Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

Consumers, newsagents ripped off by flawed partwork magazine supply model

Mark Fletcher
June 15th, 2006 · 54 Comments

This is a story which should be on one of the nightly TV current affairs shows. The images would be of secret backroom deals, angry customers, children in tears and big business call centre staff more immovable than the great wall of China.

For decades newsagents have sold partwork publications – magazines which publish for a set number of issues. Newsagents are the only retail outlet for these. Current partworks include Funny Bones and Midsomer Murders. Newsagents love partworks because customers sign up for the series and these regular visits underpin the habitual visit which is crucial to the newsagent retail model.

Partworks are supplied to newsagents with colour brochures inserted encouraging newsagent customers to go direct to the supplier to subscribe. While newsagents have complained about this, the main partwork importer in Australia, Bissett Magazines, claims subscriptions account for less than 5% of total sales. Newsagents give over their real estate without charge and often actively promote new titles. This raises the profile for the Bissett imported product. It’s very cheap advertising. The pay off for newsagents is customers signing up to get issue #2 and so on. If only it worked out that way.

The problems begin with issue 5 or 6 of almost any partwork you want to look at. Supplies to newsagents are cut. Often dramatically. When this happens, Bissett Magazines and their Australian distributors, Network Services (part of PBL) and Gordon and Gotch, say this is because the title is far more successful than their trial (usually conducted in South Australia) indicated it would be. They claim to be surprised and embarrassed that they cannot service all the requirements. There are usually three or four partwork titles a year where supplies are cut this way.

Newsagents are left unable to satisfy firm orders from customers. Customers get angry – some call Bissett and subsequently sign up for a subscription while others vent in store and yet others let their kids throw a tantrum because the newsagent has let them down.

The problem with partworks is systemic and not operational as Bissett and Network claim.

I want to share one personal experience to illustrate the problem with partworks and prove that newsagents are being ripped off by an inadequate system or something far more serious.

Funny Bones has been very successful in my shop. I have orders for 12 customers. Firm orders. We can sell another 5 or 6 copies on top of this. Network, in their wisdom and with the assistance of their IT technology and access to my sales data daily for years, decided to but my supply. Yesterday I received 4 copies of the latest Funny Bones issue. There is no business case for such a cut. I know o other newsagents receiving more stock of Funny Bones than they can move and Network would know who they are because they, too, provide daily sales data. Regardless, the Network team and their massive computer system cut me back. I have 8 customers who will not receive their Funny Bones. Contact with network says, no, sorry, no stock left. That’s the end of the matter. An angry email to the Managing Directors of Network and Bissett found another 5 copies for us late yesterday. It surprises me, in situations like this, that they can be completely out of stock and then find stock to help when one complains to the right people.

I know from my own research that I can call Bissett and order a subscription to Funny Bones. Yet I cannot get current stock and back order stock for my newsagency. This makes me suspicious about the claim than only 5% of all partworks sales are subscriptions.

A conspiracy theorist would suggest that newsagents get plenty of the first few issues of partworks to build title recognition and that the real game in town is to win subscription sales as that is where the real money is made. I don’t believe that, or don’t want to believe that – the on going mess with partworks makes me wonder.

I would have thought that the Trade Practices Act would have something to say about getting newsagents to promote partworks and then drying up the supply so that newsagents cannot supply so the consumer goes elsewhere. It does not make sense to me when I can prove that I sell out every time and the ‘experts’ cut my supply. They are taking hundreds of dollars revenue away from my business and causing considerably upset for my customers. They are starving me of oxygen.

No one wants to own this problem. Bissett says it’s their distributor at fault. The distributor says it’s Bissett. Bissett also says it the South Australian test prior to national launch which has let them down. My customers blame me. Bratty kids blame their parents.

I have offered to review future partworks and place firm sale orders for the whole series. This was rejected. I have offered to bypass the distributor and pick up my supply direct since the Bissett office is a few minutes from my shop. This was rejected. It’s almost as if the faulty supply model suits Bissett and Network. But that’s too ridiculous to contemplate.

I am a retailer. The partworks supply model denies me the opportunity to be a good retailer. It makes me look stupid. It turns customers against me. The only people profiting are the magazine distributor and Bissett because the costs of calls, customer anger and attempting to get backorders eliminates the profit from the initial sales.

Bissett and the magazine distributors need to get this sorted out. They risk newsagents pulling the plug and that would hurt the model as no other retail channel would provide the high exposure real estate support (at no cost) of newsagents. Maybe newsagents should pull out of partworks anyway.

Sometimes you really have to break something before it can be fixed.

1 likes

Category: Newsagency challenges

54 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Brian Mullis // Apr 25, 2007 at 12:13 PM

    Hi,
    I’m not a newsagent but have been caught twice (silly me!) by Bissett & Co and DeAGOSTINI.
    The first time was years ago when I subscribed to a classical music CD collection from Bissett. After chasing them for months towards the end, they finally completed my collection BUT the final binder wasn’t available. I finally ‘bullied’ them into supplying me with another series’ binder. I now have a set of nice classical music binders and one horrible “Ancient Egypt” binder on my shelves!. Imagine how it looks!
    The second time, I subscribed to Bissett’s (DeAGOSTINI’s) “Champion Racing Bikes” series for my grandson in April 2003, first at the local newsagent and then direct from Bissett. This series should have finished in April 2006! but I’m still waiting for the final three and binder.
    I am concerned that my grandson will be my age before these donkeys comply with their end of their agreement!
    When I get annoyed enough, usually at Christmas and his birthday, when I want to give him some, I contact them and complain, and, wonder of wonders, they turn up with one or two, but even that hasn’t worked the last couple of times!
    So, you see, it’s not only the newsagents that are being bitten by these bandits. Those of us who buy direct from them are also suffering. I agree with you that this is something that the TV current affairs shows would like to get hold of.
    Maybe…………..

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  • 2 sarah // Nov 20, 2007 at 12:13 PM

    My husband and I collect Stargate Atlantis and Xfiles from Bisset. they take the money for these issues at different times each month instead of a set date eg.28th of every month. apparently even though my car insurance can give me a set date each month to take money out of our bank but bisset magazines can’t therefore they take money when they feel like it and not when we get payed so last month we were hit with $400 worth of bank dishonour fees and were left struggling to pay our rent and unable to afford groceries.

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  • 3 mark fletcher // Nov 20, 2007 at 2:17 PM

    Sarah, I recommend you stop using Bissetts and go to your local newsagent. It’s better for your cash flow. Mark

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  • 4 Leanne // Mar 4, 2008 at 2:36 PM

    I actually cancelled my order a month later rang to confirm the cancellation because I had received another issue and their “28 days notice” policy and low and behold another magazine and another debit a month after that! Then they say did you get a cancellation number? However, no one mentioned this at the time of cancellation!

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  • 5 Julia // Mar 12, 2008 at 12:28 PM

    I had an experience with my subscription to the Poirot Collection. I moved house and despite having me mail redirected I missed my next issue. When I called to find out why I was told they had cancelled it. What then followed was a series of emails as I tried to work out why they wanted to charge me for this issue despite the fact that I thought I had paid already. Eventually they had to send me a statement of what issues i had been charged for and when. Last month I wasn’t charged at all, but still received the magazine and this month they have taken the fees for both at once. Luckily, this was just after pay day or I could have experienced similar problems to Sarah.

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  • 6 David // Apr 3, 2008 at 1:45 PM

    I have a large newsagency and can add an extra (costly) dimension to the problem. We also have orders for 12 of many partworks but get maybe 3,4 or 5 after the large numbers of the first few. To keep faqith with those orders we’re told to “back-order” our missing titles. Weeks or months later they come but frquently the customer has “given up” and won’t pick them up. We lose the sale! We lose the customer! Last of all back orders are “firm sale” so we can’t return them – we lose our money!
    It’s a blatent abuse of the Trade Practices Act by the suppliers who simply do not supply that which they have contracted to supply.
    We’ve stopped doing orders for Partworks – first in best dressed for whatever we get – the customer simply misses out.
    All Newsagents should say “NO MORE OF THIS NONSENSE”. We’d all be better off teaching the suppliers a lesson.
    Magazine supply in itself is another seriously flawed model – it’s another story!

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  • 7 David // Apr 4, 2008 at 8:22 AM

    did you know if you dump the newsagent and go to SUBSCRIATION they will supply all back orders .sounds like they are just going to push us out we should try the ACCC

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  • 8 caz // Apr 18, 2008 at 7:13 PM

    I subscribed to Bissett because of the promise of ‘free gifts’ with ‘treasures of the earth’ magazine. My 5yo waits every month for them to be back dated, but each time just a note ‘out of stock’. No idea if they will ever come. I will unsubscribe, but feel ripped-off!

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  • 9 Jo Jerome // Apr 21, 2008 at 1:39 PM

    I too have been captured by Bisset Magazines and their subscribtion farce. I subscribed online over two months ago for the “Treasures of the Earth” collection. I have emailed Bisset on several occasions with not one reply. I now have one very dissapointed son!

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  • 10 raymond // May 3, 2008 at 10:54 PM

    have commenced a direct subscription with Bissettfor the Bismark battle ship-There are 184 issues at approx $60 each having reached issues 21 I am now experiencing continual out of stock issues and they continue to send me subsequent issues -how can i build a model when each each issue is a continuation of the previous -have been waiting for months despite many calls to melbourne they inform me the stock is coming-I have also heard rom other sources that some issues contain broken plastic parts and bissett to date has been unable to replace these issues saying there is no surplus stock=fortunately I am not on a direct debit system and pay by cheque on receipt of goods but have decided not to pay for any further issues until all back orders are received-I would rather cut my loss at this early stage that after a heafty outlay considering the project is over $2000

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  • 11 Caroline // Jun 17, 2008 at 1:18 AM

    I also subscribe to Bisset for the Bismark series for a disabled husband who looks forward to these issues. but their service is dismal. They are always out of stock. Do not have a web site. it is a long distance call for me to complain. I am going to see consumer affairs when they next visit our area and make a formal complaint.
    I am fed up with their buck passing. I do wish someone would put it on the current affairs show.
    All these complaints must show that something is very wrong

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  • 12 VAUGHAN LAWRENCE // Jun 17, 2008 at 3:19 PM

    I cannot believe that after all these years, both newsagents and subscribers are still having EXACTLY the same issues as day one. Who is going to hold these pricks accountable?
    It is another example of our suppliers walking all over us because our State and National Associations are ‘Toothless Tigers’.
    Vaughan

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  • 13 SHAUN // Jun 17, 2008 at 3:38 PM

    The problem is who else are we going to buy off . They have the power to do what ever they want and we will except it because we have no choice .I winge ,make phone calls ,send emails and the whole time i might as well be talking to myself .The ANF or any other group will never fix any of the issues we have with suppliers ,it has been going on for years . I can;t wait till an ANF rep comes and sees me just so i can find out what there role is because i have no idea .I do hear there little get togethers are great ,maybe they could branch out to be party organisers .Just last week i lost a customer that was getting treasures of the earth but because i didn’t have a back order she cancelled ,
    because of course it was my fault .As far as the customer is concerned i have let them down .

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  • 14 Victor // Jun 25, 2008 at 5:40 PM

    Why are you all still not doing something solid about your problem? As an individual I have purchased the star trek series (Fact Files, The Next Generation) and the Stargate series (there is no separate Atlantis series, yet) and have not had any problems (yet). But as you can see by the letters submitted it seems to only affect the more esoteric titles. However, I have not had problems when purchasing extra binders for the above titles. I do have trouble with when the payments are taken but luckily have remained in better control and have not had too many insufficient funds fees.

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  • 15 SHAUN // Jun 25, 2008 at 6:13 PM

    have you ever tried talking to a brick wall because that is what it is like

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  • 16 raymond // Jul 9, 2008 at 7:24 PM

    to Lady called caroline re build the bismark
    my email address is abela_ray@yahoo.com.au
    feel free to contact me as i would like to discuss your problems to compare—i have taken my complaint to fair trading and they are investigating out of stock issues & if bissett can provide fair trading will initiate court action to recover all the monies paid by me

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  • 17 raymond // Jul 9, 2008 at 7:27 PM

    my email address is
    abela with an underscore between abela and ray
    thus it is
    abela_ray@yahoo.com.au

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  • 18 raymond // Jul 13, 2008 at 1:46 PM

    Sink the Bismark- Despite the usual monthly promise that the back orders will arrive by the end of the month and sent out shortly— I have been waiting for 4 months and getting no where– Bissett do not appear to understand that the construction of this kit requires parts on a continuing sequence -sending me issues withsout the missing ones render all subsequent issues useless until I receive the missing ones –now Bisset have the hide to threaten legal action for subsequent issues not paid when I clearly stated that until I receive the missing issues I have reached a stalemate and unable to continue building the kit—-They now have the hide to say if you don’t pay for the 4 subsequent issues they will not send me the back orders when and if they receive them -I have acton pending with fair trading and will advise readers of the outcome in this forum-my recommendation to anyone is to be very cautious dealing with this company.They return no phone calls answer nor letters or emails and don’t appear to care a damn about their clients-they take the money and fail to deliver their promise of service and supply of merchandise.readers be warned

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  • 19 Adam // Aug 8, 2008 at 8:30 PM

    I have subscribe to Treasures if the Earth and although there was some problems at the beginning,it has since been sorted out.I e-mailed them and they responded straight away-no problems.

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  • 20 Ken // Sep 4, 2008 at 3:26 PM

    What tha!!! I to am a Bismark subscriber and unlike u folks I have had no problems with Bissett in so far as dealing with any mistakes that have been made by them with my subscription, so far I am up to issue 21. Yes I have one case of “out of stock” but was sent the missing issue the next month. Issue 17 was missing 2 parts but one phone call later a replacment was sent. These two faults I consider as part of dealing with any large company and created a miner inconveniance only. The best way I judge any cmpany is the way they deal with any problems and for me so far they have been friendly and motervated in how they dealt with me. I wont belitle any of u who have had problems as Im sure that each and every one of you is honest and genuine with the complaints that you have with Bissett but up till now I have enjoyed a good service fromk them. I do think its a good idea that someone investigate all of ur problems because no matter how good a company is accross the board it only takes one unhappy customer to wipe out any and all of thier good dealings. I wish u all luck with this and thank u for posting and letting others know about this as I will be a little more aware now of what could potentialy happen to me.

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  • 21 Barbara // Jun 23, 2009 at 9:58 AM

    I have to say that I have got good service from Bissett much better than the local newsagent who couldn’t or wouldn’t follow up on backorders and then when a request to replace a faulty DVD went unheeded for over two months. I go up to find a new owner in the shop and the previous owners just left everything in their hands and backorders and replacements did not know anything of this. Agro yes I am and yes the newsagent lost a customer for good.!!!

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  • 22 Luke // Jun 23, 2009 at 10:16 AM

    Barbara, you are blaming the newsagent for a fault that is entirely Bissett’s. they are the ones that refuse to supply newsagents with backorders and replace faulty discs not the newsagent. While you have boycotted the newsagent you are still loyal to the people that are at fault here.
    I hope one day you can see this.

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  • 23 Y&G // Jun 23, 2009 at 11:01 AM

    Barbara, I’m a bit concerned that you’re boycotting an agent whose only crime was to have copped a very poor handover. If I read your post correctly, it wasn’t entirely their fault. Partworks is actually an occupational hazard, for the reasons you yourself state. One of the reasons we don’t do them because the grief just isn’t worth it!

    Please don’t blame the new agent – it’s very hard to recoup lost goodwill when you’ve discovered the previous owner of your business has left you with a dog’s breakfast. Our challenges on acquisition you could write a book about – some of which we are still dealing with, 8 months down the track. A loss of support is the last thing a new owner needs when it should have been sorted during the handover period.

    We’ve had “new owner” signs outside our shop for six months now. The reason they’re still there? Because people from the community are still coming in to resume support after having poor service, stock, cleanliness and attitude from the previous owners, that’s why.
    As recently as last week, a couple of people noticed the sign and ventured back in.

    Barbara, I would guess that the agency you refer to would love to work with you again, if you’d give them a chance.

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  • 24 Barbara // Aug 12, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    I don’t blame the new agent however he was just as bad at understanding the problem. Unfortunately the person’s english wasn’t that good either so that in itself played a big part of my agro. No the handover was less than expected given that the previous owners had my phone, mobile and email address and DID NOT pass this on – Yes I am angry.

    These people were just not up to the task and left once the game got a tad serious.

    But on partwork editions. I feel that Bissett did the right thing and helped me get the missing bits and I have now sorted out my collections. Would I go back to newsagency for partwork definitely not!

    If what this forum says is true “Bissett” is undermining the newsagencies then I would expect that they start taking action on getting some semblance of service from the suppliers. even court action if that is what is required. But for me I will remain with Bissett because I get service and also no problems.

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  • 25 Jean // Aug 13, 2009 at 7:10 AM

    Csn someone tell me why are newsagents are not removeing the subscription offers from the part works as newsagents can not offer this + binders if you do not you just helping the slide on part work sales

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  • 26 raymond abela // Sep 9, 2009 at 9:14 AM

    i subscribe to build the bismarck -have been trying to contact bissett magazine service in melbourne their phone no is 0398724000
    there is a permanent answer machine saying their office is closed and to contact them during business hours -which is what i have been doing since friday 4th september
    my issues have not been sent though my account is always paid upto date

    Has this business closed or ceased to operate
    now I understand that they are associated with gordon and gotch in melbourne and are a subsiduary of this company –i have phoned gordon & gotch and they are making no comment and are in fact being secretive about the current position and saying that i should continue trying to write or send emails
    can anyone throw any light on this matter -my emails have not been replied your are welcome to ring me on 0450443175

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  • 27 raymond abela // Sep 9, 2009 at 5:16 PM

    In all fairness to bissett magazines i did this afternoon receive a reply to my email.
    Unfortunately there was a problem with their phone recorded message which was incorrectly advising callers that the business was closed and to ring back during working hours
    all my concerns have benn rectified and in all fairness i submit this comment

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  • 28 Tigerlily // Oct 4, 2009 at 9:36 PM

    I just wanted to let people know of my personal experiences with Bissett Magazines. I have subscribed to quite a few partworks with them over the years, and I have always found them to give very good service. One of my current ones is ‘The Gods Of Ancient Egypt’ which consists of a good quality magazine and a not-so-good quality figurine. About 10 or 11 of these have arrived with the figurine broken, and all it takes is one phone call to them and a replacement is sent out, free of charge. Also, their phone operators are native English speakers, which is not the case with most other people you ring. I realise that the last comment makes me sound as if I am racist – which I am definitely not – I just find it difficult to understand what some other operators are saying. Anyway, just thought I’d put in my two cents worth!

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  • 29 anon // Oct 5, 2009 at 8:21 AM

    how are the bikini sales going Tigerlilly?

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  • 30 Mad Dog // Nov 1, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    Dear All

    I support my local newsagent, by NOT getting subscriptions, and had nothing but sterling service from them!

    I have just finished the solar system model through them (and it goes!) and am just over 80% through the bismarck build. In the past I have also completed the Red Baron’s plane, and the Bounty.

    While the total cost of these is higher than the outright purchase price, (If you can find them anywhere!) the defrayment of $1000+ over a number of years is worth it. Hell, I’m a smoker too, and at least it stops me buying one less pack a week! (now THERE’S a waste of money!)
    Missing parts have been back ordered and have always eventually arrived. Even parts which had the wrong pieces in them, or which I had destroyed during the build. They always turned up.

    In return I take in the odd photo and take it in to see that their efforts are actually helping to acheive something.

    I find dealing with the newsAGENT is the best way to deal with it, as they have an ongoing relationship with the distributors; they have (some) buying clout. Individual consumers have no leverage, and i’m not surprised if the distributors tend to disregard their complaints. What can we induvidually do? take away their birthdays? As there is no binding contract to supply as promised, as consumers we are at the whim of their supply. Just wait until there is a port strike, and stuff gets held up on the docks for weeks or months; does wonders for the builk sequence; NOT!

    The subscriptions always seem too mremoved and a bit potentially dodgy. And the fact the the package would likely be jammed into my letter box by the postman, or nicked by the local lowlifes. Plus I like my weekly visit to the newsos.

    So damn the subscription, and make your newsos nyour new best friends. (and take in pictures from time to time, if they are interested, to keep them in the loop!

    cheers

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  • 31 fieryivy // Dec 27, 2009 at 6:14 PM

    I have been buying the Hannah Montana scrapbook issues from Bissett since the 2nd issue. Yes i saw the insert that offered bonus items to buy direct from them, the one that sold me was a digital camera with the 5th, After our 2nd delivery of 2 issues each time the delivery changed to 4 issues each time (so a doubling in the cost each month), and then i was charged for binders that i wasn’t advised about prior to arrival. Now we are up to our 8th delivery, expecting the 9th soon, and we still dont have the digital camera, as they are out of stock.

    if the camera doesnt come in this months or next months issues, i think i will have to take it further.

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  • 32 Peter // Dec 28, 2009 at 10:18 AM

    Fieryivy,

    Thats what happens you go direct and dont support your local newsagent – no service….

    Whilst it looks cheap you get what you pay for… We, your local newsagnats bend over backwards for our partworks customers, so perhaps you should think twice next time before taking the ‘attractive’ offer by going direct.

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  • 33 Chris // Dec 29, 2009 at 1:47 PM

    This post maybe a little unrelated, but is People and Picture magazines being killed off?

    Chris

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  • 34 ScottM // Dec 29, 2009 at 2:05 PM

    no, a “title kill” is different from being “killed off”

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  • 35 Pauline // Jul 7, 2010 at 11:42 AM

    Have subscribed to Poirot – no problems received them all. Have subscribed to Trasures of the Eath – no problems, they are still being received.

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  • 36 Sommernats&Kash // Sep 14, 2010 at 11:51 AM

    Just thought I would throw my 2 cents worth in too – I have been subscribing to Bissett for quite a few years now despite being only 19). I currently receive the buffy and Angel DVD series (and am up to issues 43 & 44). I have never had a problem – one issue was on back order but I received it the next month. I have always received everything that was promised with a subscription and any issues I have had have been dealt with ASAP, either through email or over the phone.
    That being said, i would not use any of my local newsagents on basis of rudeness, inadequate service and general dissatisfaction.

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  • 37 Keith Biglin // Oct 28, 2010 at 2:30 PM

    Yeah Bisset Magazines are unfortunatley not a great retailer. It has taken 2 years for me to complete a model due to supply not being met, parts being wrong. The product I have paid for cost over $750 Aus and is still faulty – No ombudsmen to complain to feel ripped off!

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  • 38 Shirley // Oct 28, 2010 at 7:09 PM

    We are not from Australia. We ordered a single video tape online from Bissett to be sent to my cousin’s place in Sydney as my aunt was visiting and she could bring it back for us.

    When she came back, she brought the video and the 1st issue of Solar System. We thought it was free (or as a sample to get us interested). A month later, we found that they have charged us for it. We di not do anything about it as the item is already out of Australia.

    To our surpirse, we were charged another A$100+ a few days ago. After a check with my cousin, we found that there were no items sent.

    We did not subsribe to any of the titles and yet they are billing us.

    Emails sent were not answered. Is there anything we can do? Where/who can we take this complaint to as we are not from/in Australia?

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  • 39 Shirley // Oct 28, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    I forgot to say that the video was ordered in July and was sent within 1 week.

    The first issue of the Solar System was received a few days later.

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  • 40 Manu // Mar 21, 2011 at 12:24 AM

    I ordered the midsummer murders series and had no serious issues. All 66 dvds more or less arrived on time and as far as I could see the payments were according to the shipment. My problem though is that there are new parts (new season) shown on television and I would like to continue purchasing those to continue my collection but have been told by a bissett call center person that they have not been offered to sell those (by whom I don’t know). So how do I get the new single dvds without buying box collections from the local dvd stores.

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  • 41 Jacques // Apr 9, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    Hey I have an idea. I read a lot of what people are saying, even I was stung years back and I just started the fighter aircraft collection, but am now really in doubt, but it seems if there are so many complaints, then why not ACA ?( A Current Affair ) as they get results as soon as something airs and yes one would stop to wonder at how these people opperate. Perhaps they have their hands in too many cookie jars, perhaps they even rely on the cash of new subscribers of new and different hobby mags to top up the cash jar in order to fill remaining subscriptions, thus making people wait for months on end for back orders.
    Does that make any sense, anyone?
    Jacques

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  • 42 Steven // Apr 10, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    It’s almost five years ago when this was first posted. It seems we are still having all the same problems. Where will we be in the next five years? Will anything change for the better?

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  • 43 Mark // Apr 10, 2011 at 1:10 PM

    There have been some changes Steven but not enough. Gotch is on a mission to improve its handling of Partworks this year. That said, network is behind in its processes.

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  • 44 Louise // May 6, 2011 at 7:51 PM

    I signed up for a 34 issue How Your Body Works and was waiting until they had stopped sending them until I opened them and made it. How silly was I, I just checked what issue it was up to.. 52! I did not sign up for this, and I have been charged way too much. Not impressed.

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  • 45 Taso // May 23, 2011 at 1:33 PM

    My wife has been roped into the ‘How Your Body Works’ – we have issue 54 from their state 1-34 issues… it is unacceptable. We are planning to take them to consumer affairs, scan their first issue stating the ‘up to’ issues and our current issue 54. They could milk this and could cost 1000 for a piece of plastic!!

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  • 46 Leah // May 11, 2015 at 12:46 PM

    I subscribed to the Rocks & Minerals partwork via Bissett after buying issue 1 at a local newsagent. Several weeks went by and the newsagent was up to issue 9 but I still had not received issue 2! Bissett claimed it was “short stock” and they do not supply newsagents. They have no trouble hitting my account for 5 issues at a time though and no notification is given for them doing that! They auto charge binders too. I cancelled it and I have sent another email confirming the cancellation. Be wary of partwork subsscriptions everyone.

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  • 47 Ange Kenos // Oct 21, 2015 at 8:21 PM

    I need the top of the funny bones skull but 2 letters to the suppliers and visits to several news agents were a waste of time. Seems the supplier remains disrespectful of clients

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  • 48 Mark Fletcher // Oct 22, 2015 at 6:36 AM

    Ange did you purchase all parts through a newsagency business?

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  • 49 dorian bates // Feb 25, 2016 at 5:56 AM

    Well things haven’t change much for me over the years as I have been buying partwork and now I am buying the 3d printer series and it is suppose to be weekly at present I was told they are having some problem with transport and now they are going to fortnightly till they get it sorted out.

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  • 50 Keith // May 26, 2016 at 4:36 PM

    Well I’ll Tell you that it is not just news agencies that are having problems with Bissett. People who subscribe direct to them are being given the run-a-round as well. They charge when ever they like and then you have to wait another 6 weeks before you get the magazines. When you contact them, they say “Oh sorry we have been overwhelmed with the subscriptions – or the supplier can’t keep up” what a load of crap!!!! they really need to get with it and so does Eaglemoss Publishing!!!!

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  • 51 Hazel McSweeney // May 6, 2018 at 11:25 AM

    I have bought several series inc. Solar System, Earth and Moon Orbiter, Doctor Who snd Stargate. All started at the newsagents then changed to Bissett. All were painless transactions with backorders sent promptly. THEN I got a cake decorating one. Nothing but trouble. Many of the decorating nozzles were bent in transit. Sometimes 6-7 replacements were sent before I got an undamaged one. I repeatedly suggested sending them in a box instead of a plastic bag. Finally I gave up at Part 34…. I was still trying to get Part 3s item undamaged and have ELEVEN copies, all with squashed nozzles. A few months after cancelling they sent me another 4 unasked for copies of Part 3 (all inside a box) and none were damaged. All told to get 34 undamaged ones I received 61 replacement copies in that series !
    Not a viable way to run any business.
    They never even asked for any proof of damage !!
    They didn’t try to charge for replacements but OMG what a hassle.

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  • 52 Peter Xuereb // Jul 17, 2018 at 8:01 PM

    I deal with Bissett Magazines a lot. I get 3 partworks from them with very few dramas if any. replacements get sent no questions asked.
    However I found out today that Bissett have suddenly ‘ceased trading’ after a day of them having phone issues’. There is a recorded advising subscribers to contact the UK publisher’s customers service centre listed on the inside cover of your magazine/book. I don’t know whether I have to resort to the newsagent from whom I buy another 5 partworks! I had just subscribed to the new Batman Graphic Novels collection. I have ‘Premium’ subscriptions through Bissett for 3 partworks (DC Graphic Novels, Game Of Thrones figurines & Marvel Movie Collection figurines and these include extras that have been progressively paid for but not received (an extra $2 per issue for a 3rd Dragon & extra Iron Man armours, the latter being due now)

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  • 53 Garry // Aug 4, 2018 at 11:44 AM

    I too, have just discovered Bissett magazines has ceased trading. The reason I used them is because I didn’t see the Judge Dredd mega collection in newsagents. I will attempt to complete this partwork, but never again after this.

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  • 54 Cale Petterwood // Sep 28, 2018 at 8:35 PM

    I had been collecting Marvels Mightiest Heroes for over four years.
    With my first order I received a picture of what the spine picture should look like when completed. I counted 60 volumes… 30 months. When I received further issues after number 60, I rang and asked how many there were as I was only expecting 60.
    “They’re very popular so there’s now going to be 100 issues”… Awesome!
    As they didn’t come in order (eg. issue 60 would be delivered before 34), I noticed that the numbers on the spine were exceeding 100. I rang again and was told there were now going to be 130… Even better.
    The issues up to 100 were delivered and then everything stopped..? So I had the complete collection up to 100 but now have issues 108 and 104. One of which is damaged and I’ve had no problem getting past damaged volumes replaced.
    So I rang, yet again, and got the recorded message to contact the address on the inside of the front cover. Tried them and was told that they are a separate entity and to try another site. Nothing again bit found a site saying Bisset had ceased trading… WTF!?!
    Can anyone tell me how I can resubscribe or am I stuck with an incomplete collection.

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