I'm furious with The Star Ledger. About 2 Saturdays ago, a newspaper was delivered to my home. At first, I thought it was just a neighbor's paper that was blown over due to the winds on Schooley's Mountain, so I pushed it over. Then on Sunday the big paper showed up and again I assumed it wasn't mine. This past Sunday, the paper showed up again but the weather was nice and I got outside early and could see this paper was delivered to me. The sad thing is, I canceled my Star Ledger subscription a year ago and one of the primary reasons I gave was that I no longer wanted to spend an hour each week wrapping up the newspaper.
So I called into complain. The rep on the phone told me it was a free trial. I said "I don't want your free trial, send someone over to pick up the paper." She said, "well I'm not sure I can do that." And I said, "Maybe you aren't taking this serious enough. I canceled my subscription, I never wanted it again, and you guys are littering. If someone doesn't show up today to pick up your garbage, I will call my friends on the Town Council and have you fined for littering." Then I asked to speak with her supervisor and they assured me that someone would be there today to pick it up, which did occur.
I didn't want to blog about it because it appeared they took care of my problem. That is until yesterday when an invoice for Sunday delivery appeared in my mail. Yes an invoice thanking me for returning and asking for a $9.99 per month payment. Here's the invoice:
So you tell me what you think is going on....
- Weekend papers start mysteriously popping up on my driveway two weekends ago
- I never asked for these and neither did my wife
- I used to be a subscriber for a long time but canceled almost a year ago
- I called in to complain and the rep slips by saying "oh you are receiving a free trial"
- And then an invoice appears for a weekend subscription
Simple mistake? Probably not. The above is too coincidental to be a simple mistake. You know what it looks like to me? Some crazy marketing plan to resurrect previous subscribers and hope they don't notice.
I called into complain and they admitted it was an invoice and I should disregard, but that was after they said it was a promotional letter. Promotional letter? When was the last time a promotional letter came with an amount due, an account number, a due date for payment, and a big Thank You for Subscribing message across the top. I repeated to them, this is an invoice not a promotional letter. They again tried to say it was a free promotion and I should have received a postcard which I don't recall ever seeing. Still this is an invoice not a promotional letter.
So the question is to you. Is this a marketing scam to get their subscriptions up? And if not, then my next question is, should they just start delivering newspapers to you when you haven't asked for it and then follow up with an invoice. Should they be allowed to notify you with a postcard that could easily be missed and then follow up with an invoice? Scam or no scam, this is a horrible way to boost subscriptions. I'm also wondering, how many people paid this invoice for something they didn't want.