Newspapers – A Love-Hate Relationship

Newspapers

When my wife and I left on vacation last summer, I was forced to cancel my subscriptions to the Orange County Register and the Los Angeles Times. Neither of them would allow an indefinite suspension of delivery so I canceled my subscriptions. I did not re-activate my subscriptions when we returned several weeks later.

The Los Angeles Times

LA Times newspaperBoth newspapers called, repeatedly, asking if I’d like to renew my subscription. Well, yes I would, but not at the full rates they were offering. Eventually the Times offered an introductory rate for a full year—good enough until our next vacation. Which may go longer than our last one because my wife is retiring from teaching at the end of this school year (June 2015).

The Times has been delivered on-time (before 6 am) every single day since, although a couple of copies have been wet/damp because they were thrown into areas covered by our sprinklers.

The Orange County Register

The OC Register kept calling but not offering a rate as low as the Times‘ rate. I told one of their salesmen this and he told me about their bankruptcy. I told him that he would not sell me his newspaper by telling me bad things aboutOrange County Register newspaper his competitor and, then, I hung up. I ignored the Register‘s calls for the next couple of weeks until one evening I was in a “different” mood.

I actually behaved in a polite manner to a sales caller who called during the dinner hour. (I had already eaten.) She offered a “special” rate even lower than that offered by the Times, but she could only guarantee that rate until the end of the year. I said that was OK; I could cancel my subscription at that time. She went on to tell me that she would see what she could do and call again in December. I even got two $5 Target gift cards for signing up for automatic bill pay. Chuckle, Chuckle, Chuckle.

. . . and so it goes

Since signing up to get the Register in the second week of October, I’ve actually gotten both Target gift cards and six copies of the newspaper. Yes, that is right—six (6) copies of the newspaper.

Speaking with a woman in Customer Service one weekend I found that my subscription was supposed to have started on October 9th, 2014. She also said that since I hadn’t gotten my copy that morning she would see to it that I got my copy later that day. (Promises, promises, promises—didn’t happen.)

Dates and times of Register delivery:
  • Tuesday, October 28 – after 12 noon,
  • Thursday, October 30 – between 8 and 10.30,
  • Monday, November 3 – after 6 am but before 7 am.
  • Thursday, November 6 – between 8 and 12 noon,
  • Friday, November 7 – after 6 am but before 7 am,
  • Saturday, November 8 (today) – after 8.45 am and before 11.15 am.

Great record, huh?

From the OCR FAQs:

Home delivery subscribers can expect to receive their newspaper no later than:
Monday-Friday – 5:45am
Saturday-Sunday – 7:00am
Holidays – 7:00am

Not a single newspaper has been delivered on time. Not one.

I sure hope they don’t expect me to pay for this.

The Times is a good general interest newspaper for the Los Angeles area but ignores Orange County. Several years ago they closed their OC bureau and don’t even give lip service to covering the county. I’ve lived in Orange County, except for a one year stint in Riverside, since 1972. The Register does a very good job of covering events in Orange County, especially high school sports. Politically they seem to be to the right of Attila the Hun but that is OK—they’re consistent and I just vote for a candidate/proposition they did not endorse.

I just wish they’d get their act together—I do so miss the NYT Crossword Puzzle.

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