** #PE ** This afternoon, I’ve got some spam. Ok, I get some 200 per day, 190 of which get filtered, but 10 make it into my mailbox. One, however, was pretty interesting: a 2-month Wall Street Journal subscription at $1. I promptly checked the mail: sent by Pocket, but leading directly to the WSJ store, apparently genuine.
Took me a minute or two to fill all forms, register, and click PayPal payment. Only then, the WSJ store page would tell me: “This offer is only for U.S.-registered PayPal accounts”. I already smelled the thing, but tried again, now offering a direct credit card payment. “Invalid card number”, WSJ answered.
Ok, I now browsed the WSJ homepage, so as to enter it with my PL origin. The store had an even better offer, in Euro, thus apparently for Europe: €1 for 3 months. The store was kind enough not to recognize my previous registration. I had to fill all forms again, only to get the same “piss off, boy” message: “Invalid card number”.
And let me add, there was no preemptive warning whatsoever, neither in the spam mail I received, nor on the WSJ store pages. I even checked the three small print sections below: Frequently Asked Questions, Other Subscription Options, as well as Terms & Conditions. Not a word about the offer being limited in any way.
Please don’t tell me my card actually was “invalid”. I used it today twice, first before, then after the WSJ adventure. It’s not the card, it’s the region. 30 years after the collapse of Communism, the Wall is still there, though probably with some modifications: the ex-DDR now Germany and with “valid” cards, and possibly some more. And let me remind you it was us, Poles, to make the Soviet block collapse, our revolution preceding others by a year if we start counting from the announcement of the Round Table talks in August 1988.
Yet so often we are still second category citizens of the European Union, Europe, the world. The non-visa U.S. travel, granted to Poles only a week ago, does not change much. We are neglectable. Thank you, Wall Street Journal. While you are one of the last strongholds of good journalism, you apparently forgot about public relations and savoir-vivre.