Thursday, February 28, 2013

Not A Good Thing: Whole Living Magazine Shuts Down

*Updated 8/17/2015*
I have created a Facebook community with a similar feel to the magazine. 
Take a look here if, you are interested.

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*8/21/2014* Believe it or not, updated again here.

There is new post with some updates to this topic. See it here in addition to the many updates below.


Oh Martha. I've defended you to the naysayers. Loved the poncho and wholeheartedly agree about gathering the good things.

Over the past few weeks, I've been catching up on my magazine reading. I had just about caught up on Whole Living, when tonight I realized that the last issue that I had received was January/February 2013. I hadn't gotten the March issue yet. That seemed odd.

I was looking forward to it, because I really love loved this magazine. Plus I had just renewed my subscription in November. After doing a quick search, I found that Whole Living is no more.

In December, somehow I missed the articles about the magazine's demise. Or maybe I saw them, but figured there would be a buyer, then just forgot about it.

Now I have paid for a magazine that no longer exists. I don't recall being notified about the magazine shutting down. Based on comments on the Whole Living Facebook page, I'm not the only one wondering what happens next.

What's the protocol for informing subscribers when a publication shuts down?

Since I sent in my payment right before they went out of business, I feel like it should not have even been accepted. It should have been returned telling me that that magazine would cease publication in its current form.

Whole Living print subscribers are invited to subscribe to Martha Stewart Living, but it's a very different magazine and not what I wanted. I'm very disappointed, but life certainly goes on. However, I do hope that I get my money back.

*Updated 3/1/2013* I called the customer service number (800.755.1178) and after the representative did a bit of searching, she said that I would be getting a refund. She did pitch MSL, but I told her that I was not interested.

She said that Whole Living only just decided to cease operations 3-4 weeks ago, so it will take a bit of time for the checks to be sent out. I told her that was not true, that according to the news articles that I found, that Stewart decided to cease operations in early December. The representative seemed quite surprised and said, "That's not what they told us here in the call center." Interesting....

*Updated 4/1/2013* I still have not received the refund, so I called again today. I was told that I will receive the refund check in no later than 7-10 business days, by next Friday April 12th.  We shall see!

*Updated 4/12/2013* Well, the saga continues. I received my mail today and there was no refund check, so I called the number back again. The person who answered this time, said that she didn't know why I was told that I'd be sent a refund check, because my account was sent to Family Circle and I'd have to call them to get a refund.

She gave me the number 800-374-4244, which required that I go through all sorts of hoops to reach a live person. Further the recordings all said Better Homes & Gardens. Then when a person came on, she said that my account was now with Family Circle.  She tried to get me to buy Family Circle and I asked for a refund. I was told that I'd receive one within 2-3 weeks. Probably 3 weeks. Then she tried to sell me EveryDay with Rachel Ray. Could a magazine be any further from what Whole Living was about? Anyway, I held my toungue and politely declined. I will keep you updated. Oh, I asked for a more direct number in case I have to call again. It's 800-627-4444.

*Updated 4/22/2013* Last week I received a copy of Family Circle in the mail with an offer to purchase a subscription at a discounted rate. Very odd. Family Circle is nothing like Whole Living. Also, from the Facebook page, it looks like people are all getting different replacement magazines. I wonder why they didn't just give us a choice instead of assigning us to a particular publication? Well, either way, I finally received my refund check today. Case closed.

*Updated 5/26/2013* Recently, this post has become a meeting place for those of us looking for a magazine to fill the place of Whole Living.  Since many of us are still looking, I just learned about Mindful Magazine and figured that I'd share it here with you. Have any of you read it? I may give it a try.

*Updated 5/29/2013* I've updated this post with a listing of possible alternative magazines to Whole Living.

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22 comments:

Enyasi said...

Bummed to hear about Whole Living. My subscription ended in October and I had just been buying it at the bookstore .. wondered why there was no March issue. It was a really great magazine.. can't believe they killed it.. Any ideas for a replacement? I have enjoyed many issues of Experience Life..

Lisa Johnson said...

enyasi - It was the perfect magazine and really like nothing else out there. I subscribe to Yoga Journal, which is similar, but not quite. Thanks for the heads up on Experience Life.

Chris O said...

Every Day Food did that last year and now I'm getting MSL, which I don't like as I'm not a Martha fan. Every Day Food had great recipes, many of which I've tried over the years I subscribed. Know how you feel about the demise of a good magazine.

Lisa Johnson said...

chris - I had only been getting it for a little over a year and was so happy with it. On the Facebook page, many people mentioned the demise of Every Day Food as well and their disappointment. I guess there just weren't enough subscribers for either magazine and her company was losing a lot of money. Oh well....

Anonymous said...

I too, was very disappointed no one was notified. I received a copy of Family Circle today, and called and asked for a refund. It is the principal of the thing--give us some information and a choice!

Lisa Johnson said...

anonymous - It really is the principal of the thing. Hopefully you'll get a refund. This was not handled well at all and I hate to think of what the employees must have gone through. The last time that I called, I was assured that I would absolutely get my refund check by today at the latest. So far I have not received it. I'll give it until the end of the day today before calling again and will keep updating below until I receive it.

Anonymous said...

I, too, received Family Circle today. Prior to that I didn't realize WL was discontinued. Thank you for posting the telephone number. From that number I was told to call 1 -800-374-4244 where I had to listen to a sales pitch but insisted on a refund. And why would they think I'd want Family Circle in place of WL? They aren't even close! I am very disappointed in Martha's handling of the situation.

Lisa Johnson said...

anonymous - As you can tell from the update above, I didn't receive the refund check. Still waiting. I'm very disappointed as well.

melissmoor said...

I am going to try this magazine as a replacement: http://www.alive.com/
Hope we get our refunds soon and they do NOT send me Family Circle. Ugh.

Lisa Johnson said...

melissmoor - Thanks for the tip! Alive looks like a good magazine.

I did receive my refund a few weeks ago, but they are still sending me Family Circle even though I declined to subscribe to it. I gave my last one away to someone, but they seem to keep coming. I think most people without children do not want to read Family Circle.

I actually would have liked MORE magazine, but that was not offered as a choice. Very strange....

Sarah said...

I'm a little behind and just now realized I was no longer receiving Whole Living (my last issue was in December, my life might be a bit too busy!) I am so sad because it was one of the inspirations for my magazine I started last year (www.livingwellnesskc.com). I am going to try Mother Earth Living out (www.motherearthliving.com).

Lisa Johnson said...

sarah - Life does get too busy doesn't it? I tried to visit your magazine website, but it wouldn't come up. Good luck with Mother Earth Living. At least there are a few other options out there. Though sadly,none will be the same.

Laura said...

Thank you for the suggestions for possible replacements for Whole Living mag!! I found you through a google search; Whole Living was the ONLY magazine I subscribed to for years. Was terribly disappointed in the cheap replacement of it with Family Circle. Absolutely nothing like Whole Living! I can't wait to check out your suggestions. Have a lovely weekend! :)

Lisa Johnson said...

laura - You're welcome. So glad the post was helpful to you! Hope your weekend is lovely too! : )

Kristin said...

Thank you for posting this- I wondered what happened to my WL subscription and also puzzled about why I was getting Family Circle. This clears things up. I will miss WL :(

Lisa Johnson said...

kristin - You're welcome. I'm still getting Family Circle as well. It makes me miss WL even more....

Anonymous said...

An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a co-worker who has
been doing a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I stumbled upon it for him...
lol. So let me reword this.... Thank YOU for the meal!!

But yeah, thanks for spending the time to talk about this matter here on your website.

Lisa Johnson said...

anonymous - You're welcome! : )

Emilie Fleur Neubauer said...

Same thing happened to me and they sent me rachel ray as a replacement ... the only thing like whole living I have found is yoga journal ... its more yoga but the same vibe as WL I miss it so much - thanks for this posting it has answered my questions and solved the rachel ray confusion!! In NEW zEALAND where we live now there is a mag called GOOD and its just like WL so theres another tip if you can get it there its really ace too

Lisa Johnson said...

emilie - Glad this post was helpful! Thank you for suggesting GOOD. It does look a lot like WL, so I've added it to my other post with a list of similar magazines. At the very least, I'll be looking at the website. Looks interesting!

info@awakenindy.com said...

I was also a big fan of Whole Living, and it's predecessor, Body + Soul. All good things. About 6 years ago, I discovered a natural health, wellness and green living magazine that was a great complement to the Whole Living content.

It's a free publication, and you can check if it's in your local market: Natural Awakenings. We recently joined the family of publishers, and it has been a wonderful experience. I believe the content, integrity and heart will impress you. And it's free! Check out content and if there's one in your area at naturalawakeningsmag.com.

Hope this doesn't sound like a promotion, because it's not - just want you to know about this nice option for healthy lifestyle info.

Lisa Johnson said...

info - I'll take a look. Thank you for the suggestion.

 
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