I got this postcard yesterday and thought “Oh no, not AGAIN.” I wrote about this same thing, twice, in 2016 ( see here and here). Gannett went on to charge me an extra buck on a very irregular basis for these “premium editions” in 2017 and so far in 2018 (and for the life of me I cannot recall ever even seeing these wonderful additions to the print news scene, but find it hard to care since I don’t want them, and can’t unsubscribe from them).
At least this time they aren’t even pretending this is an amazing supplement to my local news, and that they are responding to my interests. So, that’s refreshing? I guess? This time it’s just a straight-up “we’re delivering this product you haven’t signed up for and will be charging you.”
And apparently, charging me whatever they feel like, at the time. “Beginning August 1, 2018, you will be charged at the then current price for each edition according to its delivery date.” This sentence left me gasping and wanting someone to come up with some kind of grammar-anxiety medication I could take with my morning tea. But once I untangled the sentence, and realized that a) no price range was indicated, and b) it seemed like the price might vary by edition, and c) this would depend on the delivery date? I think?, I decided to check it out.
Of course there is no link for this information in your account profile online. Of course not! You actually have to type in the URL provided on the card (click the link to avoid all of that!). And it’s there that you’ll find that these sure-to-be-exemplary examples of fine journalism or maybe at least pleasant advertising design are “included” in your subscription, but will cost you an extra $3 each.
That’s right – three times the previous price of these classy “premium editions.”
You will also find out that they are charging you the “newsstand price” for the Thanksgiving edition. There is another instance of the phrase “the then price” <stops to breathe into paper bag> but no mention if this is determined by weight, or number of duplicate sales flyers, or what.
Dear Gannett, please research the definition of “included.” Some examples from Merriam-Webster:
- The price of dinner includes dessert.
- Admission to the museum is included in the tour package
My subscription cannot “include” editions and services for which I am required to pay extra.
Needless to say, I fired off an email to customer service. I don’t think they’ve blocked me yet.