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Conversational Threads

The USPS Mangles my Magazines!

izzie | Posted in Feedback on Threads on

My new issue of Threads arrived today and I haven’t even looked at it yet because I’m so frustrated that is is all torn up AGAIN.  This is at least the third issue this year that I have received all mangled up.  Last month’s issue came to me in accordion folds!  It was also about a month late and arrived after Threads had graciously sent a replacement.

I know Threads will replace torn copies, but after requesting 2 or 3, you start to feel guiltly about asking for them.  Could you please, please, please go back to mailing them in plastic wrappers?  I would not mind paying extra for my subscription if that is what it takes to get crumple free magazines. 



  1. starzoe | | #1

    Could it be that someone in the postal sorting office is taking your mags home to read? I strongly suspected this was happening at one time as my Threads copy was worn and late and so I and complained to my regular carrier about it. The practice stopped and I got my (new condition) Threads afterward right on time. Now we have a plastic wrap (goes through Customs to Canada).

  2. Cherrypops | | #2

    Hi there, How unfortunate. I'd do what starzoe did, take your concerns up with the postal service/ shipping carrier. Once the magazine has left the publisher, it is not their responsibility. Hope you sort it out and get fresh magazines. Cherrypops (Australia)

    1. izzie | | #3

      That is a good plan, but I've tried it and it didn't do any good.  My current PO is so bad that I rented a PO BOX at another nearby PO and still ended up with a torn cover.  At least this new PO didn't crease the magazine.  Also, I recently moved, so this has happened at 3 different PO's.  I've been getting Threads since issue 29 and I have not ever had this problem before the plastic bag was removed.

      I'm not sure, but I'm thinking that one of the PO's told me that the "naked" magazines are run through sorting machines and sometimes they get caught.

      Surely I'm not the only one having this problem?

      Thanks for your replies and suggestions,


      1. Cherrypops | | #4

        I don't know what size your PO Box is but please consider renting an A4/Magazine size. This way magazine lays flat, slides in easily, maybe be the plastic wrap did slide and the paper wrap was getting torn entering the po box causing the rips and tears. Spend the extra money there instead of subscription in plastic wrap.  Taunton, if they receive substantial numbers of torn magazines, may consider changing back to plastic wrap. Otherwise, if possible, buy from newsagency. Again, cost more but not damaged.

        Here in Australia the sorting machines for magazines and books is like a flat tray which magazine slides off into a delivery bin, nothing to get caught. My husband has experience in this area. Maybe the sorting process is different overseas?

        CherryPops (subscriber from Australia for the past 2 yrs)


  3. tracy | | #5

    Dear Izzie,

    Funny, that started happening to me once I moved to where I live now. MY darling husband bought me a 3 year subscription as a gift after we moved and then I stopped receiving my Threads mags on time. As with you, I kept having to call the Taunton customer service to have a replacement sent. Unfortunately, after awhile, the Taunton customer service folks got kinda snippy with me; and suggested (not very nicely) that I ask my post office to put some kind of a "trace" or something on my subscription. Needless to say, when I went to my post office, they had no idea (or said they had no idea), what I was asking for. I then called my postmaster, who said I was wasting her time and promptly hung up on me. By that time I was very upset, so I called Taunton again and got a tongue-lashing about how it wasn't their fault I wasn't receiving my subscription. So, I politely explained that at this point, I didn't care whose fault it was; I had a subscription that I wasn't receiving on any kind of regular basis. So I canceled my sub; sadly, I had been a 4 year subscriber until then. When I can, I pick up Threads at my local bookstore; I really do miss receiving it at home, but there doesn't seem to be any alternative.

    1. Ralphetta | | #7

      I subscribe to many magazines and some of them come weekly.  Over the years there have been times when they start arriving very late. I have called the late magazine and they have told me that if it happens more than once they will put a trace on it.  It happened a few months ago and my postman even knocked on my door to tell me they had gotten the notification and he would be watching to see if the problem continued!    He said that he thought they had been arriving late from the distributor.  I was absolutely stunned.  My problem was solved within a couple of weeks and in fact they are still getting here earlier than ever.  I am really surprised to hear that Threads and your post office responded in such a rude way, that is not the way I've been treated by any of the magazines I subscribe to.

      On another subject...my neighbor's son said that when he worked at the main post office in our city he was shocked to see magazines, (customers' mail,) all over the break room and the lunch room. 


      1. tracy | | #8

        Wow. That's terrific! No, my experience was totally different. I do have to say, however, that I've suspected that some magazines do end up in the hands of postal service employees, instead of the subscriber's.

        Enjoy the holiday weekend!


      2. izzie | | #9

        Threads has not been rude to me at all, and really, neither have the people at the PO other than making excuses.  I believe my magazines are either being delivered to the wrong address, or they are being thrown in a pile at the PO.  I do get Martha Stewart Living and it is usually okay, but last month's did have a wrinkled cover...MSL is also an odd sized magazine, so who knows, maybe the machines don't like them.  My Burda and Burda Plus, and Ottobre have all arrived in pristine condition, but they come in wrappers.

        A wrinkled MSL or Betterhomes and gardens is no biggie to me, I'll read them and toss 'em but I save my Threads and refer to past issues constantly, so I want them perfect.

        1. PASDENOM | | #10

          My magazines, catalogs, etc. get pushed through a mail slot in my front door. Depending on who's doing the pushing they can get shredded. It never was a problem when Threads had a brown paper or plastic cover but part of why I dropped my subscription was that the covers, and sometimes inner pages, were being crumpled and torn. I emailed Taunton about this problem but got no reply. Now I read Threads in the bookstore and occasionally buy one to keep, so this is a net loss to Taunton and eliminating those covers is not saving them money.

  4. Teaf5 | | #6

    Considering that USPS now has a lot of competition from other carriers like FedEx and UPS, it's surprising that they haven't figured out that quality and customer service are important! 

    Do ALL your different subscription magazines arrive crumpled, or just the Threads?  If it's just Threads, maybe it's the weight and size of the magazine that's not going through the sorting machines well.

    Do you know anyone whose magazines arrive intact?  Maybe you could have your subscription sent to them and then pick them up or have them forwarded in a padded envelope via media mail to you. 

    Another option is to check your local libraries to see if they carry Threads; then, you only need to buy the newstand copy when you just have to have the whole issue.

    1. Crazy K | | #11

      My Threads mag. arrives in fine condition...........as do all the other magazines that I subscribe to.  On a rare (very rare) occasion one will have a bent corner or something but usually they are just fine.  I get 5 sewing/embroidery publications and a several of the Reiman publication magazines..........no trouble.  So, that being said, I guess it isn't just the sewing or the size of the magazine as mine are all comparable in size.

      The mystery continues.............


      1. Linda03052 | | #12

        I deliver for the Post Office, and so have a unique perspective.  Those of you who have received mangled copies--do you know whether you are at the beginning of your carrier's route?  The magazines come to us (at least in our rural locality) with plastic bands holding them together, one band one way, and one the other, and often, each pile of 15 or so wrapped in plastic.  What I've noticed is that it's often the top copy in the pile that's damaged, if any.  And they're usually sent to the PO in route order, so the people at the beginning of the route are most vulnerable.  And you can have any subscription traced.  The carrier records over a period of time whether it was received in-office, and in what condition.  I don't know the number of the form that they fill out offhand, and I'm on vacation this week, but I do know I've tracked subscriptions before, so it can be done.  HTH!


        1. Pattiann42 | | #13

          Thank-you very much.  I have not had a problem even though I have had several different carriers since the retirement of our regular carrier.

          I live in the country and have a semi-large mail box.  Mail that doesn't fit is brought to the door by the carrier.


  5. diday | | #14

    I've received torn magazines and prefer receiving them in protective wrapper whether it's the brown paper or plastic. Neither do I like the address label stuck on the magazine cover that is in my collection. Trying to remove it ruins the surface.

  6. AmberE | | #15

    Please don't feel guilty about requesting another copy---in the meantime, I have continued to request that we go back to plastic covers. Thanks!

    1. Cherrypops | | #16


      By 'plastic covers' do you mean the clear see-thru wrappers?

      I received the latest Threads and SewStylish in a grey plastic non see-thru wrap.

      CherryPops ( sydney australia)




      1. starzoe | | #17

        I'm in Canada and I get my Threads in an opaque plastic sleeve. Apparently the magazines are shipped in bulk across the border and Canada Post has an agreement with a forwarding mail company. Whether
        Canada Post or this company puts the mag in the sleeves is unknown to me - as long as I get it regularly!

        1. Cherrypops | | #18

          Thanks for your comments. I'm sure very early on I recieved them in paper. I think this is where the problem lies from the other poster. I much prefer the opaque sleeves, rather than the clear ('designs in machine embroidery' comes clear), the curious postal workers, or whoever doesn't have the chance of seeing the mag and taking off with it this way.  

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