Is the Daily Herald beginning to see the errors of their ways and modifying the way that current print subscribers gain access to their so-called “Subscribers Total Access” discount package?
On the Daily Herald’s new page of Frequently Asked Questions regarding Subscriber Total Access, there was an update today (!–Updated: 2011/09/05 22:20:52–) that may have something to do with several of the FAQ’s. In particular, the question regarding “What if you don’t want to be a part of it” as follows:
What if I don’t want to be a part of Subscriber Total Access?
If you do not want to be part of the Subscriber Total Access program and you receive your invoice through the mail, you will see an option on the bill to pay for print only. If you are an EZ Pay customer where your credit or debit card is automatically charged, please go to the website and/or phone number in the letter sent to your home
This answer fails to cover whether or not print subscribers will be charged for the time period that passed prior to receiving their new invoice with the ‘pay for print only’ option. Keep in mind that this whole thing kicks in on September 7th and many may have already paid for service into October. That could mean print subscribers had access for over a month or so even if they didn’t use it. The reference to what EZ Pay subscribers should do, namely to: “go to the website and/or phone number in the letter sent to your home” is yet another indication that the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing at the Daily Herald. It is obvious that the person who wrote this never read the August 29th letter since there was NO phone number and NO website included in the 3-page letter. Once again, another flawed statement that will allow the Daily Herald to fill their coffers (Cha Ching!!!) from subscribers who failed to receive any tangible instructions.
Yet another FAQ that leads us to believe that the Daily Herald is changing their tune about Mandatory “opting out” is the following question and answer:
I am a home delivery subscriber. What do I have to do in order to read stories on dailyherald.com?
You will be asked to create a Press + account by giving an email address and creating your own password. We will link your name, Daily Herald account number, and telephone number to your Press + account, and you will receive full access to all content as long as you are signed in. Once your account has been created, you can log in from any computer.
So, now it becomes necessary to ‘create’ a Press + account or you WON’T gain access. This new requirement will allow the Daily Herald the ability to see whether you actually started using the Subscriber Total Access program or not. Then, if you call to complain about the added $4.00 charge that may appear on your new statement they will be able to tell if you were actually taking advantage of it.
Looking at the coding of the page, there was text that was not being displayed which was “Please come back to this page on or after September 7th to activate your Subscriber Total Access account or start a Digital Access Package subscription. ”
This text ends up being displayed after you click on the tab that says “Activate Your Account Now” which means that until September 7th you can’t activate it nor can you create a Press + account. This page hasn’t been up for many days and seems to be going through several modifications as the 7th approaches.
It is quite obvious that the Daily Herald seems to be moving away from their initial MANDATORY “opt out” requirement, although being quite secretive about it.
Speaking of being secretive, in the last FAQ which asks:
What about privacy issues?
the last sentence in the answer is:
If you prefer to “opt out” before you receive your next invoice to avoid any billing hassle and for those who use EZ Pay but received useless instructions, here is their secretive on-line opt out page: DAILY HERALD OPT-OUT