They want their print TV guide, dammit!

A newspaper carrier recently seemed surprised that people still subscribe to their local paper’s TV guide.
Well, meet one of those subscribers — a very unhappy one because she’s complained to the Louisville Courier-Journal repeatedly about not getting her TV listings delivered.

Kathleen Loomis writes me: “Interested to read your bit last week on Laura Hollingsworth, Tennesseean publisher, admitting that Gannett customer service stinks. Here’s a customer service story from the [Gannett-owned] Courier-Journal.”

Read it after the jump.

Here’s what happens when you don’t deliver the TV listings:

April 28, 2014

Mr. Wesley Jackson, Publisher
The Courier-Journal
525 W. Broadway
Louisville KY 40202

Dear Mr. Jackson,

We first subscribed to the Courier-Journal 50 years ago and have been loyal readers ever since. But we are not happy campers this month. Here’s our recent experience in dealing with your “customer service” people.

We signed up to receive the weekly TV guide, which was supposed to begin on Sunday April 13. That morning there was no TV guide, so we called “customer service” and were told that a replacement copy would be delivered later that day. It was not.

On Monday April 14 we attempted to report the situation using your online message feature. The system would not accept the message, so we called “customer service.” I ended up speaking with Rachel Jones, who assured me that not only would she make sure our carrier knew to bring the guide next week, she would do her best to get up a replacement copy that afternoon. I told her that if she didn’t get it to us that afternoon we would be happy if our carrier brought it the next morning.

That didn’t happen, so I called Ms. Jones back on Tuesday April 15. She was out but I left a message on her voice mail and asked her to call me. She did not.

On Sunday April 20 there was no TV guide again.

On Tuesday April 22 I talked to Megan in your “customer service” department and asked to be transferred to Rachel Jones. Megan asked me to provide details on my problem and after I told the whole story I said I really didn’t need to talk to Ms. Jones but would be happy to talk to some other supervisor. Megan conferred with her supervisor and returned to tell me that they were reluctant to intervene since Ms. Jones was already on it, and she would call me back.

This conversation occurred at 10:10 am and I told Megan that in case Ms. Jones didn’t call me by noon, I would like the name of another supervisor whom I could talk to
instead. She told me that if Ms. Jones didn’t call me back by noon, I could talk with Tanisha Bridgewater.

Ms. Jones did not call me back. At 1:50 pm I attempted to call Ms. Bridgewater and was told that she was at lunch but should be back at 2 and she would call me back. She did not.

At 3 pm I attempted to call Ms. Bridgewater again and was told by the “customer service” rep who picked up my call that Ms. Bridgewater was on a different floor and there was no way she could connect me to her. She let me speak to Josh Collins, who assured me he would find out what the problem was and call me back.

This did not occur, so on Thursday April 24 I attempted to call Mr. Collins back. I was told by the “customer service” rep that he had no idea who Josh Collins was, that there are 1,000 “customer service” reps who might be answering the phone and there was no way he could connect me to him. I asked to talk with his supervisor instead. After quite a while on hold I was put through to the supervisor – who turned out to be none other than Mr. Collins!

I reminded Mr. Collins that he had promised to call me back and asked why he had not. He said he had not heard back from the district carrier supervisor and thus had no new information to give me.

On Sunday April 27 there was no TV guide. I called “customer service” and was told they would send out a replacement copy later in the day.

This did not happen.

At this point I am discouraged about what to do next. I don’t want to spend another hour or more on hold with your “customer service” department. I don’t want to speak to people who provide apologies but not the paper I have paid for, people who don’t return my calls or keep their promises. The only reasonable alternative I can think of is to discontinue our subscription. Can you suggest another solution?

Kathleen Loomis

cc: Joe Sonka, LEO
Jim Romenesko,