Saturday, December 13, 2008

WSJwine: WSJ still seems a bit confused with its own wine offers

WSJwine is a relatively new wine offering to readers of the Wall Street Journal and It was announced on Sept. 12, 2008, by the Journal, and began a series of introductory offers.

The press announcement of WSJwine included reference to "Direct Wines" as the wine provider to the WSJ. Direct Wines Ltd also happens to be the company behind the 4Seasons (4 Seasons) wine deals in the U.S. and U.K. and the Laithwaite U.K. store, as well as the Sunday (UK) Times Wine Club. So you'll see some commonality between the 4Seasons wine inventory and a number of the WSJwine offerings, including labels like Oakton Lane and Burley Fox.

Introductory offers for WSJwine - some with, and some without ongoing commitments - continue to circulate. There are dozens of them already online. Apparently, though, the Journal is becoming a bit confused with its own promotions.

In today's Wall Street Journal, I saw this promotion:

Clicking on it, though, brings you to a page that advertises the following link:
A special introductory offer - [save $110 on 12 delicious wines]
Then, clicking on that link gets you to this message:

Join the Discovery Club

These 12 premium wines for just $79.99 – a savings of $110

But wait, what happened to other $10??! The $120 savings promised by the ad became a thinner $110 savings on the website.

Indeed, it looks like the WSJ may have become confused by its own promotions. In fact, it seems there may be several dozen promotional offers simultaneously active now. One that ACTUALLY offers $120 off (a final price of $69.99 plus $19.99 shipping) for the EXACT SAME CASE OF WINE is here (at least at the time of this posting):

Other promotions seem to be active with variations in the promotional digits. For instance, if you'd rather get an electric wine cooler with the same dozen wines instead of a rabbit-style opener (though at a $30 higher price), check out:

Or you can get an introductory case of all reds (at $20 higher price) at:

Someone with more time than I may be able to find some interesting finds buried among the promotional digits in the url. (The last two digits in the form 20010xx seem to be most productive for exploration.)

In general, the wines being offered are not widely known. Many of the growing areas are respectable, however, and I would expect that - at these introductory prices - the wines would likely be the kind of good values we saw in the 4Seasons package.

Please keep in mind, though, that some of the introductory deals do obligate you to take further regular shipments, UNLESS YOU CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION. Canceling was not a problem for me by email with 4Seasons, although at least one commentator on Spirit of Wine ran into a glitch canceling by phone.

Let us know by comment if you have tried the WSJwine service; and what you thought of wine, communication and service.

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