Back in March, I wrote about getting a card from the Denver Post letting me know that my annual subscription price following the demise of the Rocky Mountain News would be $133.95 -- not exactly a bargain, but far less than East Coast papers like the Boston Globe charge. Afterward, I was contacted by a slew of fellow subscribers, who noted huge variations in Post home-delivery charges; costs ranged from $79.95 to $149.95.
Then, in mid-June, my subscription technically ran out following several weeks during which the paper arrived well after the guaranteed 5:30 a.m. delivery time -- and since I leave for the office before 6 a.m. each day, a late paper is as good as no paper at all. So rather than immediately signing up again, I decided to wait to see how long it would take for a Post representative to call. (After all, the papers were still coming on a daily basis -- maybe not on time, but they'd always arrive eventually.) When a rep finally reached out, sometime in July, I asked if the guaranteed delivery time had changed -- and the woman on the other end of the line, who didn't seem to know what she was talking about, proved it by what she said next.
According to her, the Post's guaranteed time was 6:30 a.m., not 5:30 a.m. For that reason, I told her I'd have to think about resubscribing, and after she made a weak attempt to convince me to request weekend-only delivery, I bid her farewell. The following morning, I planned to blog about the time change -- but just to be sure the first caller hadn't simply been off-base, I called the subscription line again, and was told that the guaranteed time remained 5:30 a.m.
Apparently, the training at the Post phone bank leaves a bit to be desired.
About that time, the paper started arriving at my Ken-Caryl area home before 5:30 a.m. again -- ironic considering that my subscription had lapsed at least a month prior. And the Post was still coming when my wife received another call about re-upping. She described the delivery-time problems we'd had in the past to this particular rep, who promised to have her district manager phone to personally address our concerns -- which he did. Then, my wife talked to yet another sales representative and did a little negotiating. The final tally: A one-year subscription for $113.00, twenty dollars less than the original quote, with an additional three weeks thrown in for free -- not counting the two months the paper kept coming after our previous subscription had expired.
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Could this approach explain why the Post's circulation hasn't dipped more after the Rocky's demise? You be the judge.