Monday, January 2, 2012

Long Beach Press Telegram’s Stealthy Price Increase

I found an unusual transaction billed to my credit card. It was from the Long Beach Press Telegram newspaper. Since I was signed up for automatic payments, the newspaper would just send the charge to my credit card whenever my subscription term is up. Unbeknownst to me and maybe other customers, the Press Telegram had increased their subscription rates without notification. I would never miss anything like that. People who buy their paper from a vending machine might have noticed the change. Because of the automatic billing, I had already paid the new higher rate for 16 weeks. It was only when I called customer service and questioned the bill that I learned the daily paper was now 50 cents instead of 25 cents, and the Sunday paper which used to be 50 cents was now $1.50. This has been going on since October. I told customer service to stop automatic billing and payment via credit card and to send me a bill next time I had to renew my subscription.
                Upon thinking about it further and after studying the Press Telegram’s promotional rates, I decided that I might try to get by without getting the daily newspaper and just have it delivered on Sundays, and only because of the store sale ads. I called customer service again and was told that the promotional rate for 52 weeks of Sunday delivery is only $26. I’ve been relying on the newspaper to distract me while I do my workouts on the stationary bike so I was a little bit concerned about what I’m going to read while cycling. I have not been too happy with their recent change in delivery system which has been very inconsistent, so that helped make up my mind about giving up getting it daily. I might end up reading the news on the netbook more often now. I mentioned in a blogpost how that turned out when I tried it last week. I found it difficult to move the mouse pointer around with the touch pad and wondered if a tablet pc would work better. So if any of you have tried working out while reading on a tablet pc, please let me know what the experience was like.
                What I can’t understand is how the Long Beach Press Telegram could stealthily increase their rates without notifying their customers first. If I knew about it earlier, I might have modified my subscription sooner. I’m going to miss having a daily hardcopy of the paper but I feel that the higher rate is just too much for a newspaper that has too many advertisements already and has an inconsistent delivery service. If I need to find local news, I’ll just read their free internet edition even if the news is a day late. The thing I’m going to miss most is the comics.

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Ewa said...

I stopped reading paper editions of newspapers a few years ago and i don't miss it. Secret price increase would make me quite upset though.

Noel DLP said...

Hi Ewa, I spent an hour doing intervals on the recumbent stationary bike today reading the online edition of the paper on my netbook. Looks like I can make it work and save paper at the same time.