Some subscribers of the Chicago Tribune face a steep price increase for home delivery. The paper is, in some cases, doubling or even tripling the subscription rates when customers’ current term expires.
ChicagoBusiness.com reported last month that the paper had sent letters to some of its customers alerting them to the changing price structure. It also reported that the change followed the paper’s decision over the summer to add 40 pages of additional content each week.
This increased content added an estimated 8% to the company’s printing expenses.
But some customers, naturally, aren’t pleased.
Jim Romenesko tells the story of one dissatisfied subscriber who claims his 13-week, seven-day subscription is jumping from $42.25 to about $95. That’s a 124% increase.
“One hardly knows where to begin, but either this is a form of corporate suicide, or sheer stupidity, or a plan to get rid of most the paper’s home subscribers (but why would that be thought a good idea?).”
The customer makes a good point about those who signed up for the auto-pay option, and who may not immediately notice the change. (Unless it comes out of their checking account rather than a credit card, in which case it could cause them to overdraft their account and cost them additional banking fees.)
How much is too much of a jump in fees for you? We all know newspapers are struggling as more and more customers go online — even to online versions of their same local newspapers. But would you play twice the price to keep the paper edition of your local newspaper?
Or have you already stopped subscribing?