Archive for the ‘subscription’ Tag

Dear LA Times, Again,   Leave a comment

la-times-square-446x238I don’t mean to annoy, honest. Can you say the same?

Yesterday, I re-subscribed subscribed to your digital media, and was told by your representative that I would also continue to get the Sunday newspaper for several months at no charge. OK, that’s yesterday’s news. Today, I sent you an email, hoping to alert management to what happened. And I conveniently provided a link to my blog that explained everything in some detail.

Here’s the email I sent through your “Contact Us” form:

Subject * Comments
Website URL (if applicable) https://mowryjournal.com/2016/09/07/dear-la-times/
Message * I subscribed yesterday, and the whole process was fraught with errors and problems. You really need to examine how you interact with your customers … because it’s not going well for you.

And I know newspapers can’t afford to make mistakes right now.

I blogged about the experience; link is provided in the space provided. If you have questions, please feel free to contact me. Happy to help.

Henry

I got a rather prompt response from one of your representatives:

Dear Ms. Mowry,

Thank you for contacting Los Angeles Times mobile support.

We are sorry for the difficulty you have experienced on our website. Would you be willing to provide the exact error you receive upon subscribing? In addition, we appreciate if you can send a screenshot of the error. We look forward to hearing back from you.

In the interim, you can try to subscribe through this link:

https://myaccount2.latimes.com/dsssubscribe.aspx?icmp=templateb&pc=1

If you require further assistance, please call our Customer Service at 1-(800) 252-9141 or simply respond to this email.

Sincerely,

Lemuel Florague

A few notes about that response:

  1. I do not self-identify as a Ms. Perhaps there are other LA Times’ communicants named Henry that do so, but I do not. Mr. Mowry, or actually, just Henry, is a great way to address me.
  2. I cannot provide a screenshot of the error message, as I did not save it, and if you had read my email, you would have learned that the error was addressed yesterday. Before I wrote you.
  3. Thank you for providing the link to your subscription screen, but if you had read my email, you would have learned that I subscribed yesterday. Before I wrote you.
  4. You might want to check your customer service records about my subscription; I’m sure the 3 people that I spoke with yesterday kept good notes that would illuminate the issues for you.
  5. Oh, and if you had read the blog that I referenced for you, and that I linked for you, that would have helped as well.

I did respond to your email, however, as follows:

Feel free to read my blog, and then get back to me. Your questions will be answered when you do that.

Unfortunately, you did not respond to that email, so I don’t know if you’re still confused about my subscription status. Or my gender identity, for that matter.

Please advise.

Best,

Henry

One Of Your Newest, Frustrated Subscribers

Dear LA Times,   1 comment

I used to be very frustrated with your circulation department; it was the worst. I canceled my subscription years ago … and yesterday, my wife and I decided it was time to re-subscribe. After all, you had sent me multiple emails over this holiday weekend asking me to do exactly that.

subscribe-to-the-la-times

We had both found a series of articles that you published recently about a battle between an Irvine PTA president and a power couple – parents of a 6-year old boy – that decided to take her down, no matter what. Velda tried to read the article, and failed as she was not a subscriber. I got linked to the article through a Facebook personality I follow, and I read the article perfectly well. And I was not a subscriber.

At least, that I knew of.

I tried to give you money to start a subscription, and your website wouldn’t let me. I was told I had to call subscription services, so I did.

They lied to me, and 11 minutes of my life was gone.

I told them I wanted to give you money and receive the Sunday printed edition as well as unlimited digital access for both of us. Total cost: $9.99 for 13 weeks, like your offer said. Sold!

But subscription services would not take my money. They told me I was getting a free subscription to the Sunday paper for 26 weeks (didn’t ever ask for that, and you never told me. Gee, thanks!). All I had to do was go to latimes/activate, and I could activate the digital access part of the subscription.

Nope.

So, I had to call back, get another subscription department drone on the phone, and try again. This person “saw the error on my account” and told me I had to talk to the digital subscription department to get it fixed. That brought me to Erica.

I told her the whole story: how I wanted to give her money, and the website wouldn’t let me. How I wanted to be a subscriber.

I did what she told me while we were still on the phone together.

Fail.

She then tried to subscribe for me in parallel, and she got it to work, but not by doing what I asked. You see, I actually asked to stop the free delivery of the Sunday paper, and allow me to pay for it.

Nope.

Erica did do a paid subscription for digital access, which I was assured would work for both Velda and I after 4 days of processing time. Apparently, the whole computer subscription idea takes 4 days, so your servers must be really slow, but that’s another problem.

Back to my situation.

After two phone calls, conversations with 3 people in your circulation department, and a 23 minute conversation with Erica who at least took some of my money, here’s what I now have:

  1. A free subscription to the Sunday paper, which I offered to pay for several times … but, no. It’s free, and I better like it.
  2. A paid subscription for digital access, costing $0.99 per week for 4 weeks, and then $1.49 per week after that. And, when it’s magically processed on your end, I should be able to register Velda for no additional charge.

She said. We’ll see.

Meanwhile, dearest LA Times, please allow me to say that you have the worst circulation department I have ever dealt with. THE WORST. You should fire everyone with “Manager,” “Director” or, God forbid, “Vice President” in their title in that area and start over.

After all, I had to call to give you money today, and not one person was able to take that money and give me a paid subscription. Your bureaucracy could not get out of its own way.

Journalism, I mourn for thee.

Sincerely,

Henry Mowry

  • Free Subscriber to the Sunday edition of the LA Times
  • Paid Subscriber to Digital editions of the LA Times

PS: the piece by Christopher Goffard called “FRAMED” sold this subscription. I hope you give Christopher a raise.

More

LA Times: FRAMED, A Mystery In 6 Parts

(non-subscribers can read 5 articles on LATimes.com per month, and I highly recommend you read this one)

 

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