Good Luck Trying Not to Pay Extra for Denver Post Thanksgiving Day Paper

An image sent by the Denver Post as part of a Thanksgiving weekend delivery offer. Note the totally dated headline about Broncos fans remaining optimistic.
An image sent by the Denver Post as part of a Thanksgiving weekend delivery offer. Note the totally dated headline about Broncos fans remaining optimistic. Denver Post
The Denver Post is touting its Thanksgiving Day paper as the largest of the year, and subscribers who don't opt out of receiving a copy will be charged an extra $4 for the privilege. Problem is, the phone number for informing the powers-that-be that you'd rather skip the edition — and the additional fee — doesn't actually seem to be working, as the experiences of a former Post employee and the ten minutes I just spent on a useless line both indicate.

We first wrote about this issue in the June 2016 item "The Latest Way the Denver Post Is Alienating the Subscribers It Has Left." At that time, as we reported, the Post had started "sending subscribers letters under the signature of Senior Vice President of Circulation and Production Bill Reynolds announcing that they would be charged an additional $4 for a Thanksgiving edition and 'no more than three (3) other Special Editions annually, which will be charged to the subscriber's account at either $3 or $4 each. If you do not want to receive these Special Editions, you may call customer care to opt out. If you do not opt out, your SUBSCRIPTION TERM will be shortened.'"

This policy remains in place, as evidenced by a letter sent to subscribers on view below. As you can see, even those who've already opted out of getting costly special editions (all of which are now priced at $4) must do so again in regard to the Thanksgiving paper in order to not pay more:

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Denver Post
The letter was supplied to us by Jeff Leib, who spent 25 years working as a reporter for the Post before taking a buyout in 2011. Six years later, he remains a loyal supporter of the Post and stresses that he wants it to succeed. But when he tried to opt out of the Thanksgiving issue by calling 303-832-3232 (the number mentioned in the letter) on a couple of occasions last week, he wasn't able to either reach a representative or leave a message for one.

Ditto for yours truly. This morning, I dialed the 303-832-3232 number and received a series of prompts from a pleasantly voiced robotic calling-tree system. But after I was told that I would be connected with a rep, the only thing I heard was silence. The line never went dead during my aforementioned ten-minute wait, but neither was I given access to a human being. After a few random questions delivered into the vacuum ("Hello? Is anybody home?"), I finally hung up.

Leib had more options. He phoned someone he knew at the Post, using a number not mentioned in the subscriber letter above, and that person was able to register his preference for opting out. (By the way, Leib also sent an email to the address in the letter, but since he didn't receive a reply until after he spoke to his friend, he's uncertain if the message would have come through without intervention on his behalf.)

Oh, yeah: Leib was also told that the paper had been overwhelmed by calls about opting out of the Thanksgiving paper, with at least 12,000 attempts registered — and perhaps twice that many.

There's no telling how many of these subscribers actually managed to opt out. But during a period when the Post is trying to build its subscriber base, as anyone who's been to a King Soopers on a weekend has seen, Leib thinks the iffy customer service he experienced was counterproductive.

And definitely not worthy of giving thanks.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts