How to give your customers bad service the New York Times way

bad service

This morning, I logged on to the NY Times, credit card in hand, to renew my digital subscription which I knew would expire around the end of the year. I thought it would take a couple of minutes at most. What happened next was a classic example of bad service.

First I thought I’d find out the day my subscription expired. What? Apparently I have to call the NY Times! The expiration date is apparently a closely guarded secret—it isn’t shown on the account management page!

OK, well I’ll just renew my subscription anyway. I click Subscribe, and choose the plan I want.

Was the NY Times happy to take my money?


The screenshot tells the story. My only options were to call or email them!

So I called.

Get this: the NY Times is unable to renew a digital subscription until it has expired! Apparently, I have to first call the NY Times to find out when my subscription expires and then renew exactly on the day my subscription expires if I want to maintain unbroken access!

I call this bad service.

A question to NY Times Management: are you trying to make it as inconvenient as possible for your existing customers to give you money?

3 thoughts on “How to give your customers bad service the New York Times way

  1. I guess we now have proof positive that the New York Times has such strong cash flow that it doesn’t *need* its digital subscribers’ money. After all, print publishing is such a lucrative venture these days.

  2. @d2a52af3673d6a46f780535e058a6dc0:disqus & @twitter-203672578:disqus, this is a classic and sad example of how overlooking small but crucial aspects of customer service can sabotage a massive change initiative.

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