Daily Herald “Missed Paper” Policy is a Ripoff!

Daily Herald's "missed paper" credit is a joke!
Daily Herald's "missed paper" credit is a joke!

Our recent investigation shows that the Daily Herald is guilty of failing to issue credits for “missed papers“. Their current policy is to extend your subscription for the number of days that your paper(s) were not delivered. They do not offer a redelivery option like most other newspapers which means that is you want a paper, you will need to go out and buy one. This can be particularly frustrating when you miss a Sunday paper which has the TV guide and numerous coupons in it.

Near the end of November my regular driver left a note inside the paper stating that she would no longer be delivering the paper due to a family health situation. Since the first of December my delivery service has gone into the dumpster, often arriving about 10:00 instead of the usual 7:30. 

In an eight day period I did not get two Saturday papers or a Monday paper and called the Daily Herald’s automated system. The breaking point was when I waited until almost 11:00 for my Sunday paper before calling to report it. This time I clicked through the system until I got a live person named John on the phone. He told me that because I had a substitute driver my paper should be delivered by 11:00 (subscribers were never notified of this delay by the Herald).

11:00 came and went while we were on the phone without a paper showing up. I told him that I was going to deduct $1.00 for each of the three missed papers plus whatever a Sunday paper cost me at Walgreen’s. He said that it didn’t work that way and that I would be credited for missed papers by an extension to my expiration date. I asked him if that meant my bill would arrive several days later showing a new expiration date. He said that the system was automated and that bills would probably continue to go out on the regular date but would show a new ”start date’. I asked if someone would be delivering my missing Sunday paper so that I knew when the football playoff games started and on what channels. He said that they didn’t offer redelivery, only credits.

That conversation got me thinking about the papers I didn’t receive during 2011 so I set about looking at my wall calendar for “no paper” notations and comparing that to my invoices. VIOLA! Guess what? I was NEVER issued any extension of my subscription for ANY of the papers that I did not receive and had reported.

I then did an online search to see how other papers handled missed papers. Almost 100% of them offered ‘redelivery’ service if they were called the same day and by a certain time of day. One even offered free unlimited online viewing for that particular day (…. We can issue a temporary password to read the Herald-Tribune eEdition online). What a great idea that is considering the Daily Herald now charges for online access.

We reported a few months ago about how the Daily Herald’s cash registers would be going CaChing! with their online opt-out plan that should have been an ‘opt-in’ setup. Our investigation has concluded that the Daily Herald is guilty of failing to issue missed paper credits per their policy of extending expiration dates. Instead, their invoices continue to pump out the same figures month after month. The public is the loser. I will be deducting $1.00 for each day that I have to go and purchase a missed weekday paper and $1.50 for any missed Sunday papers since that is what I have to pay for a replacement. I refuse to play their bogus ‘credit’ game since I never received any such credits last year.  At least this way I know I will be getting a credit. I suggest that the rest of you do the same until the Daily Herald starts offering a redelivery service like most other papers do.

UPDATE 1-19-12
Keeping John on the phone last Sunday demanding some intelligent answers, along with telling him that I planned on posting the Daily Herald’s shortcomings when it came to missing papers,  seems to have had its rewards. The Daily Herald invoice arrived yesterday and included THREE days extended subscription credit. What’s even better is that my paper is once again arriving before 8:00 AM so that it can be enjoyed with breakfast. I continue to advise everyone to log their missing paper reports and make sure that you actually get the credit. Maybe the Daily Herald will start offering redelivery service or give us the delivery persons phone number so that we can call them direct. Another option might be to give us a one-day password to read the paper online after reporting a  missing paper. Then again, those three requests might be overwhelming for the Daily Herald to comprehend in one sitting.

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