Letter to the editor: Why newspapers are folding
December 8, 2014
OPINION By ALLAN COOPER
I am one of the few people I know who actually enjoys reading a daily newspaper printed on paper and delivered to my door. However, many years have passed, and I’m not counting, when I have repeatedly complained to my local newspaper that I have not had a paper delivered.
I call early in the morning when I can actually speak to a real person and still nothing happens. Later in the day a “robot” answers when I call and promptly tells me that today’s paper will be delivered to my house tomorrow. Does it surprise anyone that I’m not interested in day-old news?
When the paper is delivered, it lands on the roof or windshield of a parked car, in the street gutter or on the sidewalk where random pedestrians frequently pick it up to save themselves a dollar. I call again and complain about how this paper is delivered and I’m told that the situation will be corrected (it isn’t).
I believe that this paper’s so-called “customer service” is grievously wanting. The people who answer the phone these days have trouble understanding the word “broad” for Broad Street and I have to spell it out. I give them my three number address and they spit back six numbers. Their speech mannerisms are unintelligible and I sometimes wonder if I’m connected to a “call center” in some foreign country.
It has become clear to me why one newspaper after another (with the exception of New Times who do not make paper deliveries and paperless CalCoastNews) is folding in this country and it has less to do with the appeal of e-papers than you might think.
Allan Cooper is a retired Cal Poly professor and a member of Save Our Downtown.