Forgive me as I ramble for a second here. It has been a while since I have done a rant, so here goes:
Here in the Northwest Burbs of Chicago we have a little paper called the Daily Herald. Owned by Paddock Publications, Inc., the Daily Herald is based in my neighboring suburb of Arlington Heights.
I got acquainted with the Daily Herald when we first moved to Chicagoland because a salesman was going door to door. Being new to the area, I figured getting a subscription to the local paper would be a great way to get connected to the neighborhood. However, the headache that having a subscription to this paper has caused has not been worth it.
First, my subscription was supposed to be $24.00 for 12 weeks of daily delivery. Since this was not set-up for auto-renewal, after 12 weeks I called the paper's customer service number to extend my delivery. I was informed my delivery was paid up. After I told the associate that this was incorrect, I was informed I would be contacted when a balance was do.
Three weeks later in May 2011, I called to change my address to our new apartment. I was informed that there was a balance on my account of almost $30.00.
After asking what this was for because the amount did not make sense considering the length and charge of my subscription, I was told I would be called back with details on the amount due. That call never came, and my subscription ended. I figured that maybe their paper was just so successful that they did not need my $30.00 or my subscription.
Later in the year, I had a salesperson for the Daily Herald come in to work to ask if we wanted to purchase advertisement for our business. She also inquired if any employees needed a subscription. I told her the drama of how I was still awaiting my call back to renew my subscription. She was somewhat apologetic, and told me she would have someone call me quickly to rectify the situation.
Within 24 hours, I had a call from the Circulation Manager at the Daily Herald. She said that I did have a balance on my account. She then offered me a deal to clear my account and get my subscription started back.
Since I love reading the newspapers every morning, I decided I would take her up on the offer. As with my Wall Street Journal and Chicago Tribune subscriptions, I asked her if I could have it billed to my card so that I would not have to worry about it anymore. She informed me that I could.
I then agreed to paid $27.00 for the "past due amount" and then another amount for the next 12 weeks of delivery. My subscription should have auto-renewed infinitely every 12 weeks.
Unfortunately, the issue with my new subscription became that I never got the freaking paper on a regular schedule. I never got the Saturday edition, and I missed at least every other Sunday. At least a couple of times, I would go two or three days without a Daily Herald.
With that type of delivery, I was not surprised when the paper quit arriving all together. I just wrote off my subscription and never paid it any attention because I was tired of dealing with the subscription of one freaking newspaper. It was almost a part-time job to make sure I got the paper on time and/or to have a missed-paper redelivered.
Fortunately, I thought I was just done with the Daily Herald. Of course, nothing is ever that easy.
Imagine my surprise when I got a notice in the mail from Biehl & Biehl, Inc. Apparently, the Daily Herald is wanting me to pay them an addition $17.50 for my past due account. Not only that, their first notice of an amount due on my account is from a collection agency.
I guess per the instructions of the letter, I am going to have to contact the office of Biehl & Biehl and inform them of their client's inability to manage their own accounts. I know it is just $17.50; however, now the principal of the matter comes into play.
If I gave you a freaking credit card for auto-pay to my account, I want to know how I ever accrued a balance in the first damn place?
Also, I want to know how they managed to merge the name of my partner and I together to form an entirely new name?
Also, you have my freaking phone number and address. Why not just call me to tell me I had a balance do first and foremost?
Of course now if they were to charge my credit card I would be livid and fight the charges because I have not even received the paper in forever.
Anyway, if this is how most local papers are operating, no wonder they are a dying breed. Good riddance to them for their inability to make their papers accessible via subscription.
It is crap like this from the Daily Herald, that makes online services like The Patch much more valuable to the local community. I have switched to getting almost all of my local event news from The Patch and Trib Local. I guess maybe I should thank the Daily Herald. Their inability to manage a circulation department saves me money. Thanks Paddock family! :)