On Saturday morning, I tried to stop my paper before I went on vacation. An hour later, I was furiously typing the letter below.
Dear Oregonian Reader Services,
I am going away for a few days and would like to stop my paper. This used to be a matter of dialing the number in the paper, talking to a very nice person and telling them the dates I wished to stop my newspaper subscription. Then it became an automated voice, which was not as pleasant, but got the job done. Recently, I received information of how to set up my account online and I did so. I chose a password according to your incredibly labyrinthine—and unnecessary—specifications and then I emailed myself the password so I would not forget.
Today I remembered I needed to stop the paper. I dialed the phone number listed in the paper and found the line was busy. The automated lady nicely offered to keep dialing for only 75 cents, but I figured since the easiest avenue was closed to me, I would log on and use the online service I had already prepped for.
When I entered my email and password, I was told that they did not match. I chalked it up to my error—after all, I may have noted it incorrectly. I then used the “forgot password” link. The email that was sent DID NOT INCLUDE A PASSWORD. Instead, it prompted me to log on and then I could change my password. However, since there was no password forthcoming, I was unable to do that. I tried the phone number a few more times, but the line continued to be busy.
I then used the password again and this time the email contained a password. I copied and pasted it into the password field, only to find that your system, the one who just sent me the new password, told me that the username and password DID NOT MATCH. I enclose a copy of the emails for your perusal. I then searched the site for a way to email my request, but was stopped by the same email and password conundrum.
I feel I have made a good faith effort to put a vacation stop on my paper. Seeing as my paper will be delivered despite my efforts, I request 1) a refund for the papers delivered Sunday March 25 through Tuesday, March 27. 2)Some sort of confirmation that you will do this, contact information below. 3)Either an upgrade of your web service so it works, or an increase in the number of phone lines your company uses.
[email address was here] (note that there is no complex log on procedure necessary to contact me)
[phone number was here]
When I arrived home on Tuesday night, I found a paper was delivered on Sunday and another on Monday. There was no paper on Tuesday and none arrived on Wednesday. I called on Wednesday and was able to get through. The nice man who helped me helpfully told me that a complaint had been lodged, but that there was no hold on my paper and he wasn’t sure why it had not come for two days. He promised to give me a credit (which, come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve received) and he would get my paper started.
I enjoy that I explicitly stated my needs in my letter (even handily numbered) and the company was not able to meet any of them. This is where I would love to cancel my subscription, but I need the paper, so I must put up with their shenanigans. But it’s times like these that I wonder if this is the type of efficient company “the government” is supposed to model itself after.