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Consumer Complaints

BBB Accredited Business since 01/01/1973

The Toledo Blade

Phone: (419) 724-6000Fax: (419) 724-6356

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Customer Complaints Summary

10 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 5 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues2
Billing / Collection Issues3
Delivery Issues4
Problems with Product / Service1
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints10

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (10)BBB Closure Definitions
05/07/2014Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of products

Complaint: Repeatitive delivery problem
last December (2013) I signed up for a 6-month subscription to the blade for Sunday only delivery. I did this only for the ads and coupons. Since then, they have missed five Sundays, this past Sunday being the most recent. How hard is it to deliver the paper once a week? Every time I have called to complain I've gotten an automated system, no matter what day of the week they do not appear to have any live phone hours, every time I call they say the office is closed. On one out of the five occasions, the paper was delivered hours late. Every other occasion, including this week, I received NO paper. They supposedly say they are adding extra weeks onto my subscription, but I don't want extra weeks, I want a refund and, quite frankly, an explanation why this is such a problem. Also, I received an automated phone message the other day saying my subscription is almost up, but by my records I should have a subscription until the end of June if you take into account all of the missed weeks. I believe they intend on skipping those weeks and not giving me what I paid for. Because I missed this weeks sunday paper, I will miss out on nearly 30-40$ of savings. I am unemployed and on disability I rely on those coupons and unless my delivery person is dead, there is NO EXCUSE for this. My standard subscription should have lasted through may, with a 5 week extension because of the missed papers I no longer want the extension, because I no longer believe I will ever receive what I paid for. I want a refund of these 5 papers AND I also pre-gifted a 10$ tip to my delivery person when I signed up for the subscription that I want back, because they are clearly either dead or incompetent in which case I need it more than them.

Initial Business Response
Dear ***** *****,
I wanted to follow up on our phone conversation yesterday, May 1st. Again, I apologize for the poor service you have consistently experienced. To summarize our conversation:
You were correct that we don't have a permanent carrier on that route at this time. However, whether we have a permanent carrier or not, you should expect on-time deliveries every week. If this does not happen, our customer service department is open Monday through Friday, 6 am to 2 pm and on the weekends from 6 am to 11 am and stands ready to assist you. You can reach a live customer service representative during those hours. You can also use the "self-service" part of our phone service at any time by calling 419.724.6300 or visiting www.toledoblade.com/customerservice. Our policy is to attempt redelivery the same day if possible, or issue full credit for that day's paper if the customer does not want redelivery or if redelivery is not possible.
Prior to your BBB complaint, you were already given full credit for four of the five delivery concerns you mentioned in the BBB complaint. The fifth we had redelivered. However, in light of how persistently bad your service was, I issued credit for the fifth concern as well. While The Blade is not able to retrieve the $10 tip from the person who was the independent contractor carrier at the time of your order, we are issuing a $10 credit to your account.
Per our agreement yesterday, this will extend your subscription up to (and including) Sunday, 8/10/14. Your paper will stop after that delivery per your request. Should the service improve to the point where you wish to continue deliveries past that point, please be sure to call and let us know. If the service does not improve and you wish to cancel, please call and let us know that and we will refund whatever balance is in your account at that point.
I also made a notation in the system of your request to have deliveries at the door, and I forwarded this service problem to our Home Delivery Manager so he can make sure the field personnel give it more attention.

Again, my apologies for the poor delivery you experienced this past winter. While it was the worst winter on record, that doesn't excuse persistently bad service, especially now that we are into the spring. Thank you for being a valued reader. Please let me know if I can ever be of further assistance.
Best Regards,
***

Complaint Resolution: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.

04/21/2014Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of services

Complaint: I pay for the eblade and I don't get the entire paper.I've talked to various people including **** ********** and got now were.This morning I got 84% of the paper.Help
Product_Or_Service: toledoblade

Initial Business Response
Dear **** ****** ******,
I received your recent concern regarding the eBlade not loading. Thank you for your feedback.I left your a voice mail and also an email regarding this topic, and here is my formal response to your BBB Complaint.
Your issue is related to the fact that certain combinations of browsers and operating systems not allocating enough temporary memory to allow the eBlade to fully load. This is likely because the user's cache is already full (or too full to allow eBlade to fully load). This issue typically impacts users on Sundays or Thursdays only, as they are our biggest issues and thus our biggest file sizes for download.

Fortunately, here is the fix for that issue:

The eblade is not loading all of the way, or blank pages

Solution: The user needs to "clear their cache." If you do not know how to clear their cache, please refer to this link: http://www.wikihow.com/Clear-Your-Browser's-Cache. It walks you throughstep by step with pictureshow to clear the cache for just about any browser or device.

One final caveat (I forgot to mention this in the email I sent you): the eBlade does notcurrentlyfunction on iPad, and we don't claim that it does. If you are trying to access eBlade on the iPad you would likely be experiencing a different set of errors than what you reported. But your inquiry didn't specify and it's a common enough user error that it's worth mentioning.

If you still cannot access the eBlade after following these instructions, I will be happy to offer a 100% refund of one month's Digital Access service at your current rate of $5.99 a month. Even though this error impacts only a very small percentage of the online content available to your as part of your monthly digital subscription, we hate to see our customers inconvenienced. Again, thank you for your feedback. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance.

Best Regards,


*** ******
Audience Development Manager
THE BLADE
Phone: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
*******@toledoblade.com



Initial Consumer Rebuttal
Mr. ****** called to say he's still unable to get the full edition of the Blade. His cost was also raised to $9.99 from $5.99. He states he is unable to get in touch w/you for help.

Final Business Response
****,
I was unable to reach you at home so I am writing in response to you reopening your BBB case. I have to admit I am disappointed that your BBB complaint stated that you were unable to get in touch with The Blade for help. Your last (and only) email to me was on 3/18. I responded within an hour and never heard from you again. Our customer service call center has no record of any calls from you during the time frame between your initial BBB claim and the current reopening of this matter. Nor have you called me at my personal number, provided in the signature of me email to you. Also, I offered you a one-month refund and you never responded to my offer.
I want to help you, but I guess I am having a hard time determining what exactly it is you want. I know you want to read it on your device, but if the fixes that I provided you don't work, that simply may not be possible. It sounds to me like your computer simply isn't going to work with the eBlade, or that you simply are not going to be able to follow the steps I provided to clear your cache. In either case, I don't think you will ever get the eBlade experience you are looking for. While I never like to turn away a customer, it seems to me that we have only two choices: you can accept the partial download problem you are experiencing on some days, realizing that the experience "is what it is," or you can accept my offer for a full refund for anything you have paid for your digital service and we can agree to part ways.
Please let me know of your decision so I can give this my personal attention and put this matter to rest.
Best Regards,
***
Ps - One final note, regarding the price increase: you are correct. The Blade did institute a price increase to its customers. We notified all of our auto-renew customer 30-days in advance of this change so they could consider their options. Obviously, if you elect for a full refund, this issue is moot as I will be refunding any amount you paid. On the other hand, if you are staying on as a customer andfor whatever reasonyou are disputing that you were notified, then I would be happy to offer you a refund check for the difference from March 10 to current ($4).


*** ******
Audience Development Manager
Direct: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Cell: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Fax: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
*******@toledoblade.com
www.toledoblade.com


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From: *** ****** mailto:*******@toledoblade.com
Sent: Tuesday, March 18, XXXX X:XX PM
To: **** ******
Subject: Re: Eblade

****,
I'm confused. Every computer has cache. If you always got it before November, but haven't since, that would be even more consistent with this issue. It sounds very much like your computer had enough available cache prior to that time. Since then, the available cache was probably filled to the point where you don't have enough available cache for the bigger issue days (usually Thursdays and Sundays).
***









*** ******
Audience Development Manager
Direct: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Cell: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
Fax: (XXX) XXX-XXXX
*******@toledoblade.com
www.toledoblade.com



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On Tue, Mar 18, 2014 at 8:22 PM, **** ****** <*************@hotmail.com> wrote:

Our computer does not have that cashe. But the last two days I have gotten the complete Blade.Before Nov. I always got the whole Blade.
Sent from my iPad

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

03/12/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: None of the Above - Sales Complaint Issue

Complaint: They are baiting and switching on the subscription prices.
I accepted a 6 month home delivery subscription of the Sunday paper, in June 2013, for a total of $4.99 and after 6 months the rate would be $4.99 per month. I called them today to give them my new credit card number for the account and they are telling me that on Jan 20th their rate changed to $8.99 per month and they do not want to honor the rate that I subscribed to.

Initial Business Response
Contact Name and Title: ****** ****
Contact Phone: XXX-XXX-XXXX
Contact Email: *****@toledoblade.com
1st- I am no longer a member of the Blade Circulation Department.
2nd. I believe that I did send you a responce before leaving.
3rd I left 3 messages or this customer to contact me before I left the company. I did not receive a responce.

This customer signed up under a special promotion and she did receive the first 6 months for the .99. We had a general price increase on January 20, 2014 and all of the costs of our products increased. The offer that she signded up for was noted that this was a special introductory price and that if there was a price increase the cost would increase.
We are willing to work something out with the customer if she would contact us, but to date I am not aware that she has returned any phone calls.
The customer service supervisor Ms ****** **** of the customers concerns and will work with her to hopefully resolve.
******'s number is XXX-XXX-XXXX, please have the customer contact her.

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

08/12/2013Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Failure to honor promised refunds, exchanges, or credit

Complaint: Selling coupons to businesses that are no longer in business. Removed purchased coupons from my account. Changing expiration dates.
I first purchased a coupon from Diggit for ******* on 9-11-12. Before the coupon was used and before it expired the business was out of business. Purchased coupon for another business, that when I attempted to use the business didn't exist, or no longer existed, it was hard to determine. Diggit changed their email and websites several times and eliminated my coupons purchased and unused from my account without refunds. When first contacting them on that particular issue (of missing vouchers) on 4/16/13 they told me I could tell the businesses that I recalled purchasing coupons for that I purchased it and they should accept that as payment. Obviously no business would accept my word versus having the coupon. I have been in contact with the only email address (*******@toledoblade.com) now listed on their new webpage ********************* formerly...diggit.tv) requesting refunds for all the vouchers issued for businesses that arent in business and for all the unused vouchers purchased that can't be used due to no fault of my own, but due to the changed website 'accidently' eliminating my vouchers. I have received nothing. After the weekend July 5, *** indicated he would call me on the following Monday to resolve. He has not called. I have since contacted him about the additional business I tried to use my voucher that was closed. Have not heard anything. I have contacted the Blade by phone on 3 occasions and have never received a call back.

Business' Initial Response
Customer was immediately called. Agreement was reached.

Complaint Resolution: Company resolved the complaint issues. The consumer acknowledged acceptance to BBB.

10/16/2012Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details
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Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of products

Complaint: Persistent issues with newspaper not being delivered to my doorstep and/or paper not being delivered at all with no customer service follow through
I subscribed to The Wall Street Journal on August 30, 2012. After investigation and research with the Wall Street Journal headquarters, local branch in Bowling Green, Ohio, and The Blade Customer Service, The Toledo Blade circulation department was determined to be responsible for the delivery of this paper.

Originally, the paper was not being delivered to my doorstep, but rather in the mail. I contacted the Blade Customer Service and received the paper the next morning (Sept. 6) on my doorstep.

Beginning Monday, September 10th, I did not receive The Wall Street Journal, but instead, the Toledo Blade. The same occurred on September 11th, in which I contacted the Toledo Blade Customer Service. On September 12th, I began receiving the Wall Street Journal again, however, it was not being delivered to my doorstep, but thrown into the middle of the hallway in my apartment complex floor. I contacted Toledo Blade Customer Service. On September 13th, I didn't receive a paper at all, however, I did on September 14th and 15th.

I received The Wall Street Journal on September 17th, however, not on September 18th. When I contacted The Blade Customer Service, rather than apologize, the representative stated "How you know it ain't being stolen." I informed her (I didn't save her name) I'm up at 6:30-7:00 AM in the morning and, considering the inconsistent service I've received thus far, it's most likely an issue with the carrier. I discussed my past issues and asked to speak witha a manager. She stated "you ****** be contacted within 24 hours or so and after 7:00 AM." I was never contacted.

Since that day, I did not receive my paper on either September 19th or today, September 20th, 2012. I contacted The Blade Customer Service this morning at 8:41 AM and spoke with ****, Customer Service Representative. She stated my information was not on file, however, I informed her this hasen't been the case in the past. She asked "is there an apartment number." I said "Yes, it's Apartment 8." She raised her voice and, in a rude tone, shouted "Well why didn't you tell me that when I asked." I informed her "I apologize for my mistake. Why are you being mean to me?" She loudly responded "I'm not being mean to you."

Since I knew **** was not wanting to assist me, I wanted to exit the conversation and stated "Ma'am, I just want my Wall Street Journal." She said "I'll just have a manager call you." I replied "That's what I asked for on Tuesday and never heard from anyone." **** informed me that she did see the request and would update my information again. When I asked again what her name was, she sarcastically replied "****, *******."

In closing, I said "Okay, thank you" in which her response to close was "uh, huh."

Business' Initial Response
If you already have received a reply, just ignore- I send yesterday but had computer problem and am not sure if you received.
The district manger contacted the customer and carrier regarding his delivery of the paper. The carrier and the customer have worked out a place for the paper to be delivered. The carrier is aware that the customer receives a Wall Street and not a Blade delivery.

We are using the customer's concerns with the call center as a training reminder for all of our staff.
The issues with the named clerk have been address with her and her performance ****** be monitored.

We take pride in our customer service and we strive to meet or exceed the customer's expectations.

We are only the delivery agent for Wall Street, we do not ****** or credit for their product. Therefore I can not extend this Wall Street Subscription.

Consumer's Final Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
I received my paper on time, in the place I requested for five days in a row (9/21, 9/22, 9/24, 9/25, and 9/26). I DID NOT receive it last Thursday or Friday, 9/2* and 9/28. I DID get in Saturday, 9/29, for the Weekend Journal. I DID NOT receive it today, 10/1.

When I leave in the morning at *:30 AM, I'm gone for the entire day. It's pointless to call and complain, since the customer service is, as mentioned in the original complaint, not willing to help and unpleasant to speak with.

This is still an atrocious experience.

I've gone up the chain all the way to BBB and my experience is still horrible with an inconsistent and, once again, frustrating.

I'm right back to square one, therefore, I DO NOT accept this response and I ****** NOT until I get my paper on a consistent basis.

****** ******

Business' Final Response
The location where the customer lives is an apartment building with student housing, the management ****** not allow the papers to be delivered to the halls. The papers where being placed in the front lobby for the customers. Because of this customer's concerns the carrier contacted this customer directly to arrange a different location for delivery of the paper. The carrier is delivering the paper next to the customer's car as he requested. The carrier who lives in ************* and is willing to redeliver has given this customer her direct number and ask him to contact her if he is missing papers. To date he has not contacted her for any missed papers.
The district manager has called the customer 3 times and left messages with his phone number, the customer has not returned the calls.
We strive to correct any customer concerns, but we do need the customer's cooperation to resolve the issue

Complaint Resolution: Company addressed the complaint issues. The consumer failed to acknowledge acceptance to BBB.

Page 1 of 2
12/16/2013Advertising / Sales Issues

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