If I Wanted A Newspaper Subscription, I Would Subscribe To Your Newspaper, Wouldn't I?

Sure, times are difficult in the newspaper business, and new and innovative ways to attract readers are essential right now. However, we can go ahead and not recommend this method. Laura writes that the carrier for her local weekly paper subscribed everyone on her route by default, and left a cheerful note telling them to call customer service if they didn’t want it.

She wrote to the newspaper, copying Consumerist:

First let me start by saying that I do not subscribe to the [local metro daily] or any of its community editions including the [local weekly paper]. For this reason I was taken aback when I found a [local weekly paper] newspaper on my front porch today with the following note (see attachment) in the plastic wrapper:


Hi, my name is [redacted] and I am your new [local weekly paper] carrier for your street. I will deliver the paper on Wednesdays. Monthly cost is $2.50, and I will include an envelope later in the month (end of August) for payment. If you do not wish to receive the [paper], please call circulation at [redacted] to stop the service. Thank you!!

I prefer not to have to waste time calling or emailing the paper to cancel something I never requested. It should go without saying that I will not pay for any paper delivered to my address:

[Laura’s address]

This seems like a rather desperate way to try and drum up business for your paper.

A company representative e-mailed Laura back:

I will tell the carrier to stop delivery to your address. Our carriers are independent contractors and this was her attempt at building her route. As a Junior carrier, she makes 50% of whatever she collects. I am very sorry you had to notify us that you do not wish to have the paper but I will make sure she gets the message.

Sorry, that’s not “building a route.” That’s “subscribing people against their will,” and reflects badly on both the carrier and the publication whose paper she delivers, even if she’s not a direct employee.

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