The other day, I received a bill from three years ago. Oakton had a corporate plan that would allow us to read the New York Times electronically. As it turns out, despite our signing up and doing everything correctly, it never worked. The New York Times help desk was less than great and despite long conversations and e-mails, it just never happened.
Following that, we decided to go with a home delivery on Sunday and I thought that we had worked out the issues of the electronic edition that never functioned with them. Apparently not, as we ended up with a $30 bill the other day from 2013. I was a bit surprised.
We called up the number on the bill. They said to call another number. We patiently did that, and the next person contacted said the same thing. So did the next one, and the next one, and finally after hours of working on this, we gave up. No one at the New York Times knew how or what was going on or how to deal with it. Interestingly enough, the poor employees of the New York Times could not even switch us to the next department, they made us hang up and call another number.
Finally, MK called up the number for our Sunday delivery and said clearly to the individual to whom she was speaking, “I have been given the run around on the issue of a payment of some $30 for an electronic account that never worked, despite our efforts to get it to do so. I would like to speak to someone who can rectify this situation and remove the bill. If the bill is not removed, I am canceling my Sunday delivery.”
I was in the room at the time and heard what was going on. The person my wife was talking to had no clue and went on and on with the same story we had been getting, ‘hang up and call this department.’ Mary Kay had to interrupt the person who was giving, what we call, a ‘canned spiel.’ The person just talked and Mary Kay, literally, had to take the phone away from her ear, there was no sense in even trying to communicate.
When she finally was able to speak, she explained clearly that her needs had not been met, that no one seemed to understand, and that there was no one who could help us put an end to this Pandora’s box of modern day subscription issues. She nicely said, “I am disappointed, but please cancel my Sunday subscription. She had to be very firm about it. At no time, was there any attempt to clear up the situation. Apparently it doesn’t matter that I am willing to close a $400 something a year account because you will not address a $30 something bill that I am being proffered for services never received.
Given the sad state of the Subscription and out of town delivery situation, one has to wonder what is going on at the ‘Times.’ Nonetheless, I will miss that paper, but more of us need to stand for simple principles.