Friday, October 11, 2013
PALM BEACH POST: LOSS OF A SUBSCRIBER
For years now I have subscribed to the Palm Beach Post, and it has been faithfully delivered to my apartment. It’s not my favorite newspaper by any means, but I like it for the local news, two or three of the syndicated columnists, the weekly TV guide, the crossword puzzle in the Market section, and the comics (Luann being my favorite).
The size of the paper has been steadily shrinking, as everyone knows. Newspapers these days are having a hard time staying afloat.
When I left in June to stay at my son’s home in MA for three months, I had received the renewal notice for my subscription to the Post. The price for six months was going up a few dollars to $67.25, but I had a couple of weeks remaining on the present subscription, so the Circulation Department person I spoke with said they’d put a hold on my subscription till I came back in the fall, and then I could renew.
When I returned three months later, however, I learned that though still credited with the two remaining weeks, my subscription had been cancelled (I learned that this was policy when there was a lapse of over two months), and to be reinstated I would have to pay the new rates: $309.22 for a full year or $154.61 for six months—$154.61 being MORE THAN DOUBLE the renewal rate in June! When I protested, the person in Circulation “found” a lower rate of $113 for six months (I hate it when businesses do this), but even so, I would be paying almost double what I had before.
I will say the three Circulation Department personnel I talked with were very polite and understanding about all this (credit them for this, I wouldn’t want their jobs), but this was the last straw for me. Usually a magazine or newspaper bought at a newsstand costs far more than one mailed or delivered. Monday through Saturday, the Palm Beach Post costs $1.00 bought at the newsstand, I believe, going by today's paper. I don’t even CARE about getting the huge Sunday edition (but you can’t GET only Monday through Saturday now!), so it comes out about even whether I have the paper delivered or buy individual copies every day of the year except Sunday! There's something ludicrous about this.
I was told I could subscribe ONLINE to the paper for $15 a month, but at $90 for six months that’s certainly no bargain.
I’ll probably buy the paper only occasionally from a newsstand. The new subscription rate is a totally unreasonable increase in my opinion, and I won’t pay it. I’ll get my local news in other ways, I’ll buy a crossword puzzle book, and I’ll have to do without Luann. Maybe I'll raid the yellow trash receptacle from time to time. I don't wish it on them, but it wouldn’t surprise me if the Palm Beach Post went out of business one of these days.