TACOMA NEWS TRIBUNE–THE END OF A 27-YEAR RELATIONSHIP


Tacoma-Sponsors-TRIBUNE-300x176Can you imagine a mutually beneficial 27- year relationship with a business entity? It was almost a marriage. Every morning at o600 I would take the dogs out to the mailbox and collect the paper. It was always there on time sans snowstorm or other cataclysmic event.  I grew so fond of my carrier  I named her Brad. Brad always was there for me. Brad always made sure my paper was on time seven days a week snug and dry in a bag if the weather was inclement. Brad cheerfully greeted me on the rare occasions I showed up prematurely at 0550 Hrs. Most times she arrived before I was out of bed. Every Christmas, she left me a card thanking me for my continued patronage.

We moved in 2005 but continued the subscription. We lost Brad due to the location change but nothing seemed amiss for several years. With the advent of the internet and all things digital, a slow sea change began-almost imperceptible at first. The analog paper delivery became lethargic. It always arrived but…

No longer was the paper always there by 0600. This actually was not the end of the world. By 2009, I found myself severely disabled from my military service and no longer taking off for work at an ungodly hour. The tardy 0730 delivery was not disconcerting nor did it impact my life. 0730 segued gradually into 0800. 0800 metamorphosed into 0900. Eventually, it required calling the complaint line to inquire as to whether the carrier was suffering car problems or the Ebonic Plague and, if so, when we could expect her to return to health. I grant that the Tacoma News Tribune was obliging and promptly sent out a replacement paper each morning to supplant the carrier’s tardy behavior.  About two months ago, no paper arrive whatsoever one morning. Actually, it showed up the next day with the subsequent one as if it was a minor oversight. Eventually, following the third or fourth called in complaint,  the computer answering service began transferring me to a live operator with a distinctive accent.

“How is it that your paper has not there yet, sir? Did this happen on yesterday as well? We will credit your account for this and please be contacting us again if the problem is active.”

I can deal with the EBE treatment. I get that. Perhaps it’s cheaper to subcontract it around the world from Tacoma to Bombay. I surely do not fault the newspaper for wanting to cut costs. The problem becomes one where they bemoan their declining readership in the old paper analog arena, up the subscription costs but then begin an ameliorative long-distance 800 apology service.

The final insult was Friday last.  The mail lady arrived at 0837 Hrs just before the newspaper carrier. She had to queue in line behind the mail mistress and was visibly put out at the delay by incrementally inching forward and braking in fits and spurts . This time I decided to utilize the internet and email the Distribution department. I carefully explained the situation and the dichotomy of driving to the store to obtain a timely paper.

This reads like my claims with the Veterans Administration. I’m speaking Apples and the News Tribune is insisting the 0600 Hour oranges are all hunky dory.

Date: Sat, Dec 26, 2015 at 10:05 AM

Dear Sirs,
I have called your recorded delivery complaint number numerous times and gotten absolutely nowhere. For a day or two my deliveries will arrive on time again and then the carrier reverts to her old ways. “Old ways” are 9-10 AM arrival time- if at all. Sometimes I don’t get the day’s paper until the next day. There is no box to check for that deficiency on the telephone complaint line. Complaining from our work location about the failure of the delivery 35 miles away doesn’t rectify the failed delivery. It merely notifies you of the error in a timely manner. I doubt you would feel inclined to deliver the paper to the work location- but then you should not have to.

We have been loyal customers for over twenty five years (January 1990) and wish to continue. Absent some change in your carrier’s behavior, we do not see how this can be mutually beneficial. Having the paper arrive after we leave for work is the equivalent of no paper delivered at all. We have to buy one at the gas station. We cannot afford to continue this”dual subscription” technique. The paper each day at the gas station is $1.00. We estimate conservatively over the last six months that we have purchased additional newspapers 75% of the time-i.e. after 7:30 AM when we leave for work. This is rapidly approaching $100 in added subscription costs while the TNT does little or nothing to remedy the problem. Would the TNT be willing to reimburse us?

If you have no desire to honor your contract, we are at a loss as to why we have a
contractual relationship with you in the first place.

You may reach me at my cel phone 253-xxx-xxxx as your complaint department seems to work banking hours. I look forward to a speedy resolution or some form of mediation/remuneration. We do wish to continue our subscription but not under this arrangement. We just fail to see how we can benefit from it in its current iteration.

If you have changed your “guaranteed” delivery times at some point in the past and we were not informed of it, then this may seem over the top. When I had my own newspaper delivery route as a student in 1962-68,I did it before I caught the school bus to school at 8:20 AM. That entailed getting up and doing it at 6:00 AM. Perhaps I am overly optimistic and that metric is outdated. If so, then this arrangement will have to cease. Reading the morning’s news at 5:30 PM after work is no longer “news”. It could more appropriately be referred to as reading history.

Sincerely,
Alex and Cupcake Graham

________

Monday, December 28, 2015 4:48 PM

Dear Alex and Cupcake,

We are very sorry for our apparent error with the delivery and for the inconvenience this has caused you. Please note that our guaranteed time of delivery on weekdays is still at 6:00 AM and 7:00 AM on weekends. We take this complaint very seriously.  The carrier will be notified of the issue and we will have the Distribution Manager to give you a call (sic) within 24 to 48 business hours at 253-xxx-xxxx. We will do all necessary procedures (sic) to have this issue rectified.

You can also report other delivery concerns, make a payment, request a vacation hold, and much more by going to iservices.thenewstribune.com, for 24/7 subscriber services or by calling us at 1-800-289-8711.

Sincerely,

Bella
Interactive Services Representative
The Tacoma News Tribune
customerservice@thenewstribune.com

_________

 

Dear Bella,
While I didn’t expect you to correct the problem overnight, I just wished to inform you that it is now 8:12 AM Wednesday and my paper still has not arrived. I waited on the off chance the carrier might show but to no avail.  Off to work. Please do not continue to charge me for the paper until we can reach some kind of modus vivendi. And sadly, yes.
Yesterday’s was tardy as well. I have no idea what time it arrived but
it was after 6:50 AM.

Regards
Alex and Cupcake Graham

_________

Jan 4 at 5:31 AM

Dear Alex and Cupcake,

We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Please be advised that we
have had problem on 12/30 because of the bad weather. Your account will
be credited by extending the expiration date on your subscription for
the missed delivery. Again, we are very sorry for the on-going delivery
issue. We are still yet (sic) to determine what causes the delivery issue. We
already coordinated with the Head of distribution and the District
Managers to take care of the problem. We will monitor the
activity of the carrier more closely now until we see an improvement
with the service. We will let you in the loop once we receive any
updates from the Distribution Center.

You can also report other delivery concerns, make a payment, request a
vacation hold, and much more by going to iservices.thenewstribune.com,
for 24/7 subscriber services or by calling us at 1-800-289-8711.

Sincerely,

Bella
Interactive Services Representative
The Tacoma News Tribune
customerservice@thenewstribune.com

__________

Jan 5 at 9:10 AM

Dear Folks,

It looks like we’re at the end of a wonderful relationship, ladies and gentlemen. This morning, at 8:37 as I was leaving for work, the United States Postal Service delivered the mail before your mail carrier delivered the paper. That should come as no surprise to you as I have been complaining now for over six months.

I have been promised that this matter was solved. I was told the paper is always delivered by 6 AM on weekdays. I’ve been told I would receive a call back from someone in charge to resolve our differences. I have eagerly awaited this. To date, nothing has changed. I have documented it by telephone for several months and the email here in this chain. Bald promises to discuss it are tardy.

If I have an outstanding balance with you, I do not see how it can be owed. If I have funds on account with you, they are insufficient to cover the amount of my losses discussed above. I was taught that a mistake made twice was a conscious decision. It appears your problems and promises to repair this are akin to that.

Unless, or until, you can come up with a delivery method that fulfills your promises, we are done.

Cupcake

___________

Jan 10 at 9:43 AM

Dear Cupcake,

We are sorry that we lost you as a member due to unsatisfactory delivery service. This is not acceptable to us and we will be doubling our efforts to improve customer service. We have called the attention of the distribution manager (sic) to get to the bottom of this and make necessary actions to improve our delivery service. We would greatly appreciate if you give us a chance to continue delivery to you.

We will honor your request to stop delivery effective 01/12/16. Also, we will refund the amount of $28.07 to the credit card with the last four digits of XXXX. Please allow 5 to 7 business days to chargeback this amount to your card.

Sincerely,

Bella
Interactive Services Representative
The Tacoma News Tribune
customerservice@thenewstribune.com

They actually make you pay in advance here in the other Washington (state). I guess their service is so abominable they are forced to collect in advance to avoid deadbeats such as me who might complain or decline to pay for shoddy service.

I was promised a call and some form of mediation to solve the problem. Perhaps I was too naive to expect one. At $3.07 per week for delivery service (guaranteed before 0600, mind you), the intelligent distribution department has now deprived themselves of a guaranteed $159.64 annually to resolve their dilemma. Brilliant. Only in Tacoma would this seem the expedient solution to solving the problem. And all I wanted was a timely delivery… Idiot’s delight. I vote the TNT give “Bella” a raise.

Capture 33

 

 

About asknod

VA claims blogger
This entry was posted in Complaints Department, KP Veterans and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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