OK Now I’m Mad: newspaper subscriber bites back

You’re to blame. So am I. We read blogs. My laptop is sitting on top of my morning paper, which is largely unread. Newspapers, they say are dying, although this rumour like the one about Mark Twain’s death, seems to be greatly exaggerated. Not dead in my town anyway where I get to choose between 4 papers, 2 of them national. But – BUT- they have grown leaner. The National Post doesn’t publish a print edition on summer Mondays and the Toronto Star charges extra for its puzzle section and its TV guide. Now this complicates the delivery process because someone, dare I say with a brain,  needs to put these special sections into the relevant papers and about once a month, they fail to do so. Thereby hangs the tale.

Last Saturday, I went through the 10 or 12 sections of the Star 3 times, looking in vain for my TV guide. Not there. And I was paying $1 extra for it. I wanted it. Sure I could use the digital guide if I wanted to spend the time scrolling through it. I didn’t. I wanted to look at a printed schedule on -gasp – paper and plan what to TIVO or as we say up here PVR.

I phoned the relevant number. Then I had to start punching in other numbers, my phone number, my postal code, my house number, the number for a section missing, the number for the Star Week, birthdate, weight in kilos, etc. Half an hour later, the phone rang. A company name I didn’t recognize came up on the call display, but it was 8 a.m. and I was about to give this telemarketer an earful. It was the company that handles delivery complaints for the Star. Could I possibly wait until Sunday for my TV guide? The delivery woman had left the area. Well, of course, I could. A TV guide was not essential to survival after all. Would I be happy to do so? Not really. He would try, he said, to find a carrier still in my vicinity. Apparently, he failed. Saturday evening’s TV schedule was digital and there was nothing on anyway.

Sunday morning was blissfully quiet. The people upstairs and downstairs in my duplex were away on vacation. I was sound asleep. It was 6:30 a.m. Suddenly, a great two-noted bell-like blare intruded into my consciousness. I opened my eyes. Doorbell. Good grief! Some terrible catastrophe necessitated police at the front door. I was about to launch myself out of bed to meet this terrible doom when I remembered: late delivery of a paper is always announced by the doorbell. Not that they ever stick around to receive commendation. But at 6:30 a.m.!!!!!

Now I was well and truly awake and so ruffled that there was no hope of going back to sleep. I fired up my computer, got email up and started a new message.

I entitled it, “Customer Punished Twice”.

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