For a "Sunday Only" subscription, I pay the sum of $14 a month -- in theory. Assuming there are four Sundays in a month, that comes to $3.50 a paper. That's not really all that great of a deal for something I can usually work through in the space of ten minutes on the average Sunday. Not to mention, the newspaper lady routinely forgets to deliver the paper about once a month.
As with most of my bills, I have it on a credit card with autopay.
I noticed today that the Chron had billed me $14 on October 31st, $19 on November 3rd, and another $14 on November 24th. This seemed to boost my average bill to $11.75 per newspaper, which seemed a tad hefty.
So, I called in to question my bill. After being on hold for about fifteen minutes, I finally spoke to an actual living person! The explanation went a little something like this.
Chronicle Lady: Well, that bill on October 31st was supposed to be on October 15th, but we charged you late. Don't worry, we did not charge you extra for the late fee.Charge me extra for a late fee on something that auto-drafts? Huh?
Chronicle Lady: The bill on November 3rd is because we bill ten days before your subscription expires and it was going to expire on November 15th.Wait. What?
Chronicle Lady: The bill on November 24 is because your subscription was going to expire on December 10th, so we billed you for it.I'm completely confused at this point.
ME: So, why was the November 3rd bill for $19 instead of $14?
Chronicle Lady: That was because you receive a special Christmas edition paper which is an additional $5. Oh, wait, I mean, you receive a special Thanksgiving edition paper which is an additional $5.
ME: Wait, you charge me an extra five dollars because you put extra advertisements in it?
Chronicle Lady: Yes sir.
ME: You know, nevermind. Just cancel my subscription.
Chronicle Lady: That will be another department. Let me transfer you.She then hung up on me.
And they wonder why the newspaper industry is dying.