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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tales of Globe home delivery

You would think a business bleeding cash would value existing long-time client customers. But if you are the Boston Globe (and its parent New York Times which excels in bleeding money from the Globe) the answer would be: you're kidding, right?

Yet another tale from the seamy underbelly of newspaper delivery -- a business once deemed too important to be entrusted to children who learned about responsibility by getting up early in the cold to meet a deadline.

Those of you lucky enough to get home delivery know that for the privilege of being aggravated, you are required to pay in advance (up to three months for the Times) and tack on a premium for the "convenience" (a $5 Sunday Times costs $5.12 to get it on your doorstep.)

When it gets there.

The Globe is fond of alarming messages when they know they won't meet their own delivery times (and by the way, does anyone besides me get up before 8 a.m. on a Sunday?)

Today's message warned of "extreme" production difficulties. What's up with that? Osama bin Laden running the presses?

But I already knew the message was, um, hyperbolic, when I ventured down stairs and found just one of the three papers that should have been on our building's doorstep. No second Globe. No Times.

Boston Globe -- extreme home delivery.

A schlep to the store for papers (spotting many copies of the Globe and Times on doorsteps along the way) and an hour or so later the phone rings, a "concerned" caller from Community Newsdealers asking if my papers had been delivered. Never mind that I said I wanted a credit and would go out and buy a paper so I could get it before the 2:30 p.m. deadline for re-delivery.

Then there's the credit. Mrs. O.L. says the bill gets paid the same time every month for the same amount -- whether we've been on vacation or the delivery person takes a mental holiday.

It's been pointed out time and again that newspapers are a troubled business, losing circulation to the Internet and groping for a successful new business model. Here's a suggestion: keep the customers you already have happy.

At least they opted for truth in advertising when they dropped the old slogan "The Globe's Here."

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, that is amazing. You are so brave.

March 30, 2008 1:13 PM  

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