Service woes at the Denver Post

(Don’t bother to call   – promoted by Pita)

Effective January 31, 2012, if you are one of the dwindling few who still has a subscription to the increasingly right-wing Denver Post, and your carrier misses delivery, you won’t get a replacement paper.

My husband and I recently moved, and this morning, the paper wasn’t there.

So I did what I’ve been doing for more than 30 years – I called and asked for a re-delivery.

Sorry, no, says the alleged Customer Service department. That whole department has been laid off, and they do re-deliveries only on Sunday.

The options when you don’t get your paper? A day’s free online (most of the content is online anyway, except for the ads) or a credit. Big whoop. It’s a 25 cent credit, when it will cost 50 cents to buy it at the corner store.

I spent 13 years as a newspaper reporter, and learned early on that the front line of a newspaper is not just its reporters – it’s just as much the people who make sure the content shows up somewhere, either on your front porch or now, online.

We know the Post has done dramatic layoffs of reporting staff, from reporters to columnists, in recent months. That they no longer value the service of the people who make sure the content is in your hands in the morning is at least as worrying to me as the layoffs of reporters and columnists.

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15 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Lurker19 says:

    about when or even if the Toast is going to show up at all.  

  2. gertie97 says:

    ’nuff said.

  3. thiokuutoo says:

    dans un triste etat

  4. allyncooper says:

    last one out turn off the lights

  5. DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

    Is they are not trying to figure out how to become profitable going forward. They’re cutting costs everywhere and they are trying little changes. But no real effort to totally rethink how to make money delivering news.

    And the thing is, people do want news. Even young people. But the Post (and most newspapers) are stuck trying to figure out how to adapt their old model rather than rebuilding from the ground up.

    On the plus side, some companies will figure this out and 10 years from now we will once again have quality local news.

    • gertie97 says:

      Quit throwing bricks and start coming up with some answers. There are real people who work at newspapers who never stop thinking about how to turn a dime.

      If you’re so damned smart, how about some ideas?

      • harrydobyharrydoby says:

        Since electronic delivery reduces newspaper delivery overhead by about 99.9%, they need to invest the savings in improving the user experience.

        In my 2 week experiment with an Android-based tablet (it died after a failed firmware update), I found the user experience extremely cumbersome.  None of the paid or free reader apps were very good.  It was easy to get lost navigating from page to page, or article to article.

        Maybe it would be trivial for the younger set, but I found it confusing and annoying much of the time.  With practice, I could probably be persuaded to try again with another tablet.  

        I don’t even mind if it has a bunch of ads displaying along with the articles (much like this blog).  I just want to be able to have a simple table of contents and 1-click navigation (and return home button) to my articles of choice.

        I would be happy to save money and stop getting the dead-tree edition, but until it is simpler to read the electronic version, I guess I’ll take my chances on having it manually delivered to my home.

        • Pam Bennett says:

          There is one old school media industry that is on the ‘net and functioning – the TV industry. They already have the multi-media in place. They have the reporters doing articles (although some are much worse than others) along side video. And they are adept at frequent updates.

          The best thing to do with the bird cage liners is to let them die away; that is those that do not change and merge with TV sites. (I can say that now that my bird is living with someone else – he liked fresh newspaper to redecorate his apartment)

      • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

        I don’t know if I have any specific answers but I am more than happy to meet anyone at the Post who would like to talk.

        I do know that trying to fit the old model to the web won’t work and that seems to be what the Post is doing.

        They’ve actually got two major problems I see. One is how to increase regular viewership on the web. The second is how to deliver ads in that context that get results (and therefore companies buy them).

        For the first, one thing to try is to do something like Reddit where the content is all the Post and affiliated sites like YourHub, the Camera, etc.

        For the second, provide free access in return for substantial demographic data so you can deliver ads tailored to the reader. And deliver interactive ads.

        And I’m always happy to meet with most anyone. I’ll even buy lunch.

  6. PitaPita says:

    it’s hard to be disappointed. Reading between the lines:

    Customer service;we don’t need no damn customer service – we have the monopoly.  

  7. AristotleAristotle says:

    It used to be that you couldn’t NOT get that paper, or the News, if you happened to sign up. My roommate in college did that, never paid, and still kept getting the paper for a very long time.

  8. AristotleAristotle says:

    Just moments ago, some guy came to my door selling Post subscriptions, and is giving away Rockies vouchers to those who sign up. Maybe you should cancel and see if you get that kind of deal in return.

  9. ohwilleke says:

    subscription.

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