We have just cancelled our subscription to the Redding Record Searchlight.
Our cancellation had nothing to do with editorial or content issues.
We cancelled because they cannot or will not deliver a paper.
For the last several months we have experienced a near-daily occurrence of late or failed delivery. We have marched up the chain from the circulation robo-answer to the first and second-line human operators to letters to the editor, publisher and everyone in between. We have been promised call backs from mid-level employees and had no calls at all. We have been promised delivery of missed papers and gotten neither the missed paper nor the next paper.
Customer service is non-existent. This morning when my wife asked that the employee suspend our subscription until they could find a route driver that would deliver in a timely fashion. The response was we’ll try to get back to you after we find a driver and try him/her out for a couple of weeks. Due to the vagueness of that “promise” my wife instead asked for a refund of our pre-paid subscription. That was granted immediately and without even a “we’re sorry to lose you as a customer.” Is that the corporate image Scripps wants to project?
Nothing has changed for the better. It got worse. Late deliveries became no deliveries at all on a regular basis. By “late” I refer to the R-S’s published goal of a paper delivered by 7 A.M. Today, at 7:52 AM, there is no paper for the second time this business week. Last week the goal was met on a single occasion. The Record Searchlight is supposed to be a morning paper.
My wife is a former Scripps employee and we maintain warm social relations with many of the few left on staff at the R-S. Our primary feeling is one of disappointment that this market is so poorly served by the R-S’s current management staff. Ms. Cannon and Mr. Lyons are not running a good ship. Again, I speak not to editorial policy but to the business and administrative side of the operation. They are running this paper into the ground in apparent pursuit of the bottom-line. That bottom-line now includes two fewer readers and one less paid subscription.
How do you expect your advertisers to get their money’s worth if no one reads the ads because the paper goes undelivered?
I will not be so foolish as to do battle with a firm that buys ink by the barrel but this smaller city is being ill-served by your local managers and you need to either change employees or sell off this paper.
Gregory Winters is a Redding attorney.