An exercise in patience

Culpeper Star Exponent
Culpeper Star Exponent

On October 22, I decided to go online to subscribe to the local newspaper – the Culpeper Star-Exponent. The process took several minutes, and I placed the order under my business name of 2 Market 2 Market Your Dot Com. I ordered a special deal of $10.85 a month through some kind of EZ Pay plan.

When I clicked on the “order now” or “submit” or whatever the button was to finalize the whole order, I got an error message that the order did not go through, telling me to call their customer service number. So I called the customer service number, explained to the lady what happened. She apologized and said that she would be glad to help me with that. I had to give her all of the information again, and she quoted me a price $11.40 for the month.

I told her that I wanted the $10.85 price, and she said that deal was only through the Internet and she could not give me that price. I asked to speak to a supervisor, or if I could get an over-ride, and she said no. She did suggest that I wait a couple of days and try to order online again.

Well, I was aggravated, but did not want to wait a couple of days, so I went ahead and told her that I would pay the higher price, so I placed the order through her. The paper was supposed to start the next day, October 23. It did NOT start the next day, there was NO newspaper delivered.

On October 24, I got TWO papers, both dated October 24! I thought to myself, “well, that’s a strange glitch, I will wait and see what happens tomorrow and if I get two newspapers again I will call to straighten the situation out. Well, you guessed it, the next day I got TWO papers, again dated the same day.

Note: looking through the newspapers that I did get, I saw a full-page ad for the EZ Pay subscription of $10.85 on page B7, telling people to call them at 540-829-5496. There was no mention that in order to get that price you had to place the order online!

frustrated woman (free clip art)
frustrated woman (free clip art)

I called circulation to ask them what was going on, and they said that I had TWO subscription accounts now. One in my business name, and one in my personal name! Well, that was annoying on several levels – I had ordered the subscription to be in the business name only, not my personal name, and I only wanted ONE subscription, not TWO!

I explained to the customer service representative what had happened, and that I only wanted ONE subscription, not TWO, so would they please cancel one of the orders. I asked them if one of the orders was for the $10.85, and they said yes, the one in the 2 Market 2 Market Your Dot Com was for $10.85, and they other one (the one in my personal name) was for $11.40. I asked them to cancel the one in my personal name, and keep the one in my business name. They told me that they would do exactly that.

Today, Saturday, I was hoping to go down to the newspaper tube and get my Culpeper Star-Exponent Newspaper. But the box was empty. Hoping that maybe the paper would arrive later in the day, my hubby and I went out running errands for the day and got back home at 5:30. Stopping at the newspaper tube to get the paper, I was very unhappy to find that the tube was still empty! However, in the mail box are TWO bills from the Culpeper Star-Exponent for both of the subscriptions!

Letter to the editor (free clip art)
Letter to the editor (free clip art)

Going inside, I found the customer service number and called them to ask them to make sure that I get a newspaper tomorrow, Sunday. Their office is closed until 6am Sunday morning. I am finding this to be quite the exercise in patience! I am considering sending this post as an email to the newspaper in the form of a Letter to the Editor. What do you think?