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Cook’s Illustrated Non-Sticks It To ‘Preferred’ Subscribers


cooks_preferred_no You always hurt the ones you love. This morning we got an email from Cook’s Illustrated with a ‘Special Thanks’ offer to preferred subscribers. Its a letter ‘signed’ by Kimball himself in which he says ” I really do go over our records and note our “repeat customers” like you” (and it was underlined so you know its true).

A special offer just for me? With all the enthusiasm of Ralphie from Christmas Story deciphering Little Orphan Annie’s coded message I scanned the email for the love I was sure to receive.

And there it was.  A ‘one-time opportunity to lock in tremendous savings with our early-renewal offer’. Again with the underlining. The excitement was mounting.

The seriousness of the matter is confirmed in bold-

P.S. This is the one and only time you will be offered this early renewal deal.

Better scan the fine print. Offer expires in 5 days? Five Days?! Now this DOES sound serious. Better ACT NOW!

Half ready to renew at an insane rate, half ready to see how much Kimball and Cook’s loves us I clicked into action.


$28.95? Save 19%? That didn’t exactly sound as ‘preferred’ as I thought it would. Well lets head on over to Cook’s Illustrated web site and see what the regular non-preferred schmucks have to pay for the same yearly subscription.

What was Christopher Kimball trying to save me. Getting closer now. The tension was terrible. How much was it? The fate of my subscription could hang in the balance.

Almost there . . . my fingers flew . . . my mind was a steel trap . . . every pore vibrated . . . it was almost clear . .

Be Sure To Drink Your Ovaltine

As it turns out if you’re not a preferred customer a subscription is only $24.95.


Son of %$#!^&*.

I went out to face the world a little bit wiser.

UPDATE:  So everyone can see this in context, here is a copy of the ‘special’ offer we received.

UPDATE 2:  I was just going through my personal email and last night I received an offer for one free magazine and $19.95 for a year subscription.

For those keeping score at home, Cook’s ‘Exclusive Offer For Our Preferred Subsribers’ is about $10 per year more (yes MORE) than anyone off the street can get.

Update 3: Contacting Cook’s through their customer service has been amazingly frustrating. In response to the question ‘Why is the preferred rate higher than the regular rate?’ the first response was from an editorial assistant who explained the value of the online database of recipes(!) so I asked the question again and another person offered to honor the $24.95 price (gee thanks since anyone else gets it for $19) and said I’ll receive an invoice.  Sigh . . .

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