Are you a subscriber to the Sunday New York Times, via the Sunday Star-Advertiser?
If you do, you know that you didn’t receive the Sunday Times — distributed by the Star-Advertiser, this morning –the second week this happened this month, since the NYT also was missing last Sunday. Transportation issues are the reason; the NYT delivery missed a flight to Honolulu, so delivery was not possible.
So, you go through the drill of dialing the circulation department here, and wait, wait, and wait some more, till an agent answers your call. My wait time today was 35 minutes, and 20 minutes last Sunday.
There is no other way to find out why the NYT was not delivered, along with the Sunday Star-Advertiser. You can’t call your delivery person, since you don’t have his/her number; by now, you must know there is a problem in Houston, er, Honolulu, but making the call is necessary since you don’t know if your carrier missed you making the rounds. Happened before…
When an agent finally answered my call, she knew little about why the NYT was AWOL, but muttered something about in-house computer glitches with the circulation crew, and said the missing paper was probably going to arrive with the Monday S-A, or maybe Tuesday, since Monday was the Martin Luther King holiday.
This missing-delivery angst happens several times a year. After talking to the agent here, I noticed I received an email from the Times that a transportation problem was the issue…like the papers missed a flight. The note included an apology for the delay and a thank-you for being patient. Oh, and a declaration that the paper would be delivered Monday.
If the Times can do that, why not the Star-Advertiser? Or if that’s too much of a burden for the circulation folks here, why not the carrier? Why can’t he/she send a text message or even an old-fashioned hand-scribbled note tucked in with the Sunday paper, so subscribes don’t have to call and wait and endure frustration? I mention this possible tactic today and last Sunday, and I was told to email the publisher. Like, he would care?
Newspapers are in the communications biz, but there’s simply no plan locally to inform subscribers that a problem exists.
Have you had any circulation problem? Seriously. Share your thoughts…