They may have a point

Many are those who laugh at people who subscribe to the hard copies of any publication, and especially to newspapers. They prefer to read what they read on line. For reasons related to work and also out of personal preference, we subscribe to the local daily, along with two other newspapers, all delivered, when things go well, by the daily’s carrier.

But Saturday, there were two of one, one of the second, and none of the third. This morning, there was one of paper A, one of paper B, and none of paper C. Following the proper procedures, redelivery of the missing item was requested Saturday. It hasn’t occurred. Redelivery of today’s missing item was requested. It hasn’t occurred, and it won’t, at least not today.

During a quick noon-hour fly-by, no paper was to be found, not even far, far from the porch, in the driveway, where newspapers are not supposed to be left. In the course of a follow-up call, the circulation agent did report that both requests are in the system. The redeliveries just have not been performed, for reasons that can’t be explained. This marks an improvement over past experiences, when the local daily’s circulation department has claimed no record of redelivery requests, although the other two papers’ circulation departments say otherwise.

It’s understandable when a new carrier takes a while to get a system worked out, but there’s no excuse for the redelivery promises to be worthless, or all but. In a one-computer household, breakfast-time news-reading doesn’t work on-screen. It’s slow, it makes it easy to overlook some small but important item, and there’s no way to divide up the sections. And breakfast-time is the only time available before the day takes off and leaves no leisure time to speak of.

Will the two missing papers be delivered, as now promised, tomorrow morning, along with tomorrow’s paper A, paper B, and paper C? Or will the follow-up process begin again? Or will something else be missing? Few have any sympathy. Complaints like this are met with derision. Only a dwindling number of die-hards
are left to be smeared with newsprint ink. It’s beginning to be easier to understand why.

2 Comments so far

  1. Lauren (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 9:30 am

    That’s what I like about the Statesman–if they mess up, you have the option of crediting your account. I never get it redelivered because really, it’s not like it’s the NY Times!

  2. Rantor (unregistered) on October 5th, 2006 @ 11:55 am

    But it *is* sort of the NYT of this part of the world–for several counties, not just Travis. Yesterday’s daily arrived today (the Saturday issue of an out-of-towner, though promised for today, was not delivered; that publication will mail me the missing issue). What I would have missed was the obituary of Harry DeFoy, genial spirit of the Twin Oaks Hardware, with its basset greeter and walls hung with posters from the old Live Oak festivals that used to be held in Stacy Park. Yesterday’s daily also contained details of income-sources for councilmembers. Today, I would have missed a nice feature about Fran Chibib. If you’ve ever received an ornately hand-lettered invitation to an event or received an award certificate, the odds are good that she did the work. I’d also have missed news of Patty Kilday Hart and the details of new development proposed for the Town Lake overlay. And it’s alarming to find, buried in the details, that there’ve been 594 demolition permits sought thus far this year. For me, if a credit sufficed instead of an actual newspaper, I’d have no reason to subscribe at all. In my experience, nearly all, of not all, publications will replace a missing issue plus give some sort of pro-rata credit.

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