Although the current economic woes are negatively impacting plenty of industries, they're striking old-technology media firms with special vengeance. As such, most firms are trying to cut costs in ways that are meant to be invisible to most, but not all, customers.
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Case in point. The Denver Post and the Rocky Mountain News pledge delivery to subscribers by 5:30 a.m. -- and that's important to me, since I'm usually out of the house by 6 a.m. Since Tuesday, however, my copies have been late, and this morning, I finally decided to call and complain, as I've done over the years when glitches have arisen. I dialed the circulation line as usual, declining to push buttons on the automated system because I've gotten better service when talking to an operator. I was then put on hold, during which a recording told me about an upcoming "economic stimulus sweepstakes" that will offer prizes up to $75,000! Then, a second recording popped up, informing me that the switchboard hours now begin at 6 a.m. before cutting me off.
The result? People with delivery issues must wait longer than before to speak to a human being. It's a reasonable trim -- but also another grim sign of the times.