Disclaimer: This post contains personal opinions based on my own experiences, poor customer service interactions and is fueled with lots of frustration. If you work for AZ Republic, feel free to leave your phone number and I'll give you a call...when you're having dinner.
I am sure there is some big taboo associated with forgoing the infamous Sunday coupon inserts, but I canceled my subscription and I'm happy I did!
Before I was paying just $4 a month for the Sunday paper to be delivered to my door - inserts and all. I could have definitely lived with that. In fact, I wanted to live with that. The problem: the AZ Republic thought they'd needed to make more money off of me.
Here's how it played out: My subscription came to an end on a Holiday weekend. Knowing that we wouldn't be getting any inserts that weekend and seeing the dreary selection in the following weekend's paper, I decided I'd hold off renewing.
Papers kept coming. Every Sunday for 3 weeks in a row. I left a message at AZ Republic but they didn't want to come pick their papers back up. They said to toss them in the recycle bin. I thought it must have been an error, an oversight. Little did I know they had this planned. *insert evil laugh here*
All was forgotten until the calls started coming conveniently when I was trying to enjoy dinner with my family. About 6 calls, once a week, (seriously!) all going about the same way:
AZ Rep.: I'm calling to tell you that you are $26.xx past due and we're sending you to collections unless you pay now or renew.
Me: I don't owe you any money. I never authorized a renewal and I never told you to send those extra papers. Do you want them back?
AZ Rep: No, we just send those for a grace period.
Me: What am I supposed to be paying $26 for?
AZ Rep: For a renewal.
Me: But I didn't renew yet.
AZ Rep: That's why we sent you the papers.
Me: You're crazy if you think that's how I'm going to do business. Take my name off the "Sucker" list, please.
Hmph! (In case you missed that, I was supposed to pay $26 for 3 weeks of papers plus renewing a subscription that I never asked for!!)
Each time they called - all 6+ of them- I politely told them they were bonkers and, again, they could pick up those papers at any time. They apologized, said it was "taken care of" and the papers ceased to arrive on my porch.
Fast forward several weeks and my Hubs answered the same threatening call: "Blah, blah, blah, collections, blah, blah." NOTE: He's not very good at keeping his cool so he wasn't as nice about telling them they were nuts. After replaying the story with them, the Arizona Republic actually asks: "Well, we're running a special right now. Will you renew and let us redeem ourselves?"
Are. you kidding. me???
The funny, or not-so-funny, part is that the exact SAME thing happened to my girlfriend and about 12 moms on a forum. What is going on, AZ republic?! Shady much?
So, this evening while we're eating dinner another call comes in....
Let me preface this part by saying that I have been sick, had laryngitis, thyroid issues, taking care of a tot who just had her tonsils out and-all-I-wanted-was-to-have-some-flippin-spaghetti-with-my-family.
AZ Rep.: I'm calling to tell you that you are $26.xx past due...
Me: ( in my loudest-laryngitis voice) ...Don't you DARE call me falsely accusing me of being past due on something I NEVER ordered or authorized!
AZ Rep: Well, I was just calling to tell you that I can give you a great deal at 40% off.
Me: Give me one reason why I should sign up to do business with someone who is clearly out to screw me.... I don't EVER want to receive another call, letter, newspaper, nothing from your company again. If you would like to take me to court over $26, feel free. Are you going to see to it that this is resolved or should I speak to a manager right now?
AZ Rep: Ummm, I'll take you off the list and transfer you to customer service. Click.
He hung up on me! I'm fully convinced the "I'll transfer you" line is so they don't get in trouble for just hanging up on someone. Friends, I yelled with my squeaky little voice. I'd probably want to hang up on me too, but that's what he signed up for.
I'm fuming mad, and I'm going to make many calls to the AZ Republic until I am certain I'll never receive a threat from them again. Awful. AZ Republic, I am more than disappointed in the way you choose to do business. I'm 100% OK never purchasing one of your papers again.
The moral of this story
*Steps down from soapbox*
You're probably wondering, then, after that long rant what I am going to do about getting my coupons. Well, I have a plan. It's been set in motion and it's working beautifully for me. I'll share with you the details tomorrow, m'kay? ;)
If the AZ Republic has tried something similiar on you, let me know....I'm planning on letting them know we're ALL not going to put up with their pathetic business practices!!