Wow, it has been so long since I’ve written something that I worried that I forgot how this blog even works.
I could tell you what an idiot I am about databases, but I was soothed by the fact that Google autocomplete suggested the rest of “postgresql opposite of unnest” after I had gotten halfway through “opposite,” so I am not the only database idiot out there. Also, I had an epiphany about joins that will lead to me writing very non-clever queries that are also very readable to me. YOUR PROBLEM NOW, OPTIMIZER.
But instead I will inform you that I have finally cancelled my subscription to the New York Times. I think that I might have been a subscriber for over a decade this go around. Do you know what got me to cancel my subscription? No, it was not the sympathetic profiles of Nazis. No, it was not the consistent decision to put articles about male fashion designers’ businesses in the Business section but to put articles about women in business or politics in the Styles section. It was because they did not deliver my freakin’ paper.
Around the end of the summer, the paper stopped arriving. Or, sometimes it would come after the promised time of 8am. So I would complain via the website. Report a missing paper; credit my account. After this happened a few times, I started sending emails to customer service. Customer service promised me that they were on it.
And you know how this goes, the paper still didn’t come, so I called to cancel because it seemed stupid for me to report a missing paper every week and then buy it at the newsstand. The hard-sell guy on the phone (because you can not cancel without talking to a rep) looked at my file and all of the missing papers and emails with customer service and admitted that, yes, someone should have done something about this sooner. He was going to escalate this issue to the “executive” level. I told him I’d give him a shot to fix this because I still do want to read the paper, despite all the Nazis and other questionable editorial decisions. I did wonder why it took me calling up to cancel for them to actually try to do something about the problem that I had been having – and complaining about – for months.
The next week my paper arrived at 7:58am, which is technically before 8am.
But then yesterday, the paper still hadn’t arrived by 8:30am, so I got in touch with the Times again to cancel. This rep also pleaded for another chance. This rep asserted that none of the other reps that I talked to had the level of access that he has to contact the people who could fix this problem, but that he could solve the issue. My thought were that either (1) he was lying (or mistaken), or (2) you really do need to threaten to cancel your subscription not once but twice before you get to talk to a rep with any power to do something about the issue. Neither of these options seem like business practices that I wanted to support. So I cancelled. Even though he offered to let me retain digital access for more dollars a month than I was paying for both the paper and digital access.
The winner here seems to be the guy who runs the newsstand because I am going to buy the paper there. The surprise loser is the Los Angeles Times. I strongly suspect that the same carrier who was not delivering my New York Times also has the contract for the LA Times, so I wasn’t going to risk subscribing to a different paper. Ten years from now (once I have lived in California at least as long as I lived in New York) I may revisit that decision.