I hate Cook’s Illustrated

OK, so that’s not actually the whole story.

In fact, I love the magazine Cook’s Illustrated. I learn all sorts of stuff, they have great recipes, good reviews–on all technical fronts, it’s a winner.

But there are few organizations that make me regret being their customer as much as Cook’s Illustrated does. In fact, I can’t think of any. Charitable solicitation annoys me, but I’m not their customer, so it’s sort of a different thing.

Anyway, I seem to get a lot of calls from Cook’s Illustrated, and getting telephone solicitations annoy me. I subscribe to the magazine, and I actually look at the little cover offers they include with my subscription, so the only outcome of calling me to let me know about some offer they’ve already informed me about is to waste my time.

Let me propose an Iron Law of Customer Service: if you want my money–whether you are a business or a charity or what have you–you must respect my choice, if I articulate it (as I did on the phone a few minutes ago, and again on a web form on their web site just now), that I do not wish to be solicited. If you do not offer me that choice, then you are indicating that you do not respect me as a customer, and that you feel you can patronize me as you see fit–in effect you feel that I should have no say in the quality and structure of our relationship.

I do not care to be patronized, and I will do my level best not to do business with an organization that does not respect me, and, ultimately, I always have a say in the quality and structure of our relationship–though the only choice you may give me is to have no relationship at all.

Now to see if Cook’s was being truthful when they said they wouldn’t call me again.