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Ching is Ready to Pop a Gasket

Posted on June 13, 2010 by under Life.    

I’m so frustrated with the Wichita Eagle right now, I can’t even see straight. With my newspaper subscription fixing to expire, I decided to start a newspaper subscription in Brian’s name. Serious coupon users suggest having multiple newspaper subscriptions (to the tune of 6 to 8 Sunday papers each week). I wanted to see what it would be like to receive two newspaper subscriptions for a while before committing to it. I had no idea it would be such a nightmare. Maybe in their town the newspaper subscription and delivery people are smart enough to get this concept. It’s not so in Wichita. At least, from my experience.

The craziness began last Sunday. It was the first Sunday of this whole experiment. I woke up at 6 am to check the driveway in eager anticipation. I was to get two Sunday papers that day. Yes! Those of you who’ve been following my Twitter updates, know that I’ve been excited and very much looking forward to this. Much to my disappointment, I only find one Sunday paper on the driveway.

Naturally, my first instinct was to call customer service. I couldn’t just yet, though. I had to wait until 7 am when their phone lines were open. I called twice that morning. The first time I called, I had to explain that I had two subscriptions: one in my name and one under my husband’s name but both under the same address. I only got one Sunday paper so I wanted to know where my other Sunday paper was. After finding both accounts, she told me that the one under my name was canceled due to non-renewal. I told her I didn’t think the time was up on that subscription yet. I know because I specifically started the other subscription under Brian’s name to overlap with mine. Anyway, I figured she probably knew what she was talking about because she’s the one looking at their customer records so I just asked when that subscription began. I thanked he for the information and told her that I would check my records.

The subscription started on March 27 and I had signed up for 13 weeks. First newspaper subscription. Again, I didn’t want to commit to a longer time frame. Just in case I hated it. At least, I’d only have to endure them for 13 weeks. Anyway, I counted the weeks on my calendar and figured I had three more weeks. Wait a second. They’re shorting me!

I called back and, after waiting on hold for a while, I get the same person. Thank the Lord! At least I didn’t have to go through my story all over again. I told her that I had checked my records and I had three more weeks so I should have gotten my other Sunday paper that morning. She confirmed this and even told me I had $6 credit remaining. No explanation was offered as to why my subscription was abruptly canceled. I have no idea what they were going to do with the remaining $6 — whether they were going to send me a refund or whether they were just hoping I wouldn’t realize that they shorted me three Sunday papers. Honestly, I didn’t really care what the heck happened. I just wanted to get my two Sunday papers for a few weeks just as I had planned.

She told me that they could continue my subscription next week and I should get three more Sunday papers. This will use up the remaining credit on my account. “So I will get two papers next Sunday?” I asked. She told me yes. I felt good about our conversation, thinking that the whole Sunday paper mix up had been resolved. I was a little skeptical, though. After a service breakdown, you lose a little faith. At least for me, the company has to prove themselves before I can start trusting them again.

I told Brian about it after he woke up (much, much later in the day — he’s not an early riser like I am). I said, “We figured it out though. I should get two Sunday papers starting this Sunday.”

Fast forward to today…

I didn’t get up until six thirty because we stayed up late watching The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus last night. I also had to give Brian his other birthday gifts. I was still half asleep this morning when I put my robe on and sauntered out the door to claim my paper. I didn’t bother to put shoes on so I was a little cranky about the wet pavement. It had rained. Blech. I woke up completely when I saw only one blue bag on the driveway.

Hmmm… I was thinking that the Sunday papers would be in two separate bags. So two Sunday papers = two blue bags. I have one blue bag. “There better be two Sunday papers in this bag or I’m going to pop a gasket,” I thought to myself as I picked up the very wet bag. I shook the excess water off and took the bag to the kitchen, taking care not to drip on anything. I unsheathed my paper above the kitchen sink and threw the bag away. It didn’t look promising.

Just as I feared, there was only one Sunday paper in there. Again, I had to wait until 7 am to call. Then, I had to borrow Brian’s phone because my phone didn’t get plugged in last night and was out of juice. When I called today, the person I talked to sounded like the same person I talked to last week. Except she gave her name as Danielle and that wasn’t the other rep’s name. I can’t remember the name she gave, but it wasn’t Danielle. They sound alike, though. I wondered if the reps give a different name each week or each day, just for variety. There’s really only two people who work in the office (it’s reasonable to think this considering the amount of time you spend waiting on hold for a person), but they give different names each time so it feels like there’s more people working there. I have a wild imagination, I know. Probably watching too much of The Office because it sounds exactly like something they’d do. But I digress…

Back to my Sunday paper issue. I go through the whole thing of the two subscriptions and the overlap all over again. I told her I was expecting to get two Sunday papers and I only received one. I don’t know which subscription is messed up, but chances are it’s the one under my name. I gave her both mine and Brian’s names, though, just for good measure. Danielle told me that my subscription expired today. That was the explanation I was given for the missing Sunday paper.

Hold on a minute. I told her that I went through this situation last week and the person I talked to said I still had $6 on my account and that meant I got three more Sundays. Since I didn’t get my paper last Sunday, I figured I would get one today, one on June 20 and my last one on June 27. She offered to credit my account for the missing paper, but told me that my subscription was done. I told her to double check it because we went through this exact same thing last Sunday and figured it out. We went through the whole March 27 thing all over again and we both agreed that the subscription was to end on June 20 according to the subscription that I signed up for.. Since I didn’t get my Sunday paper on June 6 and we were resuming with three more weeks to go, I expected my last Sunday paper under my subscription to be on June 27. But whatever, I’m tired of playing this game. I don’t want a credit, I just want my paper! Can it be delivered today? What time can I expect it? Not sure what time, but she said she sent a message to the carrier. I’m going to give it until noon. If it’s not here, I’m calling again.

Oh, and the person I talked to today had the audacity to ask if I wanted to renew since my subscription was expired. WTF, man? Do you think I want to go through this nightmare all over again? I don’t want to have to call you every freakin’ Sunday to ask where my second Sunday paper is. Are you nuts? Do you think I’m crazy enough to want to go through this frustration every week? I guess I must have given her that impression. After all, who gets two Sunday papers delivered to them? Only crazy people like me, right?

I didn’t say any of that stuff, though. I have enough sense to edit my thoughts before speaking (most of the time). I just told her that I didn’t want to renew my subscription. I even resisted the urge to tell her that I was this close to canceling the subscription under Brian’s name also just because they can’t seem to get their act together.

Seriously, next time I decide to get a Wichita Eagle subscription, please stop me. When both subscriptions are up, I’m thinking of looking into subscribing to the Topeka Capital-Journal to get my RedPlum, SmartSource and PG inserts. I really wish I could just pay a subscription fee to get my coupons mailed to me. Newspapers are completely worthless anyway.

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