The New Exchange

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1/12/2020 11:12 pm  #1

YDR/York Newspapers/MediaOnePA/Gannet-USA Today Customer NON-service

As the title suggests, the hometown press has morphed into a coast-to-coast monster.

Bigger is not better....especially when it comes to "customer service.".

Oh, there is service alright--of the type that the stud bull delivers to a cow.

When I moved to my present address nearly three decades ago the friendly delivery route supervisor (who I could speak with in person on the phone) personally helped locate a stake with two tubes:  A yellow one for the Daily Record and a red one for the York Dispatch.   The tubes were placed about 10 feet off the road, along the side of my very long lane.   Most of the time the papers were delivered into the tubes.   Occasionally, if they were just thrown onto the driveway a call to 717-764-5663 would solve the problem.

When the Dispatch began morning distribution I could no longer justify the expense of two morning newspapers.  I stuck with the YDR; but noticed a drop in customer service responsiveness.   Instead of speaking with a live operator there was an automated system which worked pretty well--enter your phone number, enter other numerals on prompts....missed papers were quickly dealt with.

Then somewhere along the either the MediaOne absorbtion or Gannett...the keypad automated system was replaced by one which only recoginized voice commands.   And they had to be precise.  "Which newspaper are you calling about, the York Daily Record or the York Dispatch".   If you didn't include the definite article THE York Daily Record and just said "York Daily Record" or "Daily Record" the system would kick you back to the beginning or disconnect.

Now, if I had been the programmer, or the VP, I would have either added to the instruction:  "Be sure to state the full name of the newspaper, including the definite article THE"--OR--arranged the system to respond to several variation and abbreviations of the names.  But customer service--other than in the bovine sense--was clearly not the goal.

About a year ago, weary of paying more for less--much less, in terms of local news I downsized to a Sunday-only customer.   For the first few months the newspaper continued to be placed in the tube.

Now there is a new carrier or a new supervisor or both....who know?  And the paper is being thrown onto the flare of the driveway, which, being 25 feet wide, is a pretty generous target.

Except that since the beginning of the new year and new decade, two for two, the paper is being thrown into the small stream which runs at the end of the driveway.   The streambed is about 12 feet lower than the lane, so peper retrieval is only possible by extending a pruning pole and dragging it up the bank with the saw blade, hoping that the plastic bag holds together and that nothing really important is damaged.

I can't call a local number to complain.

I can't stop at the Loucks Road facility to speak with someone face to face because it is locked up tighter than Fort Knox.

Clearly all that is wanted from the customer is subscription money.

A cash cow.

A cow to be serviced.

And I am saying this is BULLSHIT.

Life is an Orthros.

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