Remember how I was trying to quit having a newspaper delivered to my door in favour of getting my daily news on-line? Remember how I let my subscription lapse but I was still finding a paper on my porch every morning?
Well, three weeks later I finally got a call from an actual representative of said newspaper, informing me that my subscription had lapsed. I politely informed him back that I no longer wished to take delivery of the paper, which was why I had let the subscription lapse.
“Oh,” he answered. “Would you like to just get the Friday or Sunday papers?”
No, that is not what “no longer wishing to take delivery of the paper” means. It actually means “no longer wishing to take delivery of the paper”. Any day’s paper. Period.
He understood then, and asked me why. I told him why. Then he told me that my balance was seventeen dollars something, and that was now due.
My what? Why would I have a balance? My subscription ran out, I did not renew it. Simple as that. If the paper was continuing to arrive at my door every day, that had nothing to do with me. In fact, when I checked on-line, my status was listed as “grace period”, which, I think meant that they would still be bringing me a paper for a while in hopes that I was just a little late with my payment or that I would rethink my cancellation and then pay up for the year. There wasn’t even an option on the web page for cancellation, just various time periods (three months, six months, a year) and days of delivery (every day, weekends only, Fridays only, Sundays only). If that quit option had been there, I would have used it, as I have been managing my newspaper account on-line for years now and much prefer doing it that way rather than phoning.
So I told him that as far as I was concerned, my subscription had ended on August 4th and that I was not paying for any newspapers after that date.
“But they were delivered,” he whined. Yes, whined. Maybe he didn’t mean to, but that’s what it sounded like.
“True. But I didn’t ASK for them. My subscription had ended. I didn’t want any more papers after it ended, so if they were delivered, that is not my problem,” I replied, more firmly now.
There was a small silence. Then he gave in. He would waive that seventeen dollars something “just this once, for you”. Damn straight you will, I was thinking! But I said, “Thank you very much.”
So is this how they do it? I’ve never cancelled a newspaper before, so I’m wondering about that now. Is this normal procedure? You don’t pay, they keep delivering, they eventually call you, then if you confirm that you are quitting, they try to charge you for newspapers that you didn’t ask for? If that’s true, then I also wonder how many people actually pay up? Quite the sneaky operation, if that’s how it really works!
Regardless, I didn’t pay, and so far so good with getting my news on-line. I’m still relatively well-informed, my recycling box is filling up at a much slower rate, and DD is happy that fewer trees are being consumed at our house.