Yesterday a letter came addressed to The Wife from the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Intrigued, knowing that we specifically told the Pioneer Press never to contact us again when one of their contractors twice violated the FCC’s Do Not Call List in September of 2010, I tore it open and read the letter contained inside. Here’s the text of the letter:
$1 PER YEAR
August 1, 2011
Our community is changing and we want to keep you up-to-date. In these very challenging times, we feel it is important for everyone to be aware of what is happening in our neighborhoods and around the world.
We understand these tough times leave little room for additional expenses. Let us help you through this transition. We are offering residents in your area an opportunity to stay in the know. For only $1 per year, we will deliver a Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday newspaper. You can lock in this rate today for up to two years.
Historic times call for historic prices — this is the lowest price ever offered!
Please return the form below with your $1 or $2 payment and we will get your order started. If you prefer, email me directly and I will be happy to start your delivery. If you have any questions, feel free to call 71-PRESS (77377). Hurry, this will only be offered through August 30th, 2011.
We look forward to having you as a subscriber,
Circulation Sales & Marketing Director
There is plenty to be concerned about in this letter aside from them contacting me when I have clearly stated I do not wish to be contacted.
- 1. Their incorrect assumption that in order to be kept up-to-date on what’s going on that I need to pay $2 for new coverage less than half of the week. How am I going to be up-to-date when I’m missing Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday? Where am I supposed to go to get my news on those days if they are not going to provide it to me at bargain basement prices?
2. Their decision that I am in need of financial assistance and that their gift to me makes me feel all warm and cuddly inside while the rest of the country straightens itself out. As if by times being tight and me not wanting additional expenditures that I’m suddenly going to be willing to pay $1/year to have something delivered to me and then be accosted at the door by a newspaper employee who believes they should get a tip for dropping my newspaper in a plastic bag 35 feet from my door in the rain.
3. The claim that $1/year is their lowest delivery price ever offered. Being that the Pioneer Press has history going back to 1849, I’m guessing this is just an outright lie to catch potential subscribers eyes.
4. That I will remember in two years that my introductory time period is up and that I should call their customer service line to cancel before being charged for whatever insane full price people pay for newspaper delivery.
Aside from the downsides, the deal is attractive and worthy of a Google Calendar notification reminding us to cancel in two years. While I have no interest in paying them even $2, I’m sure The Wife will do it just for the Sunday delivery to get coupons. But what about you? Can you believe the Pioneer Press is desperate enough to put out this kind of deal to potential subscribers (as long as you haven’t been a subscriber in the last 30 days)? Do you feel bad for the journalists working for the paper who know that their work has such little value that copies of their work can be had for as little as 1/2 a penny? Whatever you have to say about the Pioneer Press offering yearly subscriptions for $1 go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.