21 January 2011
Datla Chiranjeevi Raju,
A/C. No. 0-010-674-793-4,
H.No. 6-5-33, Self Finance Colony,
Vanasthalipuram, Hyderabad – 500 070.
Reader’s Digest, India.
I am one of the victims of your promotional material related to ‘Reader’s Digest 1 Crore Rupees Sweepstakes’. I think I subscribed to your Reader’s Digest magazine sometime around April 2010 with the realization that it is a good English magazine. I was so confused with your marketing and postal communication that I paid money twice for it. So, I have been receiving two copies of this magazine every month since then. This is the first part of this story.
Your marketing folks kept sending me envelope after envelope thereafter. There were many letters and sweepstakes related documents in them. In every letter they sent me, they were informing me that I would get a lot of cash or other attractive prizes, very soon, if I would be a winner of those prize draws. They inform me to buy some books and other gadgets along with these sweet letters. What one can easily understand after reading all this promotional material of you is that ‘if one does not buy one or many of those items being sold by you, one may not be considered as a potential candidate to win any of these prizes’. They send two reply envelopes in each pack of material. One of them is ‘Yes’ labeled envelope and the other is ‘No’ labeled one. If I have to send them ‘Yes’ envelope, I have to buy a book or other item from them. I need not affix postal stamps on ‘Yes’ labeled envelopes. If I am sending them ‘No’ labeled envelope, I need to affix required postal stamps on it. Though they write in their promotion material related documents and letters that one would be considered eligible for all their prizes, even if one does not buy any of their products, one can easily understand that ‘No’ labeled reply envelopes from their subscribers would be thrown into a dustbin by their staff there. One can understand it because you are expecting your subscribers to affix postal stamps on ‘No’ labeled reply envelopes. It means that you are not interested to spend even 10 rupees for such blokes.
Since I am a sensible and intelligent guy to some extent, because I wanted to win one of these prizes, because I knew that you would not consider me as an eligible bloke to those prize draws if I do not buy any of your books or other items, I kept buying some books to satisfy you this way. You never stopped sending me this promotional material. Since I was afraid that you would not keep my account number in your draw later, if I don’t buy those items offered for sale by you through VPP, I bought about four books spending about 4000 rupees. I agree that all those books are very useful for any educated and refined fellow in this world but I am not happy with the manner in which you are making me forced to buy those books, one after one, indirectly frightening me that I would not win any of those prizes if I do not buy your products on and on and on.
You deteriorated to the level of a ‘brothel owner’ in this regard. Reader’s Digest monthly magazine is your prostitute. I paid a little money for it being attracted by its beauty and quality. This was my first step into your brothel. Then, I paid for another subscription copy of Reader’s Digest because your first prostitute already confused and irritated me. Thereafter, I kept on running after your other prostitutes also because you compelled me to buy them one after one to win some final prostitute, I mean one of your great cash and other kinds of prizes, for which you may hold a final draw sometime in my lifetime. You print that part of information in very small letters!
I think that I am one of very intelligent, ideal and visionary Indians now, living in India. You attracted me also into your brothel and kept torturing me like anything during the last six months or so. Is it fair on your part?
You did not stop sending me your promotional material even in 2011. Earlier I thought that you would hold those specified sweepstakes prize draws sometime around January or February in 2011 and inform me soon stating that I won one of them. Money makes many things. You are offering these prizes to some folks of India, if they buy your monthly magazine first and so many other things thereafter. Any subscriber of Reader’s Digest feels much disturbed and frustrated to read and respond to your extensive and continuous promotional material. In the latest pack of promotional material you sent me, you informed me that those draws would be conducted sometime by the end of 2011 or the middle of 2012. What I did not understand is “When do you hold these draws at all for 2010 or 2011? How long should I run after your prostitutes (buying your books and other items) to win any of these prizes?
If anybody related to the Reader’s Digest management, in any part of the world, believes that he or she is educating or entertaining many readers across the world through Reader’s Digest, I believe that I should educate him or her about standards and values as a ‘business entity’ because you came away from that path long ago. That is why I am compelled to write this violent letter to you. You tested my goodness and patience levels to that extent!
We buy books and read them for pleasure, education or entertainment, when we are happy and comfortable in terms of fulfillment of our basic needs like food, clothes and shelter. Many Indians have no these basic amenities also now. I have been experiencing similar phases of life, during the last two years, being engaged in some important works as a person at my level, to establish myself as an admirable fellow in my chosen field of dreams. I paid for some of your books experiencing a lot of stress and strain because you made me so through your promotional material. I will die 10 years before my destined time of mortal departure, if many folks like you subject me to this kind of odd business practices. It means your business values are aimed at torturing and killing people like me slowly.
I am so busy and engaged in my personal life now that I don’t have time, interest or money to file a suit against you in the Supreme Court of India. Many of your subscribers must be in a position like me. So, they are not reaching their sense of frustration and fury to you like me about this facet of your business with books. I know that all the books you are proposing to sell us, as part of this promotion business, are very valuable and useful to all but the way you are making them buy those books is not good. You can give huge cash and other great prizes to lucky winners even without subjecting them to this kind of torture through your endless postal promotion material. You know how to do it because it is the work of a kindergarten kid. Better late than never! Time and tide wait for none!
Your folks sent me many emails informing me to subscribe to this magazine. When I filled one such online form; my slow death as your esteemed subscriber started. They did not stop sending me those emails even after I subscribed to two of your magazines. This is how you are promoting Reader’s Digest in India now. If you are not shameful about it, I should advise you to consult a psychiatrist or go to a mental asylum on your own without the involvement of a doctor in your case. This letter must be read by Aroon Purie, Ashish Bagga, Mohan Sivanand and Vikas Malhotra also because all these higher level folks of this magazine are doing such book business in India in this regard. They must spend some time with a few humanitarians, idealists, visionaries and patriots of this nation to know a little on how to do business understanding and following ethics. They are not teaching them in IIMs and IITs now.
If you have capacity and authority to sue me, depending on this kind of letter from me, I will be blissful and proud to come to any court of law in India and educate those judges also a little on the way regarding what they are doing now and what they must do in future to save India from folks like you. This is my level of intelligence and vision now.
I posted this letter on my blog site at http://virahini.blogspot.com because many want to read my letters also there. You can inform the top level executives of Reader’s Digest, across the world, to read this letter on my blog site. I reduced your stress and strain to this extent. This is how one should educate and entertain others, with a little effort and investment only. The folks of Google gave me huge free space on Blogger. I too educate and entertain many through this platform. I presume my promotion policies are better than those of Reader’s Digest.
As an idealist, my primary duty is to love all to some extent, without resorting to terrorism, extremism and sadism. This is why I wrote this letter to you. Many cannot do it like me. Don’t make them into patients and terrorists.
This letter was posted on 21 January, 2011, to P Poonegar, Finance Director, Reader's Digest BHE (I) Pvt.Ltd., Post Box No. 1756, Mumbai GPO, Mumbai - 400 001.