May 18, 2012

"Thank you for subscribing to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel! Please allow 48 hours for your account to be set up."

"After this time, please visit www.jsonline.com/register to register your account. You will then have complete digital access 7 days a week...."

Ridiculous!

I have been resisting subscribing to the Journal Sentinel, even though I have much greater use for it than most people, and I only even want the digital edition that costs $0.99 a week. Now, I'm trying to get through to an article, I fill out the form, I type out my credit card number, and the response is I've got to wait 48 hours for access.

Lame. Lame. Lame. Lame.

Dinosaur newspaper businesses... not even close to adapting to the digital word.

UPDATE: I responded to the email, saying I found the delay unacceptable and wanted to cancel the subscription. My email bounced, and in the bounce message, I could see that the email address was: To: Customer Service custserv+canned.response@jrn.com. [ADDED: I needed to take the brackets out to make "custserv+canned.response" display, as it does now.]

Customer Service + canned response.

Here's my non-canned response: You're canned.

26 comments:

Mitchell said...

An apt name since many sentinels spend their time standing in place.

TosaGuy said...

In-private browsing bypasses their firewall.

Brian Begley said...

I have found that using private browsing mode in IE disables most of the subscription pop ups on newspaper sites. Omaha.com only allows 25 stories per month. Using htis method, I can read unlimited articles.

I believe that newspapers deserve to be paid somehow for the work that they do, but if their protection scheme is so lame, why even bother to put it in place?

EMD said...

I love when newspaper reporters have to describe the way things look in their online stories rather than uploading a photograph.

TosaGuy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

You can subscribe to sites that give access within a couple of seconds.

These people need to talk to Amazon.

EMD said...

Well, you know, madam, that the Sentinel can't just let anyone read their precious stories.

Commence background checks!

EMD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AJ Lynch said...

When a newspaper is written more like a blog, we will know they are finally getting it.

phx said...

I have found that using private browsing mode in IE disables most of the subscription pop ups on newspaper sites. Omaha.com only allows 25 stories per month. Using htis method, I can read unlimited articles.

I believe that newspapers deserve to be paid somehow for the work that they do, but if their protection scheme is so lame, why even bother to put it in place?


Is that a similar rationale given by people who use Pirate Bay and such to d/l movies and cds? Is one acceptable and the other not?

alan markus said...

Because I subscribe to the print edition, I also get the digital. I find I read much more of the print, than the online. Too easy to just skim or jump away.

Been subscribing for most of the last 30 years, now coming up for annual renewal. What's making me think twice about renewing (at least $225) is that I'm pretty much fed up with their delivery. The MJS obviously doesn't consider their product to have much value, otherwise they wouldn't drop it in a puddle at the end of the driveway in lieu of using the paperbox. Several times this past year I have had my paper fall out the box and blow away (I live in a rural area) because the carrier did not bother to put it all the way into the box. For awhile I had a carrier that always threw his/her McDonalds cups in my ditch - I must have been at the point on the route where he/she finished his/her drink. Also, when I walk my dog, along the road I find those plastic straps that are used to bundle the papers.

So, that is the downside of getting the print version. So, when I hear the print media moan about declining circulation, I have no sympathy. It's almost like they are subtly trying to discourage those of us who cling to the past by getting the print edition.

Mitchell said...

To alan markus' comment I'd like to add my personal observation that a bagged newspaper on the driveway and a snow thrower do not always play nicely together.

Sorun said...

48 hours is better than unsubscribing to some spam, which often generates notice of "up to 10 days to complete this request."

It has to be typed up in triplicate, signed by both the branch and regional managers, then mailed to the head office in Columbus, OH.

dreams said...

Warren Buffet is buying a bunch of newspapers, I don't have an opinion if that is a good investment. I am though looking forward to the day that the NY Times goes bankrupt. The childish liberal Arthur (Pinch) Sculzberger has been a disaster.

Check the ten year Stock chart at bigcharts.com.

Peter said...

alan markus said, "Because I subscribe to the print edition, I also get the digital."

Just a warning: You'll get an offer to renew at a very high price. To get a better price, you have to call and tell them that it's just not worth that much to you.

But what I'd really like to know is, how many digital subscriptions has the Journal-Sentinel sold? Somehow their business reporting doesn't seem to cover much coverage of their own business...

rhhardin said...

That's another reason for using a virtual credit card number, not to mention the security it's meant for (it only works for the first merchant to use it).

You can cancel the number and the charge will bounce on them.

Jamieson said...

The 48 hour delay was because the forms needed to be printed out, then retyped into a four part carbon paper form which was then walked around to multiple offices collecting signatures. A mimeograph of the almost unreadable last page copy was then mailed to the online dept. offices and the information was retyped into a database to setup your online account. It may seem inefficient, but think of all the good union jobs!

Michael said...

Astonishing! I am reminded of all the old guys (my age) who think it is cool to have their secretaries take messages in lieu of voicemail which they proudly don't use("I'm his voicemail, haha"). OK. I immediately launch into what I want to discuss at the same speed as I would in a voicemail. I usually have to repeat the message five or six times for the secretary to get it down. Being lame about technology, especially in the newspaper business tells us all a lot about their cluelessness. One wonders if they permit their "reporters" to view the internets during work hours.

hamcentral said...

You might be able to just clear your cache and cookies when you've hit the view limit. You can work around a lot of those subscription services.

Andrew Koenig said...

I'll bet they charge your credit card anyway.

Michael K said...

A few years ago, I decided to subscribe to the LA Times, for the first time in years, to read the sports page during football season. Before my first statement came, I received a notice that my account was being sent to collection for non-payment. Attempted to reach a human being were unsuccessful so I cancelled. Back about 15 years ago, I cancelled the NY Times and finally had to cancel the credit card to get rid of them. Word to the wise, don't subscribe with a credit card.

Beta Rube said...

Based on their abysmal coverage of events in Madison, they should subscribe to you.

Patrick said...

"You might be able to just clear your cache and cookies when you've hit the view limit. You can work around a lot of those subscription services."

For the local paper here,I've found that googling the headline, or the first line brings me to the story directly from google, which usually lets me read the story in full (not always). In addition, when I go in through that manner, I can go back to the home page, I can read all the stories.

There is not a chance in hell I would pay for JSONLINE, or any other local paper unless there is no other way.

And Beta Rube is exactly correct.

EDH said...

How many more must die?!!!


Man fatally crushed at Philly-area newsprint plant

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (AP) -- A railroad engineer near Philadelphia has been killed by a roll of newsprint that fell out of a boxcar and crushed him.

Officials say the death occurred Friday morning at a plant that produces the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News.

A newspaper company spokesman says the engineer was in his 40s and worked for Brandywine Valley Railways. The spokesman, Mark Block, says the worker was below the platform to offload the 1,800-pound rolls when one fell out, apparently after shifting in the boxcar.

frank said...

switching browsers [mozilla for IE] works too.

frank said...

My bad--I suppose the Dane or Milw DA will start a john doe on me.