Fair Go: Magazine subscribers can get refunds, if they ask, Bauer promises

“WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS” shouts the headline under a picture of The Queen on the cover.

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Subscribers say communication from the company has been dire. Source: Fair Go

New Zealand Woman’s Weekly hasn’t so far, and Jocelyn McIntosh is not happy about it.

“I've been buying the Woman's Weekly either for my mother or myself since I was eight. I think it might have been sixpence.”

That was 1955. Jocelyn still rates the NZWW.

“I just miss the whole thing. It’s something from New Zealand. I love the puzzles.There’s not much of it that I don't read.”

Jocelyn’s favourite has folded along with the beloved Listener Neville Neilson and Paul Birch had supported for decades – full of articles from writers they miss.

All handed over money well in advance for subscriptions. For Neville that means about $160, three months before he’d needed to.

Jocelyn was on the hook for about $140 for the year. She at least had received three emails from Bauer’s MagShop subscription service, all of them echoing Her Majesty’s “call for calm” on the cover of the April 6 edition.

“Seemed to be more jargon than anything,” is her pithy assessment.

The puzzle though was what to do about getting her money back. Her cross words went unheard when she tried to contact the service.

Neville and Paul hadn’t heard a thing in the first place - “dead silence” as Neville puts it.

Bauer Media ceased publication on April 2, blaming Covid-19, the NZ Government and the downturn.

Paul is indignant about it.

“They haven't been declared bankrupt or anything, they simply chose to stop delivering a service that we'd paid for and that's just not right.”

Fair Go's calls to Bauer went nowhere at first but questions to those assisting with the wind up and sale helped.

Suddenly, by striking coincidence, a buyer for the mags went public.

These two events may not be entirely unrelated but attempts to get interviews with those involved have been - well, like waiting for the latest issue to turn up in the letterbox.

When Bauer did reply via a spokesperson it was to say it is grateful for the loyalty and support of Jocelyn, Paul, Neville and all the others whose money it still has but is about to hand over to a new owner, if it can.

“We are confident that subscriptions will resume shortly. When this does happen subscribers will receive the full number of magazines that they have paid for,” the spokesperson told Fair Go, adding that there had been refunds made since April for those who requested them.

Bauer promises anyone owed a subscription will get an answer if they email to this address:

The fate of the mags will probably soon rest with Mercury Capital, an investment firm based in Sydney with strong New Zealand links that also owns some printing presses (the kind that print magazines).

Mercury Capital referred Fair Go to Bauer for any comment on the sale - which includes Australian and New Zealand assets that it may or may not on-sell, once regulators have looked at the deal.

All that makes it unlikely you will see NZ Woman’s Weekly back on the racks before spring.

If they can do it, you’d expect a bumper issue with lots of celebrity catchup. And you can be sure Jocelyn will be casting a careful eye over it.