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.