Why Did The Tennessean Send This Bill For $0.08?

The Tennessean sent reader MP a bill for eight cents three months after he canceled his promotional subscription. MP has no intention of wasting a relatively expensive stamp to pay this trifle of a bill, but he would like to know: what could possibly costs eight cents?

Here’s a bill I received from The Tennessean several months ago that I just remembered about and thought might enjoy seeing. The story is that about a year ago, my sweet wife signed us up for The Tennessean at a promotional rate for six months. For the subscription, she used our debit card and had them auto-withdraw the bill every month. I used the customer service section of their website to view my account and was able to anticipate what the monthly charges would be, when they would be applied to my account, and when my six month promo rate was up. As sincere as the intentions were to have a newspaper subscription (I am quite the current events whore and keep a sharp eye on Google Reader for new posts throughout the day) the paper just wasn’t being read, and really, I get all the same content on their website (yay, i’m “going green”).

After calling customer service on the sixth month to inform them that this will be the last month and I do not wish to continue my subscription, I got the follow up call from the retention dept. the next day wondering why I was leaving and how they could continue to send me the newspaper, take my money, and kill trees. I politely said no to every attempt and thought I would be free.

About three months later, I get this bill in the mail from The Tennessean for the amount of 0.08. There’s no itemized list explaining what the charge is for (leftover amount from the subscription, unpaid fees, etc.) On top of this, about 3-5 times a week, I get calls from the retention department to get me back as a subscriber (which I usually use to prank them, honestly I don’t really mind it). So I’m wondering why they didn’t just take the eight cents out of my account like they were doing so smoothly before because I am not going to be sending them an eight cent check with a 41 cent stamp on it. I’d thought about sending them eight envelopes with one cent checks or even pennies, but I’m going to hold on to my precious copper and keep this bill around for a good laugh.

Next time retentions calls, tell them that you won’t consider returning until they provide a satisfactory explanation for this absurd bill.

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