I think I mentioned a while back that the newspaper called me and offered me the Wednesday and Friday editions free for six months. I suppose this was some kind of ploy to get me accustomed to receiving the paper three days a week instead of just one (Sunday). So, for the past few weeks, I've been enjoying the paper on these extra two days. Wednesday's paper has the Publix ad and Friday's now has the Go Magazine so both extra days have a little something to offer me.
This past Wednesday when I walked out my front door I noticed that there
was no newspaper. I figured the delivery was late (it seems to get
later and later these days) and assumed it would be waiting for me when I
got home that afternoon. Wednesday afternoon when I got home I guess
all thoughts of newspaper had vanished from my mind and I didn't realize
that I still had not received a newspaper. In fact, I didn't realize it
until the next day when I got to work and saw the newspaper stand in
front of work and that's when it hit me that I never got a paper on
Fast forward to today, Friday, the other day I'm supposed to receive a
newspaper. When I walked out this morning, I once again didn't think
about not having a newspaper. It was raining and I was in a hurry to
just get in the car and get to work. When I approached the entrance to
work and once again saw the newspaper stand that was when it hit me that
for the second time in a row, I did not have a newspaper. So, I called
the Huntsville Times circulation department (which happens to be stored
in my phone for occasions like this) and waited until someone picked up.
As soon as I gave my information to the person on the phone, they told
me my account had been cancelled. "By whom?" I asked. "For non-payment,"
was the reply. Then I inquired how in the world my account could be
canceled for non-payment when I have a draft taken out of my checking
account on a monthly basis. I was put on hold while the lady went to
talk to her supervisor. When she came back on she said the supervisor
had credited the last month and that the service would start back up on
Sunday but they needed my bank account information. I asked why they
needed the bank account information when they've had it for six years.
How could it just magically disappear? I then asked to speak with the
The supervisor told me the same thing - that they no longer had my
account information and that the service would start back up on Sunday
and they would need my information again. I asked if they could send
someone out today to deliver a paper - the answer was no; there' no way
we can send someone out today. She also tried to tell me it was my
bank's fault that the draft did not go through. How can that be? The
bank has nothing to do with a draft that the newspaper controls. I'm
willing to bet that when the Times became ancient history and this new
organization took things over my account, and probably several others,
were lost in the shuffle. I also asked why a notice wasn't sent - I got
no legitimate answer, just that I was given a grace period of a month.
Oh, thanks for giving me a grace period for a cancellation that I didn't
even know had occurred. Long story short, at this point I was so
frustrated that I told them I did not want to renew, that they didn't
care about their customers and that I could save myself a lot of
heartache and hassle if I just go and buy a Sunday paper at the store -
and with that, I hung up and I am not kidding when I tell you that my
co-workers cheered and clapped. I guess I'm not the only one frustrated
with the newspaper right now.
About 10 minutes later, the lady I talked to called back - from a
Colorado phone number. I had just told my co-workers that there was no
way the people I was talking to were in Alabama because they all sounded
like Yankees. Clearly, all the local people in the circulation
department were given the heave-ho on September 30. She admitted that
the cancellation was there fault, that her manager was able to see some
things that she wasn't able to see and that, miracle of miracles, they
would be sending someone out to deliver a newspaper today. She then
asked for my account information so she could reactivate the account, to
which I replied, "I told you I don't want to renew my subscription."
She said, "I thought that was because we couldn't deliver a newspaper
today." I said, "No, it's because I'm just frustrated with you." She
then said she would give me a month free and that would run out on
November 14 and I would need to call them prior to November 14 and
provide account information if I want to keep receiving the newspaper.
Truth be told, I probably will call back at some point in the next week
or so to give them my account information because I'm lazy and I'd
rather my Sunday coupons be delivered to my front yard rather than me
having to remember to go somewhere and pick up a newspaper each week.
Not to mention that Thanksgiving is fast approaching and I will want to
see all the ads for the Black Friday sales. Needless to say, my Friday
got off to a roaring start and my blood pressure was sky high by the
time I got off the phone with the newspaper. Hopefully none of the rest
of you have had to deal with a situation like this. If I were grading
this new outfit that has taken over the Times and the two other papers
in the state, I would give them a F at this point. I'll now be accepting
bets as to how much longer they will be in business.