Friday, August 15, 2014

Does the Press-Telegram even want subscribers?

The author Lee Tomlinson invented the term "WAYMISH" to describe the many ways companies drive away customers with inadequate, thoughtless or just-plain-stupid service practices. It stands for "Why Are You Making It So Hard for me to give you money?"

Here's an example of a WAYMISH:

I was interested in subscribing to the Press-Telegram, the newspaper that serves Long Beach, California. A few Google searches brought me to a page that offered seven-day-a-week delivery for "$14.99 per 4 month."

Hmm, I thought, that's awkwardly written, but it seems to suggest $14.99 for 4 months of daily delivery of the paper. That would be a good deal, if true. There was no way online to clarify if my interpretation was correct, so I decided to call.

It was 4:45 p.m. on a Thursday when this potential subscriber called. But I only got a recording saying "Our office is closed," and no opportunity to leave a message. WAYMISH.

Many consumers would give up at that point, but I called back the next day, and waited four and a half minutes on hold before reaching a human. After I explained my question, the customer representative seemed puzzled.

"What paper are you calling about?" she said.


She was completely unaware of the offer I was referring to. I explained in detail how to find the web page I had found. Eventually, after I had been on the phone for more than 10 minutes, including additional time on hold, she returned to tell me the offer was "$14.99 per month, guaranteed for four months."

Oh. And how are we supposed to get that out of "$14.99 per 4 month"?

Some might say that $14.99 a month is still a reasonable price, but by this point I'd found the whole process so aggravating that I decided not to subscribe at all.


 (Please support this blog by clicking on an ad, or by donating via the Paypal button below.)

No comments:

Post a Comment