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Reader's Digest Canada rant chapter two - seniors under siege · 27.06.17 by colin newell

Canada Readers Digest Rant 2009 Seniors hassled

or click here for the mp3 if you cannot see the above widget.


This is a reboot of one of my favourite blogs (and rants) from gasp 2009! Enjoy.

I spoke with a rep from Canada Post today…
and he said (from his post office in the Oak Bay village)…

“We get 10 to 15 citizens that come into this little post office every day of business that are returning materials to Reader’s Digest!”

10 to 15 folks. Every day. Most of them seniors. From one Post Office!

I have been on the phone to Reader’s Digest canada twice in the last week and I get the following scripted dialogue from their service partners…

“It is not the policy of Reader’s Digest Canada to send people unsolicited materials or products.”

Okay then. What the heck is happening when 10 to 15 citizens are appearing at each Canadian post office daily?
Here is my theory.
Canadians, by the droves, are returning “pieces of mail from Reader’s Digest Canada” that, according to Reader’s Digest, are no-obligation entry forms for their $500,000 sweepstakes.

What our Canadian seniors are failing to do is read the fine print.

Because with every “win $500,000 now” sweepstakes shills is, very likely, a piece of fine print that states – in exchange for your no obligation entry into the Reader’s Digest $500,000 contest, you agree to purchase X quantity of books at market value.

Market value huh? I am looking at a $700 invoice for my dear old aunt. She has a stack of books on her Reader’s Digest mail strewn coffee table – that she claims that she did not order. So what happened? I suspect that she did not read the fine print… over and over and over again.

Today I returned a 4-CD set of elevator music to Reader’s Digest Canada that one could, arguably, buy at Shoppers Drug Mart for $22.
Reader’s Digest cost: $79

Is Reader’s Digest breaking any Canadian laws? In short, no.
Are they doing anything unethical? That is out there for debate.

I think we are going to be hearing way more about this Reader’s Digest Canada issue.

Because the bottom line, for me, is:
Protect our seniors from scam artists… whomever they might be.

Have a listen!

or click here for the mp3 if you cannot see the above widget.


Colin Newell gets mad when our elderly are exploited in any way. And when he gets angry, he gets blogging!

  1. I just rec’d another mailing from R.D.and would like to e-mail copies to you so you can assure yourself of the fine print. Interestingly when a person responds to these
    mailings he/she has to return the original letter…I guess so there is no “small print” left in a person’s hand. I PDF filed all of it so I had proof of what was written.


    Joan    Aug 27, 08:17 am    #
  2. Actually received a letter from Reader’s Digest acknowledging that my mom-in-law was gone, offering condolences and a cheque for $35. Wow. Staggered. There is a light at the end of the tunnel…


    Colin Newell    Mar 9, 11:52 am    #
  3. My 91 year old Grandmother recently went into hospital. After going through her bills it looks like Reader’s Digest has taken her for tens of thousands of dollars. In an 18 month period she paid RD just under 6 grand, and she has been signed up with them for over 13 years.
    Readers Digest uses the tiniest font possible in their fine print. There must be a way that a law can be passed that will require the use of a minimum size 14 font. Then maybe our seniors would stand a fighting chance.
    I am considering attempting to get a No Contact order on behalf of my Grandmother against Readers Digest.
    Something has to be done!


    Robyn Berry    Jun 8, 03:00 pm    #
  4. The folks at RD are quite simply low lives with virtually no moral backbone – if they could dig the gold out of grandma’s fillings they would not hesitate. Why do we tolerate it? Because RD, on some perverse level… is considered sacred in Canada.
    They are pure evil and more folks need to know how they abuse our seniors.


    Colin    Jun 8, 04:00 pm    #
  5. I have just discovered that my 90-year-old mother has been (and continues to be) a RD victim for at least a year. Here in the US we’ve managed to force RD to print their “no purchase necessary” in large font. Why is Canada unable to do this? Keep posting your rant! We families of victims need a current website to turn to – everything I find is old.


    Wendy    Jul 2, 08:46 am    #
  6. We have the same problem in Australia lost count of times material was returned to RD that we never sent for read fine print with magnifying glass and any e-mail use zoom to read. These people are a curse.


    Edith    Oct 31, 12:26 am    #

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