Wednesday, May 21, 2014
Charlotte Observer - Out of Control Delivery
This is what home delivery of the Charlotte Observer looks like after a 6 month battle with the newspaper concerning the lack of customer satisfaction. It’s confusing; on the one hand the newspapers bemoan their demise; on the other they treat their customers badly, furthering eroding an already declining readership.
This 6 month saga began on Thanksgiving. After a prolonged period of having my paper either missing, or thrown in a rain puddle instead of placed in the paper box, I made a call to the carrier and was called a “mother-f’ing asshole” by the thug who answered and then hung up. After several more calls over a period of days I finally called Taylor Batten, the editor of the Observer, who told me that the problem would be resolved. It was, for about a week.
Then, after I got past all of the merry go rounds on the different phone numbers I was supposed to call, I got the woman in charge of the route. She assured me that the guy doing my route was leaving at the end of December and that he was probably just being nasty. Oh, pardon me; I didn't know your carrier was just being “nasty.” That explains it all. And so things have continued on in this way in spite of my repeated calls to the carrier and the paper.
And that’s just the story as far as home delivery goes.
It’s worth noting two things about home delivery of the Observer. The newspaper always champions the working poor; while shifting lower paying customer service jobs overseas. I can now find out the weather in the Philippines by just asking the person who answers my call. It should be noted that not once have these people hung up on me or even cursed at me.
Also of note is that whenever you see the job advertised for delivery of the paper, it requires a drug test. And, also a clean criminal background check. So, the newspaper thrown in the street was presumably placed there by a non-drug user who has no criminal record. There are mornings when I actually see the delivery being made, since I’m always awake and in pain by 4 AM. The delivery person barrels through at about 40 miles per hour, window down, music up loud, and a newspaper hurtling through the air, where it lands no one cares.
The owner of the route which encompasses my home is Sharon Dawson and her phone number is 704-258-2924. I’d list the Observer’s number but nobody there really cares.