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[2008.03.04] DFPUG / Rainer Becker has acquired Fox Talk 2.0 from Eli Journals including all existing subscriptions. Due to the major problems with renewal notices as reported here the magazine was renamed to Fox RockX right away as obviously nobody will open envelopes any more with something sounding like Fox Talk. For more details see Fox RockX Introduction.

[2007.08.21] I got an issue yesterday and the only real Fox article, IMO, was an older one by Doug Hennig. I get constant renewal notices that I just throw away. I know it costs them time and money to prepare all of those and to mail them to me. They can keep driving their costs up for no good reason and eventually they will go out of business through no fault of mine. No tears will be shed when that happens. It is way past due. Carl Warner

[2007.08.21] Talked to our corporate legal dept. They will send them a letter to cease and desist, cc. their different d/b/a or aka. names, cc. State of Fla Attorney General, cc. US Postmaster General. Let's see what happens. Maybe some of you should do the same -- Alex Feldstein

[2007.08.20] The saga continues. Not having received an issue in a year or so, after telling them to stop several times, today I received another letter, this one from a new company, looking like a collection agency (probably a boiler plate operation):
From: Olde City Financial Services, Inc.
P.O. Box 800 - Wayne, PA 19087
Phone: 610-225-0731
Fax: 610-225-0732

A recent review of your account shows an open balance of $$138.95 dating to 02/18/07. Perhaps it has been overlooked?

If your records do not agree with ours, would you write to use at the address above of call us as soon as possible so that we may adjust your account accordingly.

If your records do agree, please use the enclosed envelope to send a check in that amount to the address above or call us to make alternative payment arrangements.

Jess Hyacynthe X2236
-- Alex Feldstein

The Saga ends: Our legal dept sent them a cease and desist letter (via fax). Within one hour we received a reply saying "sorry, won't happen again". Looks like they got scared and responded fast. Force is the only way to deal with these people. (Sept 2007) -- Alex Feldstein
[2007.08.03] Here's a Ted Roche blog posting which leads to an Ed Foster Gripelog about these guys:
[2007.01.09] What does it take to get rid of these obnoxious idiots?

Back in September 2006 I called J. Rabson to complain that they where using my name and reprinting an old article. I also complained about their magazine, mentioned I would not renew and to cancel my subscription, no refunds for unused portions required or requested.

He emailed a John Hall - Senior Customer Representative who emailed me on Sept 2006 apologizing, saying that they will discontinue, but that due to the lead time I may be receiving issues and notices for up to 60 days. Fair enough.

Scroll forward to January 2007. I stopped receiving notices after a while as promised, but continued receiving issues, which are pitiful in their lack of decent content. Needless to say these were unsolicited, and unwanted, and were promptly trashed.

Today, I received an invoice along with a delinquent notice from NHS (aka New Hill Services) Collection Department:
From: NHS Collection Department
Subj: Delinquent Amount Due

We are concerned that we have not received your payment. Your account is over 80 days past due and is seriously in arrears. We certainly do not want to have to take further action to collect these funds.

Our records indicate that we have sent you the issues that you've ordered - thus we've lived up to our part of the bargain. We hope if you've received your issues you'll send in your payment promptly. Of course, if there is a problem of any kind, please let me know.

I urge you to make out a check right now for the balance due on the enclosed invoice....

Collections Department

New Hill Services - Department 1380 - Denver,CO 80291-1380 - (866)251-0355
(emphasis theirs)

-- Alex Feldstein
FYI, I received this reply when I asked why I could not retrieve an article online from July 2004. - Del Lee

From: Aleshia Donaldson []
Sent: Friday, December 15, 2006 10:26 AM
To: Shelley Beliles; Bill
Cc: shelley Beliles; Del Lee
Subject: Re: Pinnacle Website OSS Problem

I apologize for any confusion.

You will not be able to access any issues before May 2006. This is when we purchased Pinnacle's publications.

Any questions please feel free to ask!

Aleshia Donaldson
Eli Research
Inbound Sales Supervisor
Subscription Services
800-508-2582 ex 2333

Looks to me like the reason they're not making older articles available online is so they can recycle them. A heavily edited version of my 3-part SQL Server management article (from July-November 2001!) appeared in the December 2006 edition (without any consultation or acknowledgement other than my name appearing on the byline) - ?acc

[Based on your comment, I will not be renewing since it no longer is even close to the value that previous Fox Talk subscriptions have been. It is totally watered down and they don't seem to care about the Fox community. So, why should I care about them? Carl Warner]

BEWARE: Fox Talk Automatic Renewal

Like most of you, I've been receiving Fox Talk 2.0 renewal offers on a daily basis, which go straight into the garbage can. Today's renewal has a new twist:

"The great news is that we will automatically renew you unless you notify us otherwise!"

My subscription doesn't expire until April 2007, but they will "conveniently" renew it for me on 9/29/06 if I don't tell them otherwise. So, now I have to opt out of a magazine subscription? What a load. First, flood your customers with renewal "offers" to the point where they don't even look at them, then slip in an automatic renewal notice. I smell a lawsuit.

IANAL, but I should think there are grounds here for some kind of legal action...perhaps a class action lawsuit. I have been a subscriber for a lot of years...most recently receiving 10-15 copies per month. They have lost my business. I had to call to cancel the automatic renewal. Their "computer was down" but she assured me that she would get it into the system. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Russ Swall

What a shame, this used to be my favorite magazine. -- Joel Leach

I haven't seen that yet. Thanks for the heads up! Carl Warner

From my statement, it looks like they've charged my CC without permission. Has anyone else seen this? -- acc
Yes - it was anonymous. I wish I was anonymous to Pinnacle and its cronies! Their approach may be legal, but their deceptive practices remove any tinge of professionalism from their status as "professional journal" publishers. They should be ashamed of themselves and punished with lower circulation, higher costs, and maybe the ultimate: El Foldo.

[2006.08.02] : This was just added anonymously. True, or not? -- Steven Black

Any renewal invoices received for any Pinnacle Publications should be treated as scams. Someone got hold of the subs list and is using the old "yellow pages - this is not a bill" trick. It's mail fraud and it's a shame.

[2006.08.02] : I didn't post it, but I did just receive a "bill/not a bill" from what appears to be Pinnacle Publishing (but return envelope is to New Hill) for a publication called "Smart Access" which I've never asked for or received. It says (in large print) **URGENT ATTENTION REQUIRED** send payment today to avoid service interruption. and also (in small print) This is not an invoice. It is an offer to extend your trial subscription for a full year. You are under no obligation... They did offer a $330.00 discount... boy, was I tempted... - ?lc

[2006.08.03] I signed up for a trial subscription to Fox Talk 2.0 The magazine has duely arrived with a renewal notice and return envelope to New Hill Services. If it is a scam they've also gone to the effort of sending out magazines! Rhodri C Evans

[2006.08.03 16:40 UTC] New Hill is a division of Eli Research, new owners of Pinnacle, and are being investigated for mailing list scams.
Rhodri C Evans

I don't think it is a scam but SPAM. They have been very aggressive to the point of annoyance. I have been almost inundated every week with renewal offers from them for magazines: Fox Talk, SQL Server, even MS-Access (oh the horror!). The letters look like past due invoices instead of form letters. Very annoying and borderline unethical IMHO. They all went to the shredder and I'm seriously considering not renewing for the first time. -- Alex Feldstein
Unsubscribed, after an incident with faxes being sent to my boss's boss as reccounted in the UT -- Alex Feldstein

I renewed a two months ago and I was hoping that the mailings would stop. They haven't. -- Kevin Cully publisher of computer related magazines.

Pinnacle Publishing was recently sold to Lawrence Ragan Communications, Inc. ( and in March 2006 Ragan passed the baton to Eli Journals( ).

[2003.11.19] Their current lineup, some components of which have been much changed and renamed over the years, is:

[2006.03.21] I got a mailing from Eli Research to renew my Fox Talk subscription. The price is the same as the last mailing I got from Ragan Communications, except Eli Research is offering a $30 discount if I renew within 30 days of the mailing. Sadly, I sent my renewal to Ragan Communications at full price 4 days before I got the Eli Research mailing. I immediately called Eli Research and the guy I spoke to didn't even know what I was talking about. He then had a magical light bulb moment remembering that they bought Fox Talk and SQL Server Professional from Ragan Communications. But, the bad news is that he said they did not yet have all of the database from Ragan absorbed into their system. So, he told me to call back in two weeks. This conversation happened on March 10th, 2006. The envelope to return the renewal says "New Hill Services" in Denver, Colorado. I'm totally confused. YMMV...

[2006.03.22] Followup-- I called Eli Research again today and their database is still not ready for primetime as far as old Ragan Communications/Pinnacle Publishing subscribers is concerned. They told me to call back again next week when they believe their database may be updated and ready for business. OK.

[2006.08.03] It took me until lots of phone calls and finally last month, July, to get my account straightened out. When I would call, their "database" was always in some sort of disarray where they wanted me to call back in a week or two OR after the first of the month because their lists were getting purged or some other odd excuse. I also asked them why I was getting all of the extra renewal mailings. They said that's just the way it is. ???? Really? How about making the renewal requests intelligent based on the actual status of a subscriber's account rather than waste time, paper, and postage to send out mail that annoys and confuses subscribers? If my experience is indicative of what to expect from Eli Research, the Fox community will soon be missing another resource, that used to be valuable in the past, when they lose subscribers and eventually cancel the whole publication due to a seeming lack of interest. It won't be due to a lack of interest on the Fox community's part, but rather a lack of performance on the part of the publisher.
Carl Warner

[2006.03.27] As a representative from Eli Research, I'd like to mention that we're committed to maintaining a high quality journal and being receptive to the needs and wishes of the VFP community.

In the upcoming April issue, you can look forward to great articles by Doug Hennig, Richard Schummer, and others...and of course our monthly Kit Box column.

For anyone who has had an administrative problem due to having sent recent correspondence to Ragan, I just want to express my apologies about that and gratitute for your patience; however, I talked with our lead customer service person and was assured that we're working to resolve any such problems.

As covered in my Blog, Marcia and I will no longer be writing the Kit Box column in Fox Talk magazine. The last column of ours will appear in the July 2006 Issue. We will be writing a new column for Advisor Guide to Microsoft Visual FoxPro starting in August 2006. -- Andy Kramek

Sean McPartland at least answered my email about not receiving a paper copy yet:

[2007.05.08] I recently started getting a daily marketing email from " & Eli Journals" for different topics for programmers. VB.NET, Oracle, etc.
Not spam but I didn't used to get this from them. Must not be getting enough bites on the fishy subscription tactics.
(I requested they remove me: hoping they do so nicely)
Andy Needham

Category Magazines
( Topic last updated: 2008.03.04 11:06:12 AM )