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Customer "Care"? Hardly!

Posted Thu December 20, 2001, by Stacie L. written to Minneapolis Star Tribune

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It's not every day I feel compelled to write to a newspaper, but I'm so upset with the delivery and customer service at Minneapolis Star Tribune that I just had to get this off my chest. I'm referring specifically to the December 20, 2001 (plus SEVERAL others) edition of the newspaper. I'm really furious!

My husband and I have been subscibers to the Minneapolis Pioneer Press for a few years now. We do enjoy the newspaper, however, actually GETTING the newspaper has become a huge nuisance!

My husband and I subscribe to the Thursday thru Sunday newspaper. I work at a junior high school with disabled children and we do not get the newspaper in our classroom due to budget cuts. On thursday and friday mornings, I bring my own newspaper to school for the children. They use the paper to help learn about daily activities and news around the region and world. Back in August, we moved from Rosemount to Inver Grove Heights. When we had the paper delivered in Rosemount, it arrived every morning before 6:30 a.m. and we were able to bring it to school. Now that we are in our new place, the paper is ANYTHING but dependable! Consistently, EVERY OTHER WEEK, we do not receive our newspaper on a thursday or friday. Also, there have been a few missing Sunday papers. I have called "customer care" several times regarding this. Every time, I get a recording where I am prompted to leave my phone number and street number. If I call early enough in the day, the paper is delivered to my home. Of course, this does absolutely NO good as I am already at school by this time and the morning paper doesn't benefit anyone by waiting at home to be read later in the day. My students lose out, and I lose out. I have tried holding on the line to talk to a customer service representative, but each time, I've been on hold for longer than 20 minutes and never even had the chance to speak to a human. I have a classroom full of students that cannot wait while I sit on hold just to talk to someone about the chronic delivery problems with my newspaper. Also, each time I have missed a paper, I have also gone online to report the problem at the Star Tribune website. I submitted my information and also messages to customer service about the chronic problems. I would have thought that these persistent problems and the call to notice them would at least warrant a response, especially when I ask for acknowledgment that the problem had been noted and something done about it. After four months of this, I have yet to even hear an apology regarding this. I am furious! I should add that I also subscribe to the St. Paul Pioneer Press (monday thru sunday) and have NEVER had a delivery or customer service problem with them. Perhaps the Star Tribune should contact them for details on the correct way to run their cutomer "care" and circulation departments.

I shouldn't be surprised by this latest problem, because I've been dissatisfied with your company in the past. Because of this, I'll probably never have your newspaper delivered again, and I probably won't have anything good to say about you to the people I know.

Here's what I'd like to see Minneapolis Star Tribune do about this: My subscription was set to expire December 30th and I stupidly sent payment to continue my subscription for another 3 months. Should these problems continue and I receive no contact or acknowledgement of a problem from the Star Tribune or circulation department, I will immediately cancel my subscription and demand a refund for the 3 months payment sent to them.

I hope you get back to me soon. It would truly surprise me to learn that there are people at the Star Tribune that actually care about their subscribers. There are plenty of other outlets where I can get the same kind of information and services as those in your newspaper (the Pioneer Press to name one), and quick resolution of this problem will play a big role in whether I continue to be a loyal customer.


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