Why does the Chicago Tribune force me to cancel my subscription?

Old-school as we are, we have hard copy newspaper subscriptions to both the Chicago Tribune and the New York Times. Everyday PLONK goes the satisfying sound of news in glorious black & white.

And anyhow how the hell do two people read different news on one iPad?

It's clearly a family thing. Our son reads newspapers in NYC. Our daughter living in the UK gets a hard copy of The Times for free. It's still not worth the price, but is part of her package that includes Internet, a retro landline telephone and cable television. The landline they never answer. Why would they? No one calls it but  junk robocalls (yes, they get these in England too), misdials or calls from two relatives who still don't get that some people only use mobiles.

And newspapers are uncharted waters for the next generation. When our great-niece was shown a Chicago Tribune story about Lollapalooza she was delighted to read it, but confused. "Where does the story continue?" this otherwise straight-A 14-year-old asked trying to find where the story continued.

So as Rachel Maddow constantly says, we do support out local newspaper. But when we plan to be out of town, we put a vacation hold or suspension on them. Why pay for something you won't use? Apparently that isn't a question of the management of the Chicago Tribune.

Before a recent trip I went online to put my two newspapers on hold--newspapers delivered by the same person who I faithfully tip each December. At the New York Times web site, it was as always easypeasy. Click click click, and done. Thinking of the new Chicago Tribune web site, I tried to do the same there, but the site was so busy I couldn't find where. Oh well, so old school of the Midwest. So I called and began the "Press 1 for..." lottery. When I finally reached "Dennis", I made my request. A couple of times. Apparently Dennis got distracted. Once he got the week long vacation hold in, only then did he apprise me that though the newspaper would not be delivered--I would be charged for the newspaper. 

I thought I misheard. Repeating what he said, I  responded how dumb that was. But fine. "Then end the newspaper on that date."

OH, he shifted gears, sounding a bit like the Comcast customer service call from YouTube that went viral. For this one time, he said, he would not charge me for a canceled newspaper. How big of you, Dennis.

Trying to explain the illogic of charging people for something they don't use went no where. So yes, next time I need to put a hold on the Chicago Tribune--I will cancel my subscription.

And yes I am cheeky enough to print this blog--written ironically under the auspices of the Chicago Tribune--and mail it via the USPS to Chicago Tribune CEO Jack Griffin. Perhaps the higher ups don't know about these silly "policies"?


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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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