About two weeks ago, I started to get the Toronto Star delivered to my doorstep. Which confused me a little, since I get all my news online, and I didn’t sign up for a subscription. Being the good soul I am, I took it indoors from the cold and warmed it up by reading it.
Since it was the weekend when this happened, I thought it might be a one-off Saturday promotion to attract new subscribers.
Then the weekday editions arrived as well, starting on the following Monday. Time to find out what was happening.
I called the Star’s subscription office and explained what was happening. The girl I spoke to was very helpful, apologized and explained sometimes this happens (although no reason was given why). She said she’d make sure the subscription stopped and that I wouldn’t be charged. Cool, case solved and back to my paperless world.
Until the next day, when the Star arrived again. Then the next. And the next. And… well, you get the picture. So, looks like I’m stuck with the paper. But here’s the kicker.
I looked at how much it costs to subscribe to the Star. If you fill out their online subscription form, it’s $4.47 plus tax per week. However, this is a special offer that ends February 1, which saves you 30% on the normal price. So, for argument’s sake, let’s go with the normal price, which would then be $6.40 (by my calculations).
$6.40 per week for 52 weeks – that would be $332.80 per year (plus tax) just for me alone. One person. Now, according to the girl I spoke to, this can happen. I wonder how often, and to how many.
The newspaper industry is in a bit of turmoil at the minute. It’s one that’s been hit particularly hard by online media sources, ink costs and the failing economy. While just over $330 per year may not sound a lot, it soon adds up with every new person it applies to.
I’d hazard a guess that the Star’s subscription team being unaware of why it’s happening – and worse yet, letting it continue – won’t go down well with the rest of the paper’s employees should cutbacks need to be made to save costs.
Which makes me wonder. If you’re in business, do you know where all your money’s going?
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