FAQ for Customer Care Agents

Table of contents

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  1. About Cottage Life
  2. Frequency and schedule
  3. Masthead Pricing
  4. Newsstand copies
  5. Customer Service pricing and codes
  6. All about the regional edition (Cottage Life West)
  7. Understanding marketing keys or codes
  8. Digital Editions
  9. Complete Contact information
  10. Premiums or Gifts with purchase
  11. Back issues for sale
  12. Merchandise
  13. Late, Missed or Damaged issues
  14. Refund Requests
  15. Billing / Bill Me
  16. Christmas campaigns
  17. Web security
  18. Cottage Life Privacy Policy
  19. IOS Contractual Response times

1. About Cottage Life

  • Cottage Life is a multi-platform lifestyle brand– a website, social media destination, television channel, consumer show and magazine– and is the go-to source for cottagers, offering valuable advice as well as profiles, how-to articles, recipes, essays, issues pieces, and lifestyle stories that help readers look after their cottages, entertain guests and, of course, kick back and have fun.

2. Magazine frequency and schedule

  • Cottage Life is published six times per year.
  • March/April 2019

    • Mail date: February 21

    • On-sale: March 4
  • May 2019

    • Mail date: April 4
    • On-sale: April 15
  • June/July 2019

    • Mail date: May 15
    • On-sale: May 27
  • August/September 2019

    • Mail date: June 26
    • On-sale: July 8

  • October 2019

    • Mail date: September 12
    • On-sale: September 23
  • Winter 2019/2020

    • Mail date: November 7
    • On-sale: November 18

3. Masthead Pricing

Cottage Life subscriptions are priced at $29.95 a year (6 issues).

4. Newsstand copies

Cottage Life is sold on newsstands for a few different prices – regular issues are $7.99 and a few special issues sell for $8.99 and $9.99.

To search for a particular issue, go to: https://magfinder.magnetdata.net/.

5. Basic Customer Service Subscription Pricing and codes

Regular Subscriptions

  • Canada:
    • 6 issues (1-year) $29.95 + tax A8N1NEWC
    • 12 issues (2-years) $49.95 + tax – A8N1NEWC
    • 18 issues (3-years) $69.95 + tax – A8N1NEWC
  • U.S.:
    • 6 issues (1-year) $45.00 A8N1NEWC
  • International:
    • 6 issues (1-year) $75.00 A8N1NEWC

Year-Round Gift Subscriptions

  • Canada:
    • First/Own Gift: 6 issues (1-year) $29.95 + tax C8NAIOSC
    • Additional Gifts: 6 issues (1-year) $19.95 + tax
  • U.S.:
    • First/Own Gift: 6 issues (1-year) $44.95 C8NBIOSC
    • Additional Gifts: 6 issues (1-year) $34.95
  • International:
    • Not available to send a gift to an international recipient

For a more complete list visit the Customer Service tracking document – https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1u2-XHMc2f6B-8HTWfzP9U_X6nKSEOBclY0EKStnAlV8/edit#gid=301297264

6. All about the regional edition (Cottage Life West)

East/West Magazine Option

  • There are 2 edition of Cottage Life (National or East and West)
  • By default, subscriptions are geo-targeted based on delivery address
  • Those living in ON, QC, NB, NS, PEI, NL – default to East edition
  • Those living in SK, MB, AB, BC, YT, NWT addresses – default to West edition
  • The physical differences of the magazine is really only in paid advertising pages; the editorial content is the same however from time to time, the front cover of the magazine could be different. This is part and parcel of the editorial strategy.
  • There is no longer any marker on the front cover of the magazine to signal whether it is an East version or West version. Previously there were markers on the front cover. This change was made in early 2018.

7. Understanding the marketing keys or codes

Deciphering the Marketing Code

The code structure in 2018 and 2019 is slightly different than previous years

  • New keys – changed in October 2018 = 8 digits long
  • Old keys = 9 digits long
  • Helpful tip: second digit indicates year of offer. i.e. P6A01… =2016 campaign and P8A01… = 2018 campaign)

Keys or Codes will start with a letter. Below is the list:

  • A = Whitemail – all customer service activity including calls and emails
  • C = Xmas New campaigns like cold gift – Mailed Xmas gift subscription offer sent to new customers
  • E = Email – Emailed subscription offer to expired customers
  • F = Cross-sell – Mailed subscription offer sent to Outdoor Canada or BC Outdoors or anyone else we partner with
  • G = Cross-sell Email – Emailed subscription offer to Outdoor Canada or BC Outdoors customer
  • I = Print insert card placed in our magazine
  • K = Cross-sell insert – insert card or package that is inserted in partner magazines
  • L = List rental – Direct mail – Mailed subscription offer sent to new customers
  • M = Year round gift – gift promotions from mid Jan – September (not Xmas gift)
  • N = Year round gift email – Emailed year-round gift subscription sent to customers (not Xmas gift)
  • P = Reactivation mailing – Mailed subscription offer to expired subscribers
  • Q =List rental – email – Emailed subscription offer to new customers
  • S = Special Event Price for Cottage Life Show attendees only
  • V = Xmas web – Web-driven Xmas gift subscription offer
  • W = Web – Web-driven subscription offer – Cottage Life website, Facebook, Google etc.
  • X = Xmas Donor renewal – Mailed Xmas gift subscription offer sent to customers – people who have given a gift subscription of Cottage Life magazine.
  • Y = Sponsored subscription – often sold in bulk to one customer i.e. Real Estate Agent buying on behalf of clients.
  • Z = Controlled subscription – $0 magazine subscription approved by Cottage Life
  • R = Renewal order
  • B = Bills

Location of the Marketing Code on marketing piece- see Print Samples

8. Digital Editions

  • The digital edition is available free of charge with a paid subscription. It’s available to all sources including agency and gift recipients.
  • Back issues: Back issues are only available for the current subscription. However enhancements will be made in the first half 2019 that will change that. More information will be sent out to customers in 2019.
  • Fulfillment and access: The current process is that a subscriber record must be marked as requesting digital in order to get digital. We then send that file to Pocketmags (a 3rd party vendor) who will send out the email to the customers with signon information. The email will come from Disticor. This process can take weeks. We recognize this as not ideal so enhancements will be made in the first half 2019 that will change that. More information will be sent out to customers in 2019.
  • IOS agents – if someone calls in to request digital access:
    • 1. make sure the account is updated with their email address.
    • 2. make sure the account is marked as requesting digital in Darwin. **Currently this functionality is not live. Until it’s live, take down the customers name, email address and start issue and add them to the Customer Service Tracking google doc (Digital tab). When these names are selected for digital, the date will be noted in the spreadsheet.
    • 3. You can also ask the customer to go to my.cottagelife.com to turn digital on. I would suggest doing both so we don’t miss anyone but we also get them in the habit of using the customer care portal.
  • IOS agents – if someone calls in and says that have access but didn’t receive an email:
    • Check that they are actually signed up and we have an email address
    • Remind them it takes a few weeks and they won’t receive anything until their start issue of their subscription is out.
    • Ask them to check spam for an email for Disticor.
    • All else fails – add them to the google doc to be manually added.

Digital edition Technical issues (meaning issues with the app) should be forwarded to Denise Boswell <DBoswell@disticor.com>. Please do not give this contact info out to the customer – this is for forwarding only.

9. Complete Contact information

Customer information inquiries or confirmations:

Examples: confirming expiry date, confirming gift recipient (until said information is available in transaction history)

Darwin team: Ashlynn, Reena

 

Technical issues with Customer Care portal:

Examples: information not loading, unable to gain access to portal, search not returning any results, unable to process a transaction, etc.

Darwin team: Ashlynn, Reena, Michael

**Note: If you think you may be experiencing a technical issue, please trying logging out of your account, refreshing the page, then logging back in. If you are still experiencing the issue, please reach out to us.

**Please DO NOT communicate to the customer that the ‘system is down’ or we are having technical issues until confirming with us that that is the case.**

 

Business-related questions:

Examples: Questions around particular campaigns or policies

Cottage Life team: Ali Hasan, Jennifer Williams

**Note: Please check the FAQ before reaching out to Ali or Jen

 

Customers requesting Cottage Life Head Office:

Please do not direct customers to call Cottage Life head office. If a customer would like to speak with someone at head office, please take their information and notify Ali Hasan.

OTHER COTTAGE LIFE CONTACTS

Subscriber Services

  • Mailing Address:
    • Cottage Life, 8799 Highway 89 Alliston, ON L9R 1V1
  • Email: service@cottagelife.com
  • Tel:1 (416) 864-3741 or toll-free at 1 (800) 267-0393

Editorial Office

Advertising Sales

Consumer Shows

Merchandise

Head Office
  • Mailing Address:
    • Blue Ant Media Solutions Inc., 130 Merton Street, Suite 200 Toronto ON M4S 1A4

10. Premiums or Gifts with Purchase

  • Gifts with purchase are offered on payment of subscription order.
  • Customers should expect a delivery time of 6-8 weeks AFTER payment is received.
  • Gifts with purchase cannot be purchased separately. Some exceptions apply. Ex. Cottage Life trivia calendar.
  • IOS agents – if a customer has not received a premium, confirm if payment has been received. If payment has been received and 8 weeks have passed then add the customer name, full address, marketing key and premium to the Customer Service Tracking google doc (Premiums not received tab). The list gets sent to a 3rd party vendor (Data CM) who then sends out the premiums. We will record the date when the list is sent in the document.

11. Back Issues for sale

  • Back issues are available for purchase at a rate of $6 plus shipping and handling and applicable taxes. They are available for delivery in Canada and United States only. Campaign key is O8NAIOSC and is listed under IOS Single issue – back issue.
  • Current issues are available for purchase at a rate of $8.99 plus shipping and handling and applicable taxes. They are available for delivery in Canada and United States only. Campaign key is O8NBIOSC and is listed under IOS Single issue – Current issue.
  • IOS agent – if you unsure if something is a back issue or current issue, feel free to process the sale as a back issue but please try to sell current issues at their on-sale price.
  • Requests for copies up to 1-year back are to be fulfilled by TAMi.
  • Requests made for copies older than 1-year back are to be sent to Publisher.

12. Cottage Life merchandise

  • Cottage Life-branded clothing is only available at the Cottage Life Shows. There is a website that will be taken down but is not functional.
  • Only item available for sale is the 2019 Cottage Life Trivia calendar www.cottagelife.com/calendar or O89ACALC
  • Email: merchandise@cottagelife.com

13. Late, Missed or Damaged issues

Late or missed issues

  • Always offer to extend subscription before replacing the late or missed issue. Limit of 2 issues for extension or replacement.
  • The first issue should arrive 6 to 8 weeks after receipt of your subscription order. If you do not receive your first issue, log in to your account to verify that your name and address are correct before contacting us. Other factors that may cause a missed issue are:
    • A recent change of address
    • Your subscription has expired
    • Your payment has not been received
    • Postal delivery delays due to a holiday
  • If none of the above applies, log in to your account to report the missing issue online by clicking on the “Report Damaged/Missing Issue” link in the menu and we will send a replacement issue. If you are a non-subscribing donor, your subscription is expired, or your subscription is cancelled you are not eligible to report a missed issue and the “Report Damaged/Missing Issue” link in the menu will not show.
  • Our policy is that we prefer that you extend the subscription rather than send out an issue however if the customer prefers that specific issue, please send out free of charge. The maximum number of extensions or physical issues should be 2. However if there is a case for more then flag with the head office – Ali Hasan.

Damaged issues

  • Always offer to extend subscription before replacing the damaged issue. Limit of 2 issues for extension or replacement.
  • If your issue frequently arrives damaged and your mailbox is sufficiently sized, check with the post office to determine why your magazine arrives in this condition. If this is an isolated event, log in to your account to report a damaged issue online by clicking on the “Report Damaged/Missing Issue” link in the menu and we will send a replacement issue. If you are a non-subscribing donor, your subscription is expired, or your subscription is cancelled you are not eligible to report a damaged issue and the “Report Damaged/Missing Issue” link in the menu will not show.

14. Refund Requests

  • Refund amount is calculated on unserved issues.
  • Contact Publisher for any demand of a full refund.
  • If a recipient requests a refund, the refund should be sent to the donor.

15. Billing/Bill Me

  • A “bill me” option is available on some campaigns. Customers will receive an email bill followed by up to 4 monthly mailed invoices.
  • Instalment billing is not available.
  • Service will be suspended after 2 issues if order remains unpaid.

16. Christmas campaigns

Delayed Start

  • All gift subscription orders are delayed to start with the Winter issue of Cottage Life, to be mailed out after the holidays and no later than mid-January.
  • If a customer requests a gift card, then please send it out or mark in the tracking sheet.

17. Web site SECURITY

Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology

  • Cottage Life uses SSL technology for all online transactions. SSL encrypts your personal information including name, address and credit card number to prevent unauthorized access to this information during the transmission of your online order. You can verify this by confirming the web address on the page begins with “https:” instead of “http:”. Additionally, your browser will also display the icon of a locked padlock or an unbroken key at the bottom of the screen or status bar.

18. Privacy policy

  • Is available to all customers online at cottagelife.com/privacy-policy
  • If you have any concerns about privacy procedures at Cottage Life, wish to find out further details about how your Personal Information may be used, or want to update your Personal Information, contact us.
  • Mailing Address:
    • Blue Ant Media Solutions Inc., 130 Merton Street, Suite 200 Toronto ON M4S 1A4
  • Email: legal@blueantmedia.com
  • Tel: 1 (416) 599-2000

 

European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”)

  • Further to the European General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”) we have designated a Data Protection Officer (“DPO”) who is responsible for all personal data matters at Blue Ant Media. If you have a specific complaint regarding your personal data or wish to invoke your legal rights under the GDPR, you can contact our DPO directly:
  • Mailing Address:
    • Blue Ant Media Solutions Inc., 130 Merton Street, Suite 200 Toronto ON M4S 1A4 Attn: Astrid Zimmer
  • Email: dpo@blueantmedia.com
  • Tel: 1 (416) 599-2000

 

19. IOS Contractual RESPONSE TIMES

Customer Service Response Times

  • Calls/Chatbot – 60 seconds average speed of answer
  • Written mail – 24 hours average speed of reply
  • Email – 4 hours average speed of reply

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