Friday, May 23, 2008

Me and the Times

O.K. I've been reading Mike's blog for a long time now and I've been through his problems with his job, the Mormons, Utah, his kidney cancer, his lawyer daughter, his running son and that ugly dog of his. (Man, he's gonna love that.)

So, I've decided to bare my soul and tell you of my problems with the Newspaper of Record, the New York Times.

For months, maybe years, now I've been taking the Sunday Times delivered to my driveway. Since I live in Lower Butf--k, Arizona, I find this amazing at best. Every Sunday morning, I open my door and there lies the Times in my driveway. Except some Sunday mornings when the delivery guy has had a meth overdose or something and my paper didn't arrive. Or some mornings when it's been lying in the rain or snow for long enough to soak it through. (Note: you can't dry it out in the microwave.)

For this great convenience (mainly for SWMBO who gets through the whole paper in one day while it takes me two, three, four or more days) I pay the New Yorkers 26 bucks a month.

Until this month. I noticed a payment deducted from my bank account on May 6th for $52. Well!!! I called the Times (very convenient: 1-800-NYTIMES) and was told I had been double-billed because I had not paid anything in April. I checked. Yes, I had. My bank account had been debited for $26 on April 8th. I told the guy on the phone about it and he said they had no record of it. I faxed them the proof. (This was on about my third conversation with a third person - - you never get the same guy or gal twice.)

Everyone I talked to said the same thing: we have no record of it but the billing department has opened an investigation and we'll get back to you. I finally asked them to tell the billing department to call me. They never did.

Somebody once told me: go to the top.

So last night, I e-mailed the Publisher (Arthur Sulzberger Jr.) and the President and General Manager (Scott H. Heekin-Canedy), told them the whole story and asked for their prompt attention.

This morning at 8:15 I received a call from someone who said her name was Tanya, who sounded cooperative, or perhaps cowed, who asked me to fax all the bank proofs of my various payments (which now are $78 more than I owe) and she would definitely take care of it. She gave me her private, direct telephone number. She was very sympathetic.

Of course, this is Friday. The beginning of the Memorial Day weekend. I am hoping that maybe, just maybe, by next Tuesday I will hear something back. If not, maybe Mr. Sulzberger and Mr. Heekin-Canedy (what kind of a name is that?) will receive yet another e-mail from me.


  1. Maybe you should just stick to cats and flowers and leave high finance alone.

  2. Aha, Mikey, note the next post: flowers AND high finance!

  3. You are paying HOW MUCH for one newspaper??? Let me see -- 4 gozinta 26 how many times? A pricey read, I'd say. Ah, I guess it charges by the pound, now that I think of it.

  4. I think it's 5 papers for 26 bucks, which makes it slightly less than buying it at the store and driving across town for it.

  5. Hope you get this sorted Mr Cat: I am STILL owed a payment by that damned mobile phone company. Actually, now you've reminded me of it, I'll get back on the phone to them next week I think. x

  6. "They" say you can't fight city hall. You CAN fight city hall and you can WIN. Good luck, Kitty.

  7. The factual elements in this post were completely lost to me after the mention of drying out the newspaper in the microwave, when I started hallucinating about how disgusting that must smell...

  8. Lucy - Actually, that was poetic license. In truth, I just spread the paper out all over the house.

  9. You are an escapee from TV news and you expect the papers to be any better? Damn. Add the word "News" to anything and it becomes a special part of hell designed to make normal people suffer.

    Good luck on getting the money back.

    Oh yeah, DON"T put the wet paper in the clothes dryer. It probably works worse than the microwave.


  10. Well, Thomas, it's those damned accountants with their damned computers that have screwed up. But I will also avoid the clothes dryer. Thanks for the tip.


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