Monday, January 19, 2009

Would You Nickel and Dime a Business in Trouble?

I just saved tons of money on my newspaper subscription yesterday. And I'm not feeling too great.

I got my credit card statement from the Los Angelest Times that showed they charged a mint for my subscription between 12/15/08-02/09/09. I did my usual routine of calling and asking to cancel my subscription because "it's too expensive", which is true. They then transferred me to a "subscription services specialist" who offered me a better deal.

My new deal gives me a 65% discount off my current subscription price which will be good until 01/20/2010. Much better... for me.

It's no secret that major newspaper companies around the country are in financial trouble. Although I don't live in L.A., my newspaper of choice is the Times. (I can't stand reading the local paper that masquerades as a newspaper.)

I realize that my subscription alone won't make or break the LA Times. But with their readership and ad revenues down, this type of haggling can't help. And if other subscribers collectively negotiated their rates, isn't it a bit like helping ourselves only to drive a newspaper out of business?


Miss M said...

Hm, I think they make most of their money off ad revenue. Ad prices are determined by circulation, so having you at almost any price is a gain. I signed up for weekend service only and they threw in Thursday and Friday for free, I didn't ask for it. Don't feel bad, it must have made business sense to them.

Debtfree2009 said...

I agree there money is from ads and ads dollars increase based on circulation.

You got a great deal.

MoneyMate Kate said...

Ditto what Miss M wrote. Sometimes I think the only value in charging for a newspaper is to be able to put a number to the circulation for those ad revenues.

Sharon Rose said...

Hi there-well done on bagging your deal, it pays to be vigiliant in these times.

J. Money said...

huh...that's very interesting indeed, i've never heard of anyone thinking about that, but good for you :)

while i agree w/ Miss M. too (i used to work for a magazine and that was the case there), i think it's totally cool to accept a great deal if presented to you. it helps out both parties, and it's not like you went into it thinking "i'm gonna scam the hell out 'em and get a bargain!" ya know?

you called to cancel, and they did not want you to so they tried to convince you and it worked! so really, THEY got you ;) haha...

Shtinkykat said...

Miss M and MMK: Thanks. That's good to know. I've always heard that newspapers' primary source of incomes were ads. I didn't realize that circulation affected their ad rates.

Debtfree2009 and $haronRose: Thanks! I think I got a great deal too. Now I'm glad I don't feel too guilty.

J.Money: Uhhhh... actually, I really had no plan to cancel my subscription, truth be told. I'm glad they didn't call my bluff since I would've begged them for a better rate at that point. Ha ha.

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