It's the most wonderful time of the year.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I read in the Winston Salem Journal today that...oh I didn't...I don't get the paper.

Christopher and I got the paper every day when we lived in Raleigh. We loved the paper; there was the news, and the crosswords...the sudoku, the ads, and the coupons. *sigh*

When we moved into the apartment in Kernersville, we didn't see too much point: we didn't know how long we would be there, and it was an apartment - there's no telling who would decide to pick up our paper before we did.

So when we moved into our new house, we were really excited to start subscribing to the Winston Salem Journal. We hadn't even been in the house a week when I got online to subscribe. I noticed there was no "first-time subscriber" rate. Pretty much all newspapers offer first time subscribers some sort of special offer, so I set out to do some research. I found two "discount news" websites where you could subscribe to paper for a lower rate...the Journal was a nice $50 less expensive! $50 is a significant amount of money.

Yay! Paper! paper. Both sites said they didn't deliver to Lewisville. I have no idea why they said that, because they do. Anyway, Christopher and I thought we might stop by the mall over the weekend where I had seen one of those stands where they hand out free newspapers and try to get you to subscribe - they have special rates.

We didn't make it to the mall that weekend, but the following week, we got a newspaper dropped in our driveway, along with a flyer to subscribe to the paper - 52 weeks for $119.78 - the discounted price! Woohoo! All we had to do was call the number and subscribe!

As soon as I got home, I got my credit card out and called the number. Yay! Paper! Nope. It was voicemail. As in - went straight to voicemail. The voicemail instructed me to leave my name, phone number, and address - somebody would return my call within 24 hours. Yippee! Paper! Negative. No call, no paper.

I waited a week. A WEEK, I tell you. No call. I called yesterday morning - left my name, number, address, and a polite note that this was my second call, so if someone could please return my call, I would appreciate it. WOOT! Paper! Wrong.

I called this morning. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me! I called and pressed five for subscriptions. Oh yeah - outsmarted them! I got a real person too! Woohoo!!!! FINALLY! PAPER! Wrong again. For crying out loud! She couldn't help me. The subscription woman couldn't help me! Since this was a promotional rate, I had to talk directly to that department. For real??? You will never guess what she asked me for. Name. Phone number. Address. She did apologize. She said someone would return my call by the end of the day.

Several hours passed...and come on - who are we kidding. I'm not holding my breath. I went to their website, and found the "home delivery" email address. I know this probably isn't the EXACT department I need to be going to, but it's close. And surely, once I tell my story: THREE calls, with NO help, whoever reading is going to walk my email over to someone who can call me immediately. Bwahahahaha! Laughable.

4:00-ish rolls around with not a call, not a returned email. I decided to tweet about it:

I guess @JournalNow has enough subscribers since NOBODY will return my calls or email w/ request to subscribe. Stay tuned for blog post...

AND THEN as if that wasn't enough, good friend B-Tim followed that up with:

We had an AWFUL time getting a paper post-move. RT @gingerlyn I guess @JournalNow has enough subscribers since NOBODY will return my calls

That will do it. Companies HATE bad press on Twitter. Not. A. Thing. AREYOUKIDDINGME???

Christopher said "Don't worry about it - I'll just go out every Sunday and pick it up. I guess we don't have to have it every day." Seriously? Hells yes we do. It's a matter of principle now. I have never been so adamant in my life that someone WILL take my $119.78!

Here all these newspapers are all "Boo-hoo! We are going out of business. We don't have anymore subscribers. Wah-wah! The big-bad-internet is putting us out of business." Maybe it's not the internet. Maybe they just won't let anyone subscribe to their Secret Home Delivery Society.

I suspect the newspaper would answer with something along the lines of - not being able to support the staff to return all the calls - what with the low subscriptions, and all. Well, then throw a promotion code up on that flyer! I would have MUCH rather subscribed online anyway!

And don't think I didn't go to the News & Record's website today. They don't deliver out here.

If you know someone at the Winston Salem Journal, tell them to call me.


  1. Whoa! Update, and a bit of a correction. I DID hear back from them on twitter. They sent me a direct message that read:

    JournalNow we saw your tweet just now re home delivery. Did you get things worked out? We love our subscribers - especially those who tweet.

    I couldn't respond to the DM because they are not following me, but I tweeted:

    @JournalNow - not worked out- can't return DM- you're not following me. Can't remember the last time I've been so frustrated w/ a company.

    So - we will see what happens! Am I naive to think I might actually be able to force my $119.78 on them tomorrow??? I will keep you updated!

  2. Real quick update: 10:30am, March 3, and still nothing... No call, no email, nothing on Twitter... Come on... Just. Want. Paper.

  3. Latest tweet (from me) read:

    SCORE!!! I'm FINALLY a subscriber to @journalnow! Hopefully renewing my subscription in a year will be a bit easier. Can't wait to read it!

    Woohoo! The district manager for our delivery area called to take my subscription. I'm not sure if that's normal practice, or if the person who handles their Twitter, the person that receives their Home Delivery email, the girl in the subscription dept. with my message, and the person that takes down the voicemails all walked into his office at the same time. Either way, we are supposed to start getting the paper tomorrow, and I CAN'T WAIT!

  4. Christopher picked the paper up out of the driveway this morning! Woohoo!

  5. Insane - but glad Twitter (or something!) finally did the trick.

    Hate to break it to ya, but I think that you and me (and perhaps our dear hubbies) are the only people in our generation who still actually read the paper version of the paper. When we remodeled our kitchen, we had to adjust the plan for our bar because it had to be wide enough to lay the paper on at breakfast!

  6. what a sad story, but so indicative/reflective of what is wrong with so many things/situations in our country/world. my bff allison says it all of the time. you have to BEG people to take your money. i wish the journal would have given you some break on the cost or some type of incentive for trying so hard. i am sure they appreciate you immensely.

  7. Holy crap, Ouida! You have been busy reading tonight!!! I'm honored!!!