Why Boston Globe Home delivery sucks…

This will sound petty…
I do not have a lot of “addictions” but I do have some routines. Two are daily, I like iced coffee, and pretty much drink it every day.

The other which I’ve had for a very long time is reading the Boston Globe. Ever since I was probably six, I read the Globe. I can’t even say that my method of reading it has changed. Sports first, then City, then Arts, then the front, the rest, ending with the comics.

I have had a Globe subscription in some form just about all my life. I also delivered it for six years growing up. I guess I bring this all up because Globe delivery has some simple rules – delivery by 6am on weekdays and by 8am on weeekends.

Our local globe delivery service can not get it right. I leave early in the morning for work and like to read on the train, so if the paper is not there I have to get it in town. Not a big deal but if it happened 12 times in less than a month, it’s a little over the top.

I have called the regional office a bunch of times and have recieved every excuse in the book. But herein lies the glitch, when your paper is supposed to be there, no one is there to answer the phone, so you can’t get service from the regional office.

So I call the main globe office to talk to someone- mind you the first few times i just followed the automated system and reported my paper and got my little credit. But after six times I thought I might want to talk to someone so I called the main customer service line and talked to a very nice person in the ….Phillipines.

yes, the Boston Globe shuttles their customer service to the Phillipines which is extraordinarily helpful when you just want to stop the paper, let them know about a vacation, or to let them know your paper is late. Not so helpful when you want to talk to someone who actually is in Boston, or someone who realizes that your paper is chronically late, or even talk to someone who can make a decision.

What makes this more fun is that if you ask then you are given a supervisor, and when you let the supervisor know that you really want to talk to someone in Boston you are referred to a Customer Advocate group for the Globe…which I did, and then they tell you the same thing, they will talk to the regional office ( which already knows they deliver the paper late) and then they tell you they will alert customer service ( which is in the Phillipines) and that should take care of it…not.

it is so nice to have someone advocate for me to people who can already not help me…I love advocates.

Look, I like the Globe, I like to read many of the writers associated with the paper. I always enjoyed the work of Mike Barnicle, Brian McGrory, Kevin Cullen, the late Will McDonough and even the whine of Dan Shaunessey among countless others.

I acknowledge I could read the paper online, but what gets me is this, if you wrote for the Globe, and you saw your colleagues laid off by your parent company, wouldn’t it mildly irk you to know that your work is not reaching some of your readers…and perhaps this reader is not alone in considering cancelling his subscription? After all, I know it’s not the main source of revenue for newspapers, but what if it contributes considerably to a decline in readership? If you were writing for a paper, and your work was not getting to readers wouldn’t it mildly upset you?


31 Responses to Why Boston Globe Home delivery sucks…

  1. ontrain says:

    another Sunday..11am today, nice try Globe.

  2. ontrain says:

    6:15 today…getting closer…

  3. ontrain says:

    I left at 6:15 today…no paper, I checked my balance when I called in to report my missing paper, and I now have a credit until mid october…which isn’t very helpful if you drive to the end of your driveway each day and the @#$%^ paper isn’t there…

  4. ontrain says:

    as of 6:28…no paper…awesome service

  5. Mike says:

    I use to work for the Globes Customer Service when it was still in the US, we could contact a branch directly talk to a manageer and get a problem resolved ASAP. but in order to save money they felt that offshoring their customer service to the phillipines was a good idea. Call them up and let them know how you feel.

  6. ontrain says:

    Mike – I am with you. sadly, I have called local and home office about this so often that now I just call the automated line, accept my credit for no paper and move on.

    They have no ability to rectify this which is amazing to me.

  7. David says:

    Are you guaranteed a credit if the paper isn’t delivered by 6am on weekdays and 8am on weekends? And, when you report a paper is late, do you receive any response from the carrier who delivers your paper? I ask this because I was told the carrier is charged back each time a “late delivery” credit is issued to a customer and I would think the carrier would be very concerned for all the chargebacks for your late deliveries.

    By the way, what is the subscription rate you are paying for 7 day home delivery in your area?

  8. ontrain says:

    David- yes you are, but you have to call in and request a credit, not a redelivery. If you report a late paper where I am they usually send another one ( which is not so helpful). If my carrier is charged back for the late paper he isn’t getting the concept. I think we pay about 7 bucks a week.

  9. ontrain says:

    6:35 this morning…it was there before I left…

  10. ontrain says:

    left at 6:20 today…no paper!!!!!! 1866 my globe, ….

  11. ontrain says:

    I left at 6:45 today…still no paper…so I guess that means another credit….

  12. David says:

    So, when you receive a late paper, do you just use the automated Globe customer service system and report a “Missed Delivery?” When reporting a Missed Delivery, you don’t need to speak with a human.

    The reason I ask this is because when I receive an incomplete paper, (ex: Side Kick Missing), I find that it is more convenient to report a missed delivery rather than waiting 10-20 minutes to speak with a human to report receipt of an incomplete paper, only to be told that we will send another paper to you within the next 90 minutes. After 90 minutes, I receive neither the replacement paper nor the credit. So, now I just report incomplete papers as a missed delivery, using the automated system, and get an immediate credit; it’s much easier! I assume you are doing the same automated system routine for your late deliveries?

  13. ontrain says:

    absolutely- sort of sad when you realize that customer service is so bad you are better taking a credit from a machine than being dependent on a human to provide better service for you.
    BTW- it was there before 6am today…think they are reading this?

  14. David says:

    When I submitted my first credit request for a missing delivery (not just late, but totally missing), I was called and questioned by the local office here on the South Shore.

    Has anyone from the Globe called to question why so many credit requests have been submitted by you? I suppose that if I am guaranteed weekday delivery by 6 am, I should request an automated credit, too; even if the paper is delivered by 8 am on a weekday. After all, the cutoff for guaranteed delivery time is 6 am weekdays and if I leave the house before the paper is delivered late, it becomes the same as a missed delivery. But, again, why the Globe hasn’t called you to discuss your numerous credit requests is beyond me!

  15. ontrain says:

    David- yes, I was called by the local office, who also asked me to cal them directly not the main office ( I am sure there is a good financial reason there.)

    No- no one has called me to ask why I have asked for so many credits.

    I call in a missed delivery when I leave the house and the paper is not there after 6 am. My reasoning is simple, if it’s supposed to be there by 6am, and I leave at 6:15 for the train and the paper is not there, then I have to buy a paper to read before work, so yes, then I call it in. But I don’t call in the ones that are late that I am home for – while I understand I could, because after all, I could be reading it before heading to the train, I just don’t.

    By the way.. they missed again today, left at 6:10…no paper.

  16. Jan says:

    If I don’t get my Globe on time, I won’t have time to read it, If I can’t get time to read it, it’s no good to me. If it’s no good to me, why should I subscribe? Let’s get with it Globe!

  17. ontrain says:

    and just when you thought it was better…left at 7:45 this morning…no paper……..7:45 mind you.

  18. AT says:

    Ok I feel for you because I am currently having a horrendous time w/ customer service…I’ve called the 1-888 number 10 times and haven’t gotten my issue resolved. Do you know any other numbers I can call?

    BTW mine is about stopping a delivery to my OLD address…we moved and for some reason they feel a need to deliver the paper to my old house….I can’t make it stop. I’m considering cancelling my subscription in order to make it stop and then signing up w/ one of their deals.

    I’ve never really had an issue of the paper arriving late on a regular basis, so maybe you can go by my old house and pick up the paper if you need one! 😉

    I found your blog by deperately trying to find another number to call. Maybe I should write an editorial to the Globe!

  19. kathy says:

    this is better than your problem.. I woke up to my house plastered with eggs. Apparently my delivery person didn’t appreciate that i forgot to tip them for the holidays. I know it was them because we were in the middle of a snow storm over night , yet there were tire tracks till showing where they dropped the paper. I don’t need this!

  20. What I See in America says:

    I had a little late paper scenario two weeks back. I was able to call the main office line to request a credit. They no longer give you that as an option automatically, now you have to speak to someone because otherwise after missing the paper, they will redeliver it to you.

    I spoke to my new friends in the Phillipines about it ( Boston Globe customer service) and they explained what I needed to do.

    I also left a message with the Customer Advocate group based here in the states who must have chatted with my local office, because now they call every other day to see if my paper is here…

  21. Terry says:

    I am sixty and learned to read as a child by asking my mother or father what a difficult word on the front page was. I delivered the paper while in grade school and have read it for well over a half century. In the past few years the delivery service has deteriorated and the billing is awful – in the past year I have rarely gotten a correct credit for vacations or missed days. That is part of the reason why The Globe has lost yet another reader of long standing.

  22. USA says:

    good to see that this liberal rag will soon be out on it’s fucking ass! god bless america!

    • What I See in America says:

      wow- just when my newspaper goes through a 3 month streak of showing upon time, even in the storms…very impressive. Now we have USA busting on the Globe…

  23. delivery girl says:

    I deliver the globe on Martha’s Vineyard, and after reading this, I feel the need to explain a couple of things to you…customers.

    First of all, I appreciate having this job, its a lot better than NO job…the pay REALLY not good, and gas is not paid for by the globe, so there is a very high turnover of drivers, not to mention the lack of training they give you when you start. My first day….it took me NINE HOURS to deliver 150 papers! After a couple of weeks, I got it down to 2 hours. The papers arrive on the island at 4:30, so it is impossible to have all of the papers delivered by 6:00. It takes time to bag the papers (double bagged when it is raining or else we get charged for wet papers). Not to mention that sometimes they arrive for the drivers up to 2 hours late!

    I get a lot of calls from my boss claiming that certain people did not receive their papers when I am 100% positive that I delivered to them. So, my thought on that is some people are just trying to get a free paper.

    I get notices to STOP deliveries at certain houses…then a few days later, I get complaints of missed deliveries….And I am charged for those.

    Then, when I get new subscribers, a lot of times, there is no street sign or no number on the house. How am I supposed to know where to deliver?

    Another problem is that the job description is that it is 7 day/week job, so sometimes, we have to have someone else fill in for us. Those are the times I get the most complaints, which is understandable, but most people need one day every now and again to sleep beyond 3am.

    I get tips from people a lot……which is not necessary, but great! It just surprises me when people request that the paper be walked up to the door (elderly or disabled people), and it seems those are the people who dont tip. I have about 20 customers who I get out of my car for and put the paper on their deck, but for one of my customers, that is not good enough. They threatened to cancel their subscription if I did not leave it directly under their door.

    One bonus of my job is that I get to drive my car down some of the worst dirt roads with unavoidable potholes.

    I’m sure there are a lot of really flaky drivers, but I have never intentionally missed a delivery. I DO want my customers to be happy with their delivery.

    I guess I am hoping that you all might give us the benefit of the doubt, and blame your delivery problems on your local office for communicating poorly with their drivers.

    To end this…I want to say thanks, sincerely, for subscribing and keeping me employed! And I hope one day, you are happier with your delivery.

  24. AT says:

    My issue was finally resolved after I found a local Boston number to call. Apparently the Phillipines Customer Service group was calling the wrong distributer to get my paper stopped at my former address. But they did resolve it within 2 days of calling. I think I googled to find a number. I don’t have it handy or I’d post it here.

    I am curious though, what do people typically tip their delivery person? I just got my third envelope in say 6 weeks (I guess he feels he needs to constantly remind me), I’ve been meaning to pick up a Dunkin Donuts gift card but keep forgetting. This new delivery person is good.

  25. David says:

    And now the Home Delivery Subscription Rate will increase to $12.25 per week because The Boston Globe assumes readers want to part with their hard earned cash to help with a bail out.

    It is now cheaper to buy the paper at the news stand price…Figure that one out! I will cancel my subscription this week before my next billing cycle.

  26. chuck says:

    i agree the delivery is awful i get barrons and investors buss. daily and the mess up so i asked for us mail delivery it will come later but at least it will come

  27. chuck says:

    i will never use them again

  28. David says:

    I just sent this note to the Boston Globe regarding their increased subscription prices:

    Sent: Thu, May 13, 2010 7:27 am
    Subject: Boston Globe Subscription Rates Jump the Shark!


    It’s the PRICE, stupid!

    What do you do when you are in trouble? You raise prices and cut content!

    Many of us ex-Boston Globe Subscribers miss the daily paper, but don’t miss paying the high price. I continually receive requests to renew my Boston Globe subscription, but you have jumped the shark on your last rate increase and the paper is now priced out of reach for most consumers, even at 50% Off!. In fact, I constantly hear news reports stating the latest plunge in subscribers of the Boston Globe, due to the exorbitant subscription and news stand rates.

    I would suggest you stop punishing your readers with rate increases and start spreading your increased costs to advertisers, as well as reducing bonuses to the directors of your company.

    To get me back as a subscriber, it is time to re-introduce the 75% Off Subscription Deal at the Boston Globe or better, yet: go back to your
    2008 offer, as follows:

    Offer code DM048697,

    7-day delivery: $2.00/week for 12 weeks
    Sunday only: $0.88/week for 12 weeks

    pay w/ credit card get 4 more weeks same deal.

    Please lower your subscription rates before it’s too late and you lose ALL your subscribers!



  29. Roy Barnacle says:

    This is amazing. Here I am thinking I am an odd customer with complaints over missed newspapers because I am at the far end of town, and at the end of a dead end street. For the past year, I have have un-received my Globe for at least three times per month. I gave up calling the Globe for (1) they didnt seem to be able to do anything, and (2) I was suspicious that I was not receiving any credit for the missed papers. I finally found out who the local agent was, (fortunately in the next town not in the next continent!) and started to report to them. This will take care of it, I thought. Not so.
    Its 1000am Sunday today – no paper yesterday and if no eventual paper today, I told them to tell the guy not to see me next Christmas, and there had better not be any eggs on my house!!~

  30. Roy Barnacle says:

    Things havent changed much since 2008. There is not a week goes by that I do not get the Globe. In addition I subscribe to a local paper, The MetroWestDSaily News. A half dozen times a month, I do not get a paper of one or the other, or sometimes both. Neither paper seems interested in solving the problem, and that is, FIRE THE $%^& CARRIER who cruises daily past my house. I get the credit but I dont want credit I want the newspaper. I have given up calling the Globe and when I call the local agency who delivers, they are sympathetic, and always, always promise to send the guy around with a replacement for the missed newspaper. Sometimes it happens, often it doesn’t.
    I have stopped automatic credit card payment, insisting instead, on an invoice from the Globe. When I pay the invoice, I simply deduct the missed papers from the invoice. If I get another missed Metrowest paper, I’ll cancel.
    I agree with you about the writers for the Globe. They can’t be happy that their talent is not being read because they can’t grab the carrier by the shorts and tell him to shape up or ship out.

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