Saturday, August 11, 2012


Just got my third call this week on behalf of the Bay Area News Group. Do yourself a big favor. Stay away from these people.

I wanted to support my local newspaper, so I began subscribing to the West County Times when I moved to Richmond two years ago. It's not a very good paper--their headline the day after the Chevron disaster was on the Olympics, despite the fact that the level-3 fire broke out at 6 p.m. the previous evening in Richmond. But the paper has some local news and the New York Times crossword puzzle, so what the hell.

I decided to stop service because I need to write in the morning, not linger over the puzzle, so I didn't pay the latest bill, which would have continued my service through September. Then I went on vacation. They continued daily service, despite the fact that I put in a vacation stop. My yellowing papers on the front law notified prospective burglars that no one was home. That's the norm, by the way.

The calls started this week. I asked the first caller to discontinue my service and send me a bill for the remaining balance--somewhere in the $14 area. The next call came a few days later. I told the guy the same thing but finally decided to convert my service to Sunday only. He transferred my call to his supervisor, who ran me through the basic info again (address, house or apartment, was older than 18, etc.). Then he told me he couldn't take the order unless I paid with a debit or credit card. Which meant they could bill me into perpetuity, whether or not I wanted the service. No thanks.

Third call this morning, a couple of hours after I sent an email to subscription services to erase any trace of a doubt that we were through. Told caller #3 the same thing. No more calls, no more service, just send the final bill.

I like newspapers, but come on.


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