They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me
dr_phil_physics

It's All Sunshine and Roses With The Grand Rapids Press Part III

It's one thing to rant and snark online. I do actually feel bad when some poor person has to deal with irate customers -- which would be me. But I am also an educator and I feel the need to try to educate, as well.

Rather than just blogging into the aether, I continue to reply to and provide blog links regarding my annoyance at the latest round of changes with The Grand Rapids Press. Today I got this latest reply:
Thank you for taking the time to write in regarding the renewal price of your renewal statement. After an extensive review of our current pricing, cost structures, and operations, there were a number of factors driving the slight increase, including the cost of fuel to deliver papers and the cost of resources to produce the printed edition of the paper. Although, you are seeing a small increase over your previous rate you are still receiving home delivery at a discount with savings over the newsstand price.

In addition to your great rate, we would like remind you that home delivery of the paper provides you with inserts, coupons, neighborhood coverage, and many other added value such as;
1. Delivery of the paper to your home, in print and digital format.
2. Enhanced, exclusive local news coverage.
3. Complimentary 24/7 access to the all 8 digital versions of MLive Media Group publications.
4. Our many featured Membership Benefits, accessed on https://members.mlive.com
5. The convenience of our online subscriber services portal to file vacation holds, make changes to your delivery schedule or report delivery problems.

With that being said we hope you will see the value in keeping the newspaper that you have come to enjoy.

Please let us know if we can assist you further.
To which I answered:
I would point out that 20% is not a slight price increase to me. As I said in my second blog piece:

"So we're already paying $192.01/year for The Grand Rapids Press. This new "deal" will cost us $231.01/year, an increase of 20% for getting an inferior product from last month.

And it's not like this 20% cost increase is going to The Press. THEY aren't lowering their price to pay for less work and costs on their end. Profit for them."

To take your points one at a time:
"In addition to your great rate, we would like remind you that home delivery of the paper provides you with inserts ---most of which we don't care about ---, coupon ---we pretty much have stopped clipping coupons because the yield is paltry compared to the effort, we just don't buy that stuff ---, neighborhood coverage, and many other added value such as;
1. Delivery of the paper to your home, in print and digital format.
--- Home delivery having been cut to 3x/week at best, and problematic digital delivery (a whole other issue which I am still working up -- yesterday I again tested the digital versions on the Kindle Fire HD and hoo-boy are there some issues)

2. Enhanced, exclusive local news coverage.
--- In other words, doing the job you're supposed to. For Allendale our local coverage has been enhanced... because of The Advance which comes delivered with the Sunday paper these days.

3. Complimentary 24/7 access to the all 8 digital versions of MLive Media Group publications.
--- See above. Though I have issued compliments on the Mlive emails I get -- it's the only reason the less-than-daily delivery works for me regarding the news.

4. Our many featured Membership Benefits, accessed on
https://members.mlive.com
--- a value if one uses them.

5. The convenience of our online subscriber services portal to file vacation holds, make changes to your delivery schedule or report delivery problems. -- provided your issue fits one of the allowable categories, otherwise you still have to call."

Plus, I see zero reasons why you can't create a bundle with this obnoxious TV Weekly so-called magazine. Not even asking for a discount. If you are delivering it, why do I have to go somewhere else to order? If I call up a pizza place and order a large pepperoni (which they make) and a 2L Coke (which they don't make), I don't have to call Coca-Cola separately. One stop shopping, now that would be a convenience. And with two different billing dates and all, do I have to separately arrange for a vacation hold/credit for the TV Weekly? This new system makes no sense from the customer side of things. Period.

Apologies for taking up your time. Again.

Dr. Phil
And yes, I will detail to all my less-than-satisfactory experiences trying to read the paper on the Kindle Fire HD.

Yes -- I have caught up on the daily comics to the 1st of the year.

No -- I have not been able to do the Hidako (?) puzzles, because they are just images under the glass -- though I guess the Sudoku that used to be in their TV section are bundled up for the whole week in the Sunday paper.

No -- I have not yet bought the ridiculous separate subscription to TV Weekly.

I mean, really, they buy Parade magazine from a syndicate. They could do the same with the TV Weekly. They just don't want to have to say they're raising their rates. And I'm curious -- a lot ok f Times when I am in another city, I will buy the local paper (or have the hotel deliver one) to get, in part, the TV listings. Guess Grand Rapids is just going to have to let its visitors go high and dry, because they're not in the "in crowd" who knows.

And by the way -- No, I am still not sold on the new Washington Post Kindle Fire app.

One of the things one can do with a newspaper is clip or save articles. Neither online paper seems to allow that.

Although it might be possible to download the PDF version of The Press and clip from that. I am surprised there's no Link or Facebook/social media Shares on the Post's online version.

You would think that in this electronic era that newspapers would want the world to know that someone actually subscribes to and then actually reads and actually likes the paper... but no.

Alas.

It continues anon, gentle reader...

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
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