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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Gentlemen,

A few days ago I got an unexpected e-mail from Christian Barker, editor of "The Rake" magazine, informing me that "in light of your clear dissatisfaction with THE RAKE magazine" "we are gladly cancelling your subscription, and refunding its cost in full."

Half-puzzled and half-enraged, I replied immediately, asking for clarifications.

After three days I got a succint answer, simply stating that "THE RAKE reserves the right to regulate its readership, and while we do appreciate your interest thus far, your custom is no longer desired."

My questions (why he decided that I am dissatisfied? even if yes, can I choose myself if to continue being subscribed or not? motives behind his move?) remained unanswered.

Though motives are not hard to discern: apparently, this is "reaction" to the criticism expressed by yours truly on the LL forum: here and there (LL is the only forum where I use (used?) login allowing easy identification of my real name).

Granted, as every other business, "The Rake" has every right to reject any custom (though the general tone of Mr Barker's e-mails is absoultely ungentlemanly... perhaphs this is what they call "rakish"?)

So, why this post? Simple: as a warning to prospective readers, writers, collaborators, etc of "The Rake" magazine. Be warned that Mr Barker's moral / business standards apparently equal to his editorial ones.

Andrey
 

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That is outrageous, and completely bonkers to boot. Aside from being a PR megafail, how on earth do they think they can 'regulate readership? Hello? It's a magazine....:icon_headagainstwal Regulate membership ok, but....
 

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As long as they refunded your subscription price in full, I'm not sure there is all that much to get upset about. You said yourself that you were disappointed with the quality and that much of the publication's content was 'paid for fluff' (my words, not the OP's). The outcome you have described, seems a win, win for all involved...given the circumstance!
 

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Hey Whoa. They said "regulate readership" which indeed is a joke of epic proportions. "Regulate membership" was my phrase, and though it's also crap, they do have the right to, if they want to f#%$ their reputation in terms of PR.

It's not that there's anything to get upset about, it's just remarkable how clueless some businesses are. Sure, any magazine will have fluff as a filler. But if there are serious people such as Andreyb with a degree of renown and reputation, who are not satisfied and saying so online, the stupidest thing to do is what they did. Do they even know about modern marketing and conversation etc?
 

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That's truly weird. Your review seemed positive on balance, and seems to have inspired several subscriptions. Apparently the editor has some pretty thin skin. He'd be better served by thanking you for the honest criticism and using it to improve the magazine.
 

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Which is exactly what I meant. Nowadays the wrong thing to do is to just ignore or even piss off critics. Instead, they should have challenged Andreyb as to his opinion and engaged in conversation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
You said yourself that you were disappointed with the quality and that much of the publication's content was 'paid for fluff' (my words, not the OP's).
eagle2550, in the second linked thread I expressed an opinion that Wei Koh's article on Camps de Luca is not a critical one, and looks more like an advertorial.

Then I went on to suggest: "So, read it, enjoy the stories and pictures, but don't take it seriously."

Exactly what I do myself! I don't take such articles as a source of solid and trusted advice; I take them as infotainment! Which I value.

That's truly weird. Your review seemed positive on balance, and seems to have inspired several subscriptions.
To be honest, the first thread is more than one year old. More likely that the second one ruffled the feathers -- though we'll never know for sure.

Which is exactly what I meant. Nowadays the wrong thing to do is to just ignore or even piss off critics. Instead, they should have challenged Andreyb as to his opinion and engaged in conversation.
That's what I proposed in my reply. Apparently, no interest in this.

Apparently, meerkats who have the poor manners get dumped by high end magazines.
High end magazines? I see a low end one. Oh, you probably meant price of watches advertised there... my fail -- I spoke on magazine quality.

After such near libels as "This is the best English-language style magazine we have today", what else would the OP expect?
This was my opinion (not "libel"), based on reading first three issues... and I still stand by my words. Presence of advertorials is a fact of life; at the time I found Rake's ones better written, better illustrated and more relevant to our interests (classic clothing) than the rest of the pack.

In the second thread, I lamented move from topics on classic clothing to more fashion coverage.

Andrey
 

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Always perplexing when a media/journalism outlet takes an anti-free-speech stand. Can you imagine the NYT stopping subscriptions to right-leaning readers, or Fox News turning off content for cable subscribers who lean left? I know the Rake doesn't purport to be as serious as either of the above (take themselves), but still...
 

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Well, imagine for a moment that you commissioned a suit from a famous London house, say, and then proceeded to parade it on an internet forum and severely criticize (perhaps justly) the cut and the make. Would you expect that business/client relationship to resume? Would you be surprised if the company declined any subsequent commissions from you?

Now, of course, media/journalism is a very different business, yet the White House regularly discriminates against those journalists in the Press Corps deemed to write unfriendly copy. A public house, restaurant or nightclub will occasionally exercise its prerogative to exclude customers on what often appear to be rather arbitrary (or worse) criteria.

The above examples work in practice, and serve to constrain customer behaviour, because they are all exclusive providers of their products/services with complete power over distribution, so that the only means through which a customer can acquire the product or service is via a direct relationship with the provider.

The Rake's problem is that it behaves as though it enjoys such power over customers when, in reality, it has all the control over the distribution of its product that an RTW clothing manufacturer has.

Serious mistake.
 

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Fin, that's one big distinction. Another is that they are in the business of (free) speech, and so look hypocritical when they try to stifle it.
 

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For the people who have no membership to The Styleforum:

Without question, Mr. Bokhanko possesses the inalienable right to express his opinions.
THE RAKE, meanwhile, is free to hold its own opinions, and to choose its clientele, politely declining the custom of any individual it wishes.
THE RAKE acknowledges Mr. Bokhanko's criticisms, but respectfully disagrees. In light of his clear dissatisfaction with the service this publication offers, and THE RAKE's unwillingness to change to suit Mr. Bokhanko's whims, Mr. Bokhanko has been offered a full refund for the full cost of his subscription, of which only one additional issue remained. We would consider this a most gentlemanly parting of ways. When two parties reach an
insuperable impasse, the gentleman says "Good day to you, sir," and withdraws. He does not stoop to personal attacks. He does not question the morals of those who do
not share his beliefs. And never, ever will he impugn an adversary's family or homeland. That sort of behaviour is anything but gentlemanly. (Certain of you so-called
"iGents" might take note.)
Mr. Bokhanko, once again I say, good day to you, sir.
--Christian Barker
Apologies if previously I came across as pompous or elitist - no place for that on StyleForum. [If I didn't abhor emoticons, a wink would be inserted here.]

THE RAKE does welcome feedback, and we have in fact taken on board many of the suggestions PMed or emailed to us by denizens of this forum and similar sites. The comments we get from you guys are often insightful, intelligent, and constructive - unlike the incoherent criticism and ill-informed, inarticulate, self-contradictory commentary offered up by Mr. Bokhanko.

Still, he has every right to express his opinions, however malformed. But we have every right to say "Ciao." -C.B.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Well, imagine for a moment that you commissioned a suit from a famous London house, say, and then proceeded to parade it on an internet forum and severely criticize (perhaps justly) the cut and the make. Would you expect that business/client relationship to resume? Would you be surprised if the company declined any subsequent commissions from you?
That's a valid point.

However, I try (as much as I can) to write balanced reviews -- and judging from the reaction here and on sf.net many (though not all) people agree that they are indeed balanced.

Granted, even mild criticism might cause an outrageous reaction; but in case of a bespoke maker it is a good time to ask yourself -- do I really want to give my custom to someone who consider himself/herself above all critique?

In this particular case not only actions but the writing of Mr Barker's messages was simply despicable. Thus, this thread.

Andrey
 
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