Archive for Monday, April 2, 2012

A message from the Journal-World about home delivery issues

April 2, 2012

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Yes, we stumbled badly and on one of the worst days possible. We apologize. Computer problems, compounded by human mistakes, compounded by equipment issues on the day of a late basketball game and the day of carrier and route changes all caused us to let you down. We don’t want to make excuses, but we ask for understanding. We didn’t come near the service level we strive to meet. We feel terrible about it. We apologize to all our subscribers.

And to those asking about the charge for porch delivery, we want you to know the entire amount of that charge goes to your carrier.

Comments

Phil Minkin 2 years, 12 months ago

It's a great way to give the carriers a $60 a year raise without costing the J-W anything.

patkindle 2 years, 12 months ago

i am not aware of many lawrencians that would break a sweat for 60 bucks a year, of course, they wouldnt carry papers either unless they got thier mommy to do it for them so they could sleep

hail2oldku 2 years, 11 months ago

I'm not sure how many people are on a normal delivery route, but if 100 subscribers on your route paid the fee that would translate to an extra $6,000/year. Not bad scratch for a kid or someone throwing papers to help make ends meet.

Jean Robart 2 years, 12 months ago

My next door neighbor is 103, soon to be 104. It is unreasonable to e4xpect her to pay $5.00 a month to have her paper put on a railing near her door, rather than on the floor. We live in an apartment building. Come on LJW, have a heart.

Jean Robart 2 years, 12 months ago

My next door neighbor is 103, soon to be 104. It is unreasonable to expect her to pay $5.00 a month to have her paper put on a railing near her door, rather than on the floor. We live in an apartment building. Come on LJW, have a heart.

homechanger 2 years, 12 months ago

If your neighbor is 103 I will pay for her 60.00 per year front door fee. e-mail me. cary@sunflower.com

parrothead8 2 years, 12 months ago

I used to bring my 88-year-old neighbor's newspaper to her door from her driveway, and it didn't cost either of us a cent. You could do that.

irvan moore 2 years, 12 months ago

i was very unhappy with the lack of service and being unable to reach someone at the numbers given sure didn't help. i tried for 45 minutes to get through this morning on the phone with no luck so went downtoen to get my paper from yesterday. i was unhappy but realize it was not the people out front who caused the problem (i think circulation manager) so just explained my problem and the nice young lady gave me a paper and when i mention the box of donuts behind the counter looked good she gave me a donut. i would like to submit her for employee of the month, she made a very unhappy customer smile

csk 2 years, 12 months ago

I echo mommatocharlie's comment. My mother is 88, lives by herself on a small pension and social security. Doesn't the $5 fee equate to more than a 33% increase in the price of the paper? She's taken the LJW since 1958. Even if the paper is placed at the end of her drive (which was not done yesterday) there is no way she'd be able to negotiate snow with her walker. It's a disappointment that the LJW feels it is necessary to impose this fee on its elderly and disabled subscribers.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 12 months ago

I finally got through to LJW customer service this afternoon and arranged for my 83 year old mother's porch delivery. I asked why the elderly or disabled could not provide proof of disability to continue to receive porch delivery without charge. The young woman I spoke with at LJW said such proof would mean "way too much paper to process and no way to prevent fraud." My mother's been a subscriber since we moved back to Lawrence in 1968. When I told Mom that porch delivery requires an additional $5 per month she said that LJW has broken its service contract with her and that she is going to cancel her subscription.

Jean Robart 2 years, 12 months ago

Good for your Mom. If enough people complain, maybe they'll have an attitude change change, and realize the gift they are given by the elderly and disabled patrons. By the way, if i were to pay $5/month to have my paper placed on the railing, it would be about 60% increase in what I pay. It's not worth it.

Kate Rogge 2 years, 12 months ago

Oh, I'll start the newspaper and porch delivery up for her again on my dime once she's cooled off some. She's started every morning for the past 65 years reading the newspaper with a cup of coffee and a cigarette. There's no reason for her to stop now.

auntmimi210 2 years, 12 months ago

Agreed! I use a company called DSL Extreme. They use AT&T's lines, but it's still pretty decent service at pretty reasonable prices. www.dslextreme.com. Just a thought.

Mike Ford 2 years, 12 months ago

must be like brownback and passing the buck onto the customer and carrier to fight it out while the 1% GOP shill never has to give a raise....right Daddy Warbucks.....I was a carrier for the Mercury and the Capitol Journal in the 1980's in Manhattan and McLouth.

frankfussman 2 years, 12 months ago

I think they are changing carriers so they can institue the $5-for-porch-delivery, because my carrier has already been putting my paper on my porch every day.

Phillbert 2 years, 12 months ago

It would be interesting to know if they're laying carriers off since driveway delivery takes less time.

JayCat_67 2 years, 11 months ago

More likely, they are having trouble getting good carriers because of gas prices. When I was carrying, the district managers were always having to cover a route because someone didn't show up or the carrier was such a knucklehead, they'd constantly miss subscribers and the DM would have to "re-deliver" a bunch of papers.

Noah 2 years, 12 months ago

If you don't want to make excuses, then don't make excuses.

headdoctor 2 years, 12 months ago

This long to make excuses/statements. A case of to little and way to late. Not answering the phones didn't help Sunday or this morning. Personally it would have been nice to know ahead of time that the porch charge would be given to the carrier although I find it hard to agree to pay for something I was already getting for free. It seems that the Journal world doesn't want to pay their delivery people enough so they expect the customers to do it. I don't know what is going on at the LJW and now don't care. I canceled the subscription when I did get through to circulation.

KU_cynic 2 years, 12 months ago

No answer to my phone calls when the Sunday paper was not delivered, and no response to phone calls today. I counted, and this morning my call to circulation was first picked up by a machine after 12 rings, directing me to choose 1 for circulation (which is the number I had called), then rang several more times before directing me to punch another choice, and then finally -- after 30 rings in total -- dumping me to a nameless voice mail box which suggested I might get a response the next day.

So at lunch time I dropped by the circulation office to find a single, nice, patient lady who was obviously overwhelmed with a non-stop phone calls. She was doing her best, but why she didn't have a bunch of help is a mystery to me. The folks over at classified were just sitting on their duffs without any inclination to help.

Nice team effort there, LJW . . . NOT.

Linda Upstill 2 years, 11 months ago

Better yet, I tried contacting the classified department with my 10:30 a.m. phone call and they never answered! We had called at 7:15 a.m. yesterday because we didn't receive a paper and told one would be delivered. At 10:30 a.m. tried calling and never could get any department to answer. Tried at 12:30 and was told that a paper would be delivered and the reason it was late was because of equipment problems (don't think so!). Called again at 3:30 and was told they were out of papers! What happened to the one that should have been delivered at the "end of my driveway (actually gutter)" and was never received? AND, I received my renewal in the mail yesterday. Really trying to decide on that one.

bmoody51 2 years, 12 months ago

There is but one simple solution: Stop your subscription.

johnny5 2 years, 12 months ago

It's amazing what people complain about. I don't know who's worse. The people that have an entitlement mindset or the folks that like to play the victim.

For all you folks boot pissing about having your papers porched, why don't you put yourself in the carriers shoes. Think it's easy, go out and throw papers yourself. Last time I checked, the mailman doesn't deliver mail to your porch because you're unable to walk out and get the mail yourself. Further, your carrier is only human.

Paying for porch service? It shouldn't even be an option. It's only a paper. GET OVER IT!! It's not the end of the world.

I have no sympathy for any of you.

BigAl 2 years, 11 months ago

Yes, I have delivered papers. I delivered right to the doorway and was extremely happy to have the job. My guess is that you've never paid for a newspaper subscription in your life. If you don't have a dog in the fight, you might want to stay out of it.

It isn't so much a paper being on the porch as it is a distinct lowering of service while raising rates.

Speaking of the entitlement mindset, you would have made a great union boss. Raise rates and do less.

EJ Mulligan 2 years, 12 months ago

My Knology cable went out for the last 4 mins of the championship game. I'd much rather miss a newspaper than the end of the biggest game of the year in Lawrence.

EJ Mulligan 2 years, 12 months ago

At least we're getting an apology from LJW. Won't ever happen from Knology.

BigAl 2 years, 11 months ago

By the way, the paper is late again today.

BigAl 2 years, 11 months ago

Let me guess, speaking of entitlements, you probably don't subscribe and get the paper free online. As for me, I have been paying the $5.00 anyway but in a tip. Like I said above, you would also make a good Union Boss. "I'll do less for more money".

By the way, it wasn't long ago that this newspaper cut out their separate section of City and State. Again, less service for more money.

I will continue to receive the paper. However, I don't go to McDonald's, I don't smoke and I never go to any of those cheesy coffee shops.

headdoctor 2 years, 11 months ago

its_just_math must be bored this morning. I guess basking in the cozy glow of his mom's basement watching Fox News isn't cutting it today.

tomatogrower 2 years, 11 months ago

And how often do you get a paper in Linwood? None. If we are assured that the money goes to the carriers and not donated to Dolph's close buddies, the Kochs, then I don't mind. Otherwise, I think I'll drop it.

heygary 2 years, 11 months ago

I suspect you are an on-line reader of LJW ... $5 is first step ... today's paper has NOTE in finance section describing how more and more papers are charging subscription fees to access news on-line. Clearly LJW will be moving in that direction soon.

melott 2 years, 11 months ago

My paper has been late time after time, missing twice, and this charge gets added. For a skinnier and less interesting paper. I think I am going to cancel.

headdoctor 2 years, 11 months ago

It would seem that the Journal World has been quietly imploding for months. Not so quiet now that the problem has surfaced outside the paper. I am sure there are problems in the news paper industry that most of use don't have to deal with or don't even know about. Especially since it seems to be gradually dying out across the country.

I don't know if the problem is just the result of an act of desperation or if Dolph has read to many business articles on how to succeed in a modern business environment. Either way regardless of what has happened or what the intent is you can not maintain bloated upper management positions while expecting the workers who are actually doing the work to do two or three peoples jobs for the same pay or with a pay cut. The circulation department may have provided good part time jobs for kids back when the paper came later in the day but the contract arrangements they are using to pay adult carriers is nothing but a joke. There may be a few who have taken on large driving routes or signed on for multiple route delivery that might be doing okay. The rest don't hang around long when they realize that once they deduct their expenses they are working for free. Some don't catch on until they have to repair or replace their vehicle. What the Journal world is doing and what they have been able to get away with as an employer could be considered predatory.

rockchalker52 2 years, 11 months ago

Gotta have the Funny Papers. See what's going on in the Lagoon or what Dagwood is up to. They ain't the same online. And what about if KU had won last night? Frame the headline from my screenshot? We got the whole editions for '88 & '08 in the file cabinet. Buck up, LJW & mandate a $5 increase across the board. Put everybody's paper in the door/on the porch. If you're giving me the money like you say, I'd lobby for that if I had a route. Cha Ching!

pagan_idolator 2 years, 11 months ago

I don't care if its in the driveway, on the sidewalk or in the yard I would just like to get my paper today,

moelschlaeger 2 years, 11 months ago

Agree with everyone who is still waiting on a paper delivery today......called twice on Sunday, once yesterday and was told I would get Sunday's paper. Nope. Now today, no paper again. Hey I wouldn't mind the extra $5 fee if I actually got a newspaper. 20 year subscriber who's cancelling my subscription as soon as I can get someone to answer the phone!

Alex Parker 2 years, 11 months ago

meolschlaeger, I'm sorry for the troubles you've had in getting your paper. If it persists, please email subs@ljworld.com and we will work to resolve your issues.

BigAl 2 years, 11 months ago

Although I have been critical this morning, I take the Journal World and will continue to do so. I think it is a good paper and I look forward to it every morning. I just think the handling of this situation was and is pretty poor.

johnwoods 2 years, 11 months ago

What is your comment supposed to mean?

Frightwig 2 years, 11 months ago

I delivered papers when I was a kid and the thought of leaving it at the end of the driveway was never an option to me. I always took it right to the door, sometimes between the doors if that's what my customers wanted. I wish some of today's delivery people still had that kind of work ethic.

Piggles 2 years, 11 months ago

Sunday morning I did not have a paper at my door. I first thought maybe due to the lateness of the game the night before, things were running a bit behind. So I tried calling... and calling ... AND calling. After about half hour or more I finally got someone around 7:45 am. She thought the carrier should have papers delivered by 8 am. I waited until around 8:30 to call again. After another 20-30 minutes I finally got through. She checked my address and thought carrier should of done my route but to give it about 9:15 before I call a third time. Finally I thought I will go get my paper but thought I try calling one more time- tried 3 times with no results and said never mind. So I went and bought me a paper. Probably about 12 or 1 pm I stepped outside--- OMG there was a sunday paper at my door! ERRRRR! I am a weekend delivery so I will see what happens this friday. That paper better be at my door- I have a shared driveway and if that paper is gone when I get up to go walk to the street to pick it up, I will most likely quit my subscription. All I ask for is the paper to be near my door as much as possible so that I dont have to go play hide and seek with my paper. Whoever my carrier is (or was if I don't have the same one) without asking they always put my paper on my door knob. I hope I still have same carrier and I hope they still bring my paper to my door (or close to it). I know someone who lives in an apt that get weekend delivery and last two days (monday and today) they been getting the paper. And several other people as well who do not have a subscription. Some of the residents in their apt complex that do get daily delivery are not getting their paper so thinking since they no longer have their regular carrier, the new person is delivering to the wrong apt. My question is this: if the $5 fee is to go to the carriers.... why are so many quitting?? Jornal World is in shambles big time....

headdoctor 2 years, 11 months ago

Probably a variety of reasons if they have lost a bunch of carriers. The employment arrangement is a joke to begin with. Probably find out Dolph tried to give them the $5 fee instead of paying them or reduced their existing pay by what they receive in porch fees and many of them know their tips just went bye bye. In the current economy with the gas prices and cost of vehicles I can't blame them for leaving.

If your carrier is on foot you might get the paper close to your door otherwise you will have to look for it like everyone else has had to do since the switch.

4chewnut 2 years, 11 months ago

Also .... Be sure to check your LJWorld bill! It appears that they recently started adding a $1.50 "GREEN FEE" without informing customers. When I called, the woman said, "oh, that gets you access to an enhanced online version." No one asked if I wanted it. No one told me I had it. Just included it in the bill. I hate these tactics and may seriously cancel my subscription.

bmoody51 2 years, 11 months ago

You have been paying that for quite some time. You are correct...they just include it without your consent.

budwhysir 2 years, 11 months ago

So as I posted in other spots. The LJW charges the INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS that deliver the paper a fee for every complaint received. So if they charge each customer a porch fee, and then the customer complains because it isnt exactly where they want it, wouldnt they charge a complaint fee to the carrier, thus making a profit for the paper company. What will the complaint fee run...

budwhysir 2 years, 11 months ago

how much does it cost if you purchase your paper from vending machines when you need it and read it online when you just need to catch up on the news?????

camper 2 years, 11 months ago

What happened? I could not tell from the editorial. Did the paper not go out?

Lawrence Morgan 2 years, 11 months ago

The Journal-World is a great paper. What is at fault here is giving a little bit, on both sides. The extremists want everything exactly their way.

But the Journal-World is at fault, too. Its editorial should have been SIGNED.

And their explanation of what happened is terrible. But how many times in business, if you are working, do things go wrong? Give everyone a break.

And nowhere does it tell who is quitting? If, indeed, the Journal-World is changing contractors, then, on the basis of Sunday's paper, it doesn't work. We need to be given a better explanation of what actually happened.

Alex Parker 2 years, 11 months ago

Lawrence, please see this story, which provides a more in-depth explanation for these issues: http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2012/apr...

heygary 2 years, 11 months ago

I have had several different carriers in the last decade. A couple delivered right to the door and received a significant Xmas bonus. Others pull in the drive and pitch the paper in the general direction of the door (much smaller bonus).

For you on-line reader of LJW ... $5 is first step ... today's paper has NOTE in finance section describing how more and more papers are charging subscription fees to access news on-line. Clearly LJW will be moving in that direction soon.

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