Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Courtesy Call from the Star Tribune

Hi All!

I will confess up front that I have sat on a past due billing from the Strib, procrastinating as I tried to justify paying about $60 for 13 weeks up from a $22.75 intro rate (ed. note: based on memory, will clarify when invoices are dug up.

I have procrastinated so long that I owe them north of $100 and they still deliver the bird cage liner that is irresistible to quit reading. And reading the paper on the web vs. sitting on the throne or at the breakfast table or at a restaurant or on the deck is a no brainer, except what the pleasure costs.

I have taken the Pioneer Press and Dispatch in it's various incarnations since I got moved from home, where the morning and evening papers were ingrained in my everyday life and were eagerly devoured since I learned to read. I am not ready to give the PiPress up.

I have taken the Strib on and off as promotions occur. Admittedly there is a lot more meat on it's bones than it's weaker competitor but the new management is starting to race that competitor to the bottom, to the point that they hired away key PP staff that was responsible for sinking THAT ship into mediocracy.

Well sir, the young fellow on the line was polite but firm. "Give me your Credit Card number and we won't cancel your subscription". Whoop dee DO and hot damn!

"So, what sort of customer retention deal you got running these days? "

"I cannot offer you any promotions, sir. I only need to have you pay your account to continue your service. You don't even have to call Customer Service."

"I think I'll call customer service."

"Let me talk to my supervisor (2 seconds pass). Sir, I must demand payment."

"So you are a collection agency?"

"No sir, this is the Star Tribune."

"Well, you can't have my credit card number or my bank account number. I am calling customer service. Thanks for reminding me to take care of this."

"Ah sir ....SIR?"

I clicked him off.

I am totally guilty of getting something and not paying for it, and I will settle up. But if I don't get a screaming deal from customer service, I shall reluctantly scan the rag on the web.

If I had an incontinent bird, I might still subscribe. But I ain't got no dirty bird.



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