight up” with the reader about their weight problem, so I expected a bit of hard language as proven by the title. But wow. The authors go as far as making you want to cry in the corner and never leave your house.

Basically, what I got from the book was everything you eat is awful for your body and the planet and you are a horrible, heartless person if you eat meat, dairy or any by product of animals. They go on to say that humans are not meant to eat meat, that since the caveman, we have evolved to be vegetarians. If we were meant to eat meat our nails and teeth would be as strong as a tiger’s such that we could hunt, kill and eat the prey with our bare hands.

I received this definition, which pretty much sums up my feelings on the topic:

A bad hunter. Someone who survives by consuming not food, but the stuff that food eats.
The vegetarian was forced to subsist on slower prey, such as the broccoli and carrot.

And here’s my answer to the authors: Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes – Eggs, Butter and Pig Flesh…mmmm.