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Did Bead & Button Mail You a DVD?

By November 28, 2012

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Earlier this week I got a surprise in the mail from the publisher of Bead & Button magazine, which I've subscribed to for years. It's a DVD in the Design with Style DVD video series. Photos show screen shots of bead stringing, chain mail, beadweaving, and wire work being performed on the cover.

Design with Style DVD

The little flier that came with the DVD explains that this is a "preview" being sent out to magazine subscribers. You can also subscribe to have a different DVD in the series delivered by mail every two to three months.

Also included in the package was a slip of paper with instructions for returning the preview DVD if I didn't want it. My first thought was, if I didn't order this, why do I need to go through the hassle of returning it? So I looked for the fine print and, sure enough, I found it: the DVD does not need to be returned.

If you also received a copy, don't worry -- according to Bead & Button, they are not automatically subscribing people to the series with a requirement to opt out.

By the same token, if you'd like to receive more DVDs, you do in fact need to take action to subscribe. Look for the little order form included with preview.

I haven't found time to watch my preview DVD just yet. If you've watched it, please share your impression of it in a comment. Do you plan to subscribe to the series? Why or why not?

Photo by Chris Franchetti Michaels



November 29, 2012 at 8:15 pm
(1) Teresa says:

I didn’t receive the DVD but about 2 months ago I got numerous follow up mailings to return it if I wasn’t interested, so they must have sent it to me but I never received it. I found the follow up mailings very annoying.

December 3, 2012 at 2:35 pm
(2) KathyCz says:

I received the DVD and did NOT return it. But I continue to get email reminders and I even think I got a phone call once. I, too, felt if I didnt order it then i dont have to bother returning it

December 3, 2012 at 2:38 pm
(3) Betty D says:

I did receive the DVD, it had no sound on any of the three computers I tried. I called and requested another copy and guess what — that one had no sound either! Needless to say, I am not paying or returning!!!

December 3, 2012 at 2:57 pm
(4) Carolee1945 says:

Gee, I got this DVD about 6 months ago, and I loved it. So far, I have gotten about three of them. But really they are very expensive. I cannot recall, but I think $30 with shipping and handling. (someone correct me)
I feel foolish paying for them, when much of the info is on the internet. That being said, they are very professionally done. I can’t always get the internet, so I like having bead information on DVD. It is unclear to me who actually is making these things. The woman who does the demonstrations is excellent, her voice clear, her directions clear. Does anyone know her name? I have been beading off and on for 20 years or so, but I have forgotten many of the stitches, and there is quite a bit that is new to me. I just got the DVD out, it says Design with Style, Kalmbach Publishing. For me, I am subscribing because I really like the teacher’s voice, and I love all things to do with beads. I even have used the DVD to go to sleep, her voice is comforting without being boring, and then I dream about beads.

December 3, 2012 at 2:58 pm
(5) Linda P says:

I recevied that initial DVD and kept getting notices to pay. I finally paid it just to get them to leave me alone. Big mistake. They sent me another DVD. It was going to be a pain to return it, so I (sucker that I am) kept and paid for it thinking I could give the two DVDs to friends who are beginners. I then called to say I don’t want any more DVDs be sent. It was awful, I got someone who kept asking why? She kept giving me reasons why I should not stop the DVDs and tried to make me feel stupid for not taking advantage of the series.

December 3, 2012 at 3:25 pm
(6) Karen says:

Mine did not play so it went right back in the mailbox. Even though I didn’t order it I was disappointed that I couldn’t at least view it. Love the magazine.

December 3, 2012 at 3:27 pm
(7) Megan says:

I recieved the DVD and considered subscribing but when I called to ask why I should pay for a DVD that others were under no obligation to return if they decided not to subscribe. I told the person I spoke to that I thought that seemed like bad business.I asked about how much further DVDs would be because there was no price stated in the offer. I was informed that they would be about 30 dollars I told them that was too much for what I would be getting and declined to subscribe and kept the free DVD. I have heard nothing since.

December 3, 2012 at 3:32 pm
(8) Barbara Welsh says:

I received the DVD, but have not viewed it.

The rule is, if someone sends you something you did not request, you do not have to pay for it and you do not have to return it.

However, following up with requests to pay is annoying and just wrong! I would wonder if the magazine publisher is really doing this, since they should know better.

I have not received any such messages, so far.

December 3, 2012 at 3:43 pm
(9) Carol C says:

I got a DVD about 6 months ago, and now I have 3 of them. I posted a comment, but do not see it yet. I will wait until tomorrow to see if it gets posted.

December 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm
(10) Anne Davolls says:

I get Bead and Button here in the u k every month and e mails but i never get anything else i am very sorry to say.Anne. x P S i would love a D V D please.

December 3, 2012 at 3:53 pm
(11) Floy Height says:

I got it and decided not to deal with it. I got at least 3 letters demanding payment. I finally answered that I would not pay and not to send me any more. Annoying!

December 3, 2012 at 4:01 pm
(12) Penster47 says:

I never order books or DVD’s anymore. For one thing I can’t afford them and best of all, anything I want to learn, I can find on About.com or Youtube, for FREE!! I’ve taught myself to do many things without anymore help than that. :)

December 3, 2012 at 4:17 pm
(13) Jeanne Christofferson says:

It is SO Annoying when companies do things like that!! It is upsetting…

December 3, 2012 at 5:03 pm
(14) squarestitcher says:

I received the DVD, watched it and thought it to be very basic info for beginners. I choose to file it away in case I run into a new beader.
I got the annoying emails, etc.
I have decided NOT to renew my subscription to B&B over this matter. I don’t like the way they are doing business.
So I now have a subscription to BeadWork magazine and like it a lot.

December 3, 2012 at 5:35 pm
(15) Jonni says:

I get both B&B and Beadwork and I like both magazines.
I got the DVD, found it to be too basic for me. I did not think it was a good value. I got several letters asking me to pay for it or return it. I could not find the envelope so returned it on my own $.
I suspect they learned a lesson. I would have handled the marketing differently myself. But nothing ventured, nothing gained.
I like their online products and have purchased a couple of DVDs. The DVDs I bought (for much less) were professionally done and informative – but they were on specific subjects of interest.
So in summary, I don’t think it would be much of a problem to return it assuming I found the envelope. Why keep something I’m not going to use? I wish all these Christmas catalogs had return envelopes. And I will continue to enjoy the magazine and the online information.

December 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm
(16) M says:

According to U.S. Postal regulations, if you received merchandise that you did not request, you are not under obligation to pay for it or return it.

December 3, 2012 at 6:07 pm
(17) Carol Hettenbach says:

Haven’t received one.. but just for your info as far as I am aware if you receive something that you didn’t order you don’t have to pay for it or send it back. You might want to keep the packing label and paper work. If you don’t want any more sent contact the sender and state that you don’t want them to send you anything.

December 3, 2012 at 6:47 pm
(18) thevika Ranee says:

You must be one of the lucky ones. I am an overseas subscriber and I dont think that i will ever receive a freebie.

December 3, 2012 at 7:10 pm
(19) Janice says:

Looked at it, found it too basic, and returned it in the envelope provided. DVDs are just too time-consuming to look at it unless I’m trying to learn a complicated new skill that I have little knowledge of (like metalsmithing) and I really need to see the steps demonstrated. I also questioned the wisdom of this mailing on B&B’s part, both from a money-making/ marketing standpoint and as a way of potentially antagonizing their readership.

December 3, 2012 at 7:45 pm
(20) elvi says:

I received a dvd. It does not work on Mac OS X. They keep reminding me to pay as well.It’s annoying. I subscribe to the magazine but I don’t want them to market to me in that way. Stop it already!

December 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm
(21) lee says:

several months ago I started getting bills from B&B about a CD. Sent note back that I had not recd and was not interested. They kept sending bills and demands that I pay or return. Could not return, was not going to pay for something I did not order, did not see, did not want. Lost a lot of faith in B&B over this. I have every issue that have ever printed. Getting tired of them selling special issues that are all reprints. This first issues were wonderful, no ads, nice paper. Current quality just ain’t there!

December 3, 2012 at 8:03 pm
(22) Karen says:

I received one several months ago and put it in the return envelope and mailed it right back. Didnt want the hassle of being billed for something I did not order. I don’t appreciate that kind of advertising

December 3, 2012 at 8:55 pm
(23) Berna says:

I received the DVD, took a quick look at it. I found it far too basic and returned it immediately.

December 3, 2012 at 9:28 pm
(24) Allie says:

I received the DVD, inevitably lost it in piles of junk mail (catalogs I never requested, etc) and I was HASSLED by the publishing company for not returning it. I received multiple requests for the disk back, in the mail and over the phone — envelopes with great big red lettering announcing my “debt”. I called customer service to tell them that I am not responsible for keeping track of items that I have not requested. I told them, and I quote, “Never send me anything I have not ordered or requested, particularly in DVD form as I have no desire to watch videos to learn about beadwork and jewelry making.” Note I did not call Bead&Button customer service but went directly to their publisher, Kalmbach, which was ultimately responsible for the program. I got a guy that sounded laid back and amused at my “extreme” statement.
Finally I came across it again and sent it in. I have seriously considered NOT buying anything further from Kalmbach publishing. I have been a good magazine customer, have ordered books indirectly and digital items directly, and I think that marketing techniques such as that are disgraceful. I considered calling the BBB but have not yet done so. Reading some of these responses — particularly those of you who got roped into paying outrageous prices for what was apparently lackluster merchandise — inspires me to civic-mindedness. I’d like to ask everyone who was disappointed — particularly those who feel that they caved in and overpaid — to call or email their branch of the Better Business Bureau and report Kalmbach for this. I’m in New Jersey and have this info: Email: info@trenton.bbb.org
Phone: (609)588-0808 You can look up your branch here: http://www.bbb.org/us/find-a-bbb/ . I guess I sound “uppity” and “snippy” or other things in quotation marks but this gets on my nerves (did you notice?? ;) . I am glad that not everyone came away with such a bad experience. However, in all cases, I consider it to be dishonest and terribly flawed marketing.

December 3, 2012 at 10:01 pm
(25) lucy says:

i did not received no DVD. Where is it?

December 4, 2012 at 7:42 am
(26) JIll says:

by Federal Law if you didnt ask for it they cant ask for it back and the harrassing phone calls are a violation of the law as well

December 4, 2012 at 1:13 pm
(27) Beadwork says:

Thanks for your comments, everyone! I only just received my DVD, with no demands for payment (yet), and so I didn’t realize the extent of the issue.

December 4, 2012 at 1:20 pm
(28) Anne says:

I received your unordered DVD. I have been to busy to view its info. As I have a Mac, I have learned it will be impossible to see. I am not paying for something I did not order or returning it at my expense. From all the comments listed, it seems to me your good reputation is slowly going down hill. I would suggest to have a round table discussion on # 1, how to change your merchandising ways and #2, how to redeem your good reputation.

December 4, 2012 at 3:26 pm
(29) Beadwork says:

Please know that this is not the Bead & Button site; this is About.com, and we’re just discussing the DVD issue this week. (I don’t want anyone to think I’m the one who sent the DVDs!)

December 4, 2012 at 6:27 pm
(30) MaryA says:

From the wide timeline for folks receiving the DVD, I’m guessing they only made a few of the ‘freebies’ and they want them returned so they can send them to someone else. Personally, I ‘mis-located’ mine and managed to find it when I got the ‘please send it back or subscribe’ letter. It was definitely ‘beginner’ level and a waste of time. Since they DID send a SASE, I returned it, knowing that I didn’t have to return it since it was un-solicited.

December 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm
(31) Yvette F says:

I received the DVD quite some time back. It brought to mind an old commercial with an Eskimo who received a fan that he did not order. It showed him wearing a big coat, with the fan blowing directly at his face, and smiling away. The announcer said something like if you didn’t order it, you don’t have to pay for it.

I think that this was a poor marketing choice. Especially the follow-up mailings requesting that you pay for or return the DVD. Obviously, from the discussion here, they did not make much money off of this mailing. Shame on them for trying to scam us.

December 5, 2012 at 5:12 am
(32) beth says:

nope never received one either maybe u r just one of a lucky few

December 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm
(33) Suzan says:

I received the DVD about 6 months ago and I wasn’t interested, so I passed it on to a friend who has just started beading. About 2 months later I received a letter telling me I had to return the DVD! So I called the number on the letter and told them I wasn’t interested and had passed it on. They told me that the letter was sent in error and I did not have to return it. So far I have had no more letters.

December 6, 2012 at 7:15 pm
(34) Juanita says:

Never got one. I’m not mad though.

December 7, 2012 at 11:43 am
(35) Diann says:

So where is mine?

December 7, 2012 at 7:02 pm
(36) Carol says:

Although the marketing of this product may be poor, I really like these DVDs. I noticed people said they did not work on Macs, well, they work very well on my mac laptop. It is an error to generalize about all macs just because they did not work on one mac.

I am a beading hobbyist, these DVDs cover areas I have never even begun to explore. I certainly do not know all the beadweaving stitches, all the wireworking techniques, all the chain mail techniques, all the metal clay.

I have been frustrated with crimps, and this video explains how to do them very clearly and with tips I never thought of to try.

I think these DVDs are great!!!

December 7, 2012 at 7:03 pm
(37) Carol says:

I forgot to mention that I now have three of these.

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