April 30, 2007
In the first 120 days of 2007, we probably have not received our paper on one-third of those days. Calling the Herald-Sun “customer no-service” line produces even greater frustrations, especially when the voice tells me that they “deliver more news seven days a week.” Of course, if they did deliver it, I wouldn’t be calling. Sometimes after calling, the paper eventually gets to our driveway and sometimes it doesn’t.
With all of the challenges facing the print media these days, you would think a paper’s owners would do all that it could to retain paying customers. I have personally had conversations with the district manager, the circulation manager, and even the publisher about not getting our paper but it continues to happen. I just can’t understand why, as the other paper that we pay to receive has missed delivery only once in the last 120 days and the free paper comes twice a week without fail. Whatever the explanation, deeds, not words, should be the coin of the realm for consumers.
We did not get this Sunday’s paper, again. We called and were told that they would try to deliver it; it never came. It didn’t come Monday morning either, but the “customer no-service” rep said that they would try to get it out to us Tuesday. I assume that my Sunday column was printed but I have no personal confirmation. What’s wrong with this picture?
Thus, in good conscience I can no longer be an unpaid weekly columnist for an organization that seems to care so little about its customers. I have enjoyed my time writing for the Chapel Hill Herald and I especially value all of the feedback from readers. I understand that, as editor, you have no control over the business aspects of the paper, but I hope you understand my decision. I also hope that somehow, the Paxton chain will devoted the necessary resources to improve delivery and its customer service approach before it’s too late. Our community needs a community-focused newspaper, but is this a corporate commitment?
Thanks again for the opportunity to write the weekly Sunday column and I wish you and your fine staff good luck.