The Wall Street Journal is Incompetent

May/30/2010 14:52PM
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One might assume that a newspaper that writes about business would be very good at doing their own business. After all, to critique every business in the world takes insight about what constitutes a solid business model. Their perspective is very special. The writers get to dig into the good, the bad, and the ugly. They should know the difference.

I’ve been a WSJ subscriber for many years. Their competence for a simple task like getting a newspaper to the end of your driveway 6 days a week is terrible. In two residences, one in the winter and one in the summer, I subscribe to 5 different newspapers. I’m a “read the papers over coffee” guy. Rating the five, the WSJ rates dead last on performance. If you think I’m judging them too harshly, let me elaborate.

When I switched from the winter address to the summer address, I needed to stop a paper, re-start two, and switch addresses on two. The WSJ was a switch address. I was able to do everything on line, except for the WSJ. They require a phone call. They do not keep the addresses on file, so you must give them the summer/winter address each time. All other papers keep the addresses on file. Even the local paper in Illinois that my wife reads. In fact, The Daily Herald is the most competent and convenient to start and stop.

When I got to Illinois, the WSJ appeared on my driveway right on schedule. Then, 7 days later it stopped appearing. I sent an e-mail, no answer. I called the next day when it didn’t’ appear again. The person told me they just messed up the address change. Couldn’t be, they had it right for 7 days. Then, it was a billing problem. Couldn’t be, it was automatic renewals to credit card. Four days later I got a response to the original e-mail. They had it worked out, my WSJ would be in the mail the next day. Except, I don’t want mail delivery. Never had it, don’t want it. Now, two phone calls and three e-mails later, I’m told it was fixed, paper will be on the drive. It was. But, it was also in the mail. Two papers every day for 10 days.

Then I get an e-mail, a billing problem, credit card renewal didn’t go through. So I call. WSJ says credit card was put through and denied. I checked all data credit card number, expiration date, etc., and they were correct. So, I called the bank. WSJ never put any charges through.

Now, this week, paper on driveway not there, paper in mail is. Despite three customer service people telling me they have put a note to account, home delivery only. You might think they have a problem getting a home delivery, but a person who brings two other papers was dropping the WSJ.

Back to the e-mail to get the mail delivery stopped and the driveway delivery resumed. What do you think will happen? I already know. Two papers again, one in the mail and one on the drive. Until someone at the WSJ realizes I’m getting two papers. Then, they will cut off the driveway paper again.

I just find it very ironic that a newspaper that struggles for readership,and spends millions in advertising for new business, can have a subscriptions operations system out of the 80’s. It is also ironic that they aren’t self-monitoring. And, the same reporters that tear companies apart for their shortcomings aren’t assigned to investigate the employer.

Funny times we live in today.

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