One of my sons recently sent me a link to this highly encouraging piece: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/02/06/171297312/oh-poop-animal-shelter-may-still-need-more-newspapers
Of course it is easy to read newspapers online these days, but some of us still like to get their paper in the morning.
If that wouldn't prove so damn difficult.
After my recent job change opened the possibility to enjoy The Wall Street Journal during breakfast at home, I jumped at subscribing when a direct mail offer arrived from the Journal. Talk about effective marketing!
Subscribing online was easy and soon I received my first copy, unfortunately late afternoon, delivered by the US Postal Service. Since I had previously received the paper via local delivery at my previous home on the same road I contacted Customer Service and a friendly customer representative told me she would take care of the issue, no problem.
A week later without change I contacted Customer Service again, this time through their web site and was told that my information had been forwarded to the local delivery supervisor for review. The WSJ kept arriving via USPS in the afternoon. No satisfaction!
Never one to easily give up I attempted my third approach, again online pleading my case of successful past local delivery, both at home and at my office. I also get Barron's locally delivered every Sunday! It must be possible.
I received this answer and I quote: "Thank you for contacting The Wall Street Journal Customer Center regarding deliver service.
We have checked our records and it says there is a carrier available and we are trying to assign one to you but it has not taken effect yet. We have replace the request to change to carrier service to attempt to force the change. The change should be resolved and in effect by August 1st, 2012.
If we can further assist you please contact us at the number listed below.
Aahh, what could possibly go wrong after such positive confirmation? Well, it is August 3rd (over a month into my subscription) and my paper continues to arrive in the afternoon.
I am still not throwing in the towel! Diligent surveillance revealed that my next door neighbor receives the Wall Street Journal via local delivery every morning. After a few drinks he agreed to provide me with the carrier's contact info, so I can help the Journal figure out how they already get the paper to this part of the world.
Let's hope that this will work! I am not ready to invest into two tablet PC's for the breakfast table, just so my wife and I can share the joy of reading the Wall Street Journal. (The multi-section broadsheet newspaper is really a clever product, if you think of it.)
On a more serious note - and I sincerely hope that my case is not typical - how can the national papers grow their reach outside the large metroplitan areas if they make it so hard for a willing subcriber to get the paper in the morning?
Given the challenges faced by the Postal Service, newspapers could consider investing into their own existing delivery system and use it to provide additional services, allowing the post office to streamline without the customers seeing a decline in overall delivery service. It could be a win-win.
It all worked out eventually and, given that I have a bit more time on my hands than I should, I enjoy the Journal every morning, delivered right to my doorstep.
Plus, I saved the money for the two tablets....
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