BBB Logo

Better Business Bureau ®
Start With Trust®
West Florida

BBB Business Review

BBB Accredited Business since 02/01/1977

Times Publishing Company

Find a Location

Phone: (727) 893-8111Fax: (727) 893-8105View Additional Phone Numbers490 1st Ave S, Saint PetersburgFL 33701-4204Facebook

BBB Business Reviews may not be reproduced for sales or promotional purposes.

BBB Accreditation

A BBB Accredited Business since 02/01/1977

BBB has determined that Times Publishing Company meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.

BBB accreditation does not mean that the business' products or services have been evaluated or endorsed by BBB, or that BBB has made a determination as to the business' product quality or competency in performing services.

Reason for Rating

BBB rating is based on 16 factors. Get the details about the factors considered.

Factors that raised Times Publishing Company's rating include:

  • Length of time business has been operating.
  • Complaint volume filed with BBB for business of this size.
  • Response to 26 complaint(s) filed against business.
  • Resolution of complaint(s) filed against business.
  • BBB has sufficient background information on this business.

Customer Complaints SummaryRead complaint details

26 complaints closed with BBB in last 3 years | 6 closed in last 12 months
Complaint TypeTotal Closed Complaints
Advertising / Sales Issues5
Delivery Issues12
Problems with Product / Service9
Billing / Collection Issues0
Guarantee / Warranty Issues0
Total Closed Complaints 26

Complaint Breakdown by ResolutionAbout Complaint Details

Complaint Resolution Log (26)BBB Closure Definitions
07/15/2014Problems with Product / Service | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

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

Complaint: Was promised a refund due to that fact they did not honor their service agreement. Also made me call to even find out they would not honor it.
I subscribed to the paper from an outside salesperson. I waited 3 weeks and received no paper. I called in and was told I would never receive the paper since I was a previous subscriber. Ridiculous that they wouldn't want to keep a subscriber, as well as rude that no one called. I was told I would receive a refund, which should have been automatic when they decided they didnt want to extend the service I paid for.

I never received the refund. I called back again a month later and was told the same line. I was promised a refund, even though I would have just been happy getting the year of service I paid for.

Now I am here a third time. I still have not received the refund. Customer Service is truly horrible.

Initial Business Response
Confirmed with Times sales contractor that refund was sent on 06-04-14. Contractor confirmed receipt with subscriber. Subsequently, contractor submitted 2 orders from subscriber on 06-29-14, both confirmed as accepted by the Times.

No outstanding issues at this time.

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

07/14/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Sales presentation not consistent with advertisement

Complaint: Sold on one price, never got service, vendor called and refused to offer price in letter. Bait and switch.
Here is a copy of the email to the company sent yesterday:To whom it may concern,

I had the unfortunate experience of picking up my home phone after 8pm tonight to deal with your unpleasant employees. One would assume that since your company is calling me that you want my business, especially at such a late hour. That however was not the case tonight. I formally had a subscription with your paper that I allowed to expire. Shortly thereafter I received by mail an offer to subscribe again. One of your agents called and I subscribed with that offer. I now understand why I never received my paper based on my call with your agents this evening. Upon letting the initial agent know I had this offer and had in fact signed up but never received my paper, she proceeded to tell me that offer was no longer valid. Even more unsettling was her letting me know that the price was now 4 times higher! At this point I felt like I was being taken advantage of. I requested to speak to the supervisor, at which point she tells me it will not make a difference. I requested to speak to them anyway. After a very brief pause, someone who identified himself as **** came on the line. He proceeded to ask for a code on the letter and other items. I felt as if I was on trial as he kept on with a very demeaning tone questioning everything I said. Additionally I asked if they kept a log of these calls, in which he responded yes. I then asked him to look up the last time they called as this is when I signed up. He became very irritated and stated that he could not do that and I would need to call back at 6am to speak to customer service! Silly me for thinking that someone who is trying to take advantage of me would be able to provide simple customer service, I guess that would be another department. The only thing this department (not sure what to call it) did is treat me very poorly and turn me off your paper and company. I am shocked that you allow such behavior from your employees, especially someone who identifies themselves as a supervisor. If this is how you run your paper I am afraid I will not be the only one who allows their subscription to expire. I would appreciate someone in authority to respond. I would also like to get the offer that I signed up for but never got at the price I was sent. I am sure you share my concerns about being taken advantage of as this feels very much like a bait and switch tactic. I look forward to your response, and hope that my faith is restored in your company.

Tonight I get a call back from ***** He now states he also works customer service. He still will not honor the letter, nor apologize for the treatment I received. I told him that I might as well wait for another letter, at which point he said I would not be getting another letter. Unfortunately that too was another lie, as I just got one in the mail today! I was even willing to pay more than the offer in my original letter as it did slip my mind. However, that was refused.I asked if someone else could speak to me on this matter, at which point he stated that then next person would charge me $78. I never knew it was cheaper to get new customers than to retain the ones you had. I would imagine that it costs more than the $9 **** refused to help me with to get a new customer! Very disappointed in the leadership of this company. Why would you have someone who already had upset me call back instead of a person who could make decisions and take care of me your former customer. I normally would not waste time on this type of thing, but someone should know how business is conducted at the Times. I hope that this reaches someone in a senior leadership position so that they can address the call center and line supervisors.

Initial Business Response
Customer offered a credit card for payment of April order. Payment processwed using this credit card was declined by the issuing bank. Order was cancelled. Subsequently customer called requesting a $30 deal but the original deal was for $39. We did not agree to take the deal at the lower price. We will honor the $39 deal with valid payment.

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

05/21/2014Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of products

Complaint: I paid Tampa Bay Times $91 for a newspaper on X - XX-XX. They have not delivered the paper. I've twice asked for my money back. T
On 3-15-2014, I paid $91 cash and expected to receive a newspaper and a $10 off ****** coupon. I called Tampa Times in early April. They stated they would not honor the order as I had a subscription which ran out around mid January 2015. They stated they would process a return immediately and I would receive a full refund within 2 weeks. Around April 25th, I called again asking for the refund. They suggested the refund was in the mail and I would receive at the end of the week. I still have not received a refund. Based on this experience, I have 2 issues with the Tampa Bay Times. First, they did not honor the contract they signed with me on X - XX -XX. There was nothing which said I could not sign up for the paper due to a prior subscription. I had not placed new subscription with anyone and had purposely let the contract run out in January 2014. Second, the paper was never delivered with the $10 coupon. A refund was never sent to me.

Initial Business Response
Original order was placed with an independent sales contractor who runs kiosk sales under contract with the Times. Contractor states that a refund was mailed to Mr. ***** on Monday, May 12, 2014.

Initial Consumer Rebuttal
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)

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

02/25/2014Advertising / Sales Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Sales presentation used dishonest sales practices

Complaint: I have not received the promotional item, an autographed hockey stick, promised to me when I signed my 52-week, $52.00 subscription.
On 10/12/2013 I purchased a 52-week subsription of the paper for $52.00 via a salesman located outside of the Tampa Bay Times Forum prior to a hockey game. The salesman was running a promotion -- buy the subscription, get a free autographed hockey stick signed by the player of your choice. I was told by the salesman that this would arrive in 2-4 weeks. I called on November 14, 2013 to inquire about the stick and the representative logged my complaint and would make note that I needed my item delivered. On November 26, 2013, I emailed the Tampa Bay Times about this issue again. A representative emailed me back and said that my autographed Marty St Louis hockey stick would be delivered on November 29, 2013. I never received the hockey stick. On December 12m 2013, I approached the salesman who sold me the subscription while at the Tampa Bay Times Forum, explaining to him my situation. He stated that it was "out of his hands entirely" and that I need to "keep harassing them about it." I find it unacceptable that I have to continue to badger a company to hold up their end of our agreement. Surely they charged my credit card immediately for my $52.00 and yet I am without my Marty St. Louis autographed hockey stick. I only purchased the subscription to receive the promotional item as I already own a subscription to the paper at my home address (I purchased this subscription as a gift for my boyfriend). I consider the promotion to be a term of my agreement to purchase the subscription, and if the Tampa Bay Times does not deliver on that agreement, I expect a full refund of my subscription price paid ($52.00).

Initial Business Response
Subacriber was contacted by the Times independent sales contractor, Universal Circulation Marketing, who sold the order. UCM explained that their hockey sticks were stolen from their sales kiosk at the Forum and offered to provide an unsigned stick immediately to meet the subscriber's Christmas gift need, and then to provide the signed stick when made available by the Lightning in mid-January.

Final Consumer Response
This response was provided verbally to BBB:

I did receive the hockey stick from the company but I have not received the autographed stick yet.

Final Business Response
Delivery of hockey stick has been made to subscriber. Independent sales contracor responsible for delivery has contacted subscriber to confirm and address any remaining questions re: hockey stick.

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

02/10/2014Delivery Issues | Read Complaint Details
X

Additional Notes

Complaint Category: Non-delivery of products

Complaint: Subscription never received
I paid for a Sunday Paper subscription back in October with one of those mail ins that are sent out to previous customers. The check for $10 was cashed and I have yet to receive a single issue. I sent TWO emails to the "customer service" address and have yet to hear back.

Initial Business Response
Subscribe's account was stopped on XX-XX-XX due to papers piling up. Subscriber was offered a estart of delivery on 2-2-14 with credit for lapsed time and corresponding extension of exiration date. Subscribe directed account to be stopped and requested full refund be provided. Subscription has been stopped and refund will be provided.

Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she ACCEPTED the response from the business.)
They refunded my money and I accept the response. I had to make the complaint to receive a response because my emails had been ignored for several weeks. No one ever contacted me regarding "papers" piling up. I was out of town for one week. There couldn't have been more than one paper.

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

Page 1 of 5
06/02/2014Advertising / Sales Issues

Additional Information

top
BBB file opened: 01/18/1977Business started: 07/25/1884
Licensing

This company is in an industry that may require licensing, bonding or registration in order to lawfully do business. BBB encourages you to check with the appropriate agency to be certain any requirements are currently being met.

These agencies may include:

Business Tax Receipt/St Petersburg
PO Box 2842
Saint Petersburg, FL33731-2842
(727) 893-7241
http://www.stpete.org/billing/business tax division

BBB records show a license number of 14-00002926 for this company, issued by Business Tax Receipt/St Petersburg. Their web address is http://www.stpete.org/billing/business tax division.

Type: City Business Tax Receipt

Type of Entity

Corporation

Incorporated: October 1904, FL

Contact Information
Principal: Mr. Craig Holley (Director of Consumer Marketing)Customer Contact: Mr. Paul Coffey Ms Jounice Nealy-Brown (Director of Communications)Mr. Paul Tash (President)
Business Category

Newspaper Companies, News Services

Products & Services

This company offers daily newspapers, direct mail news and entertainment website.

Alternate Business Names
St Petersburg Times, St. Petersburg Times; Tbt*/Tampa Bay Times; Tampabay.com, Tampa Bay Times

Map & Directions

Map & Directions

Address for Times Publishing Company

490 1st Ave S

Saint Petersburg, FL 33701-4204

To | From

LocationsX

4 Locations

  • 11321 US Highway 19 

    Port Richey, FL 34668-1416

  • PO Box 879 

    Port Richey, FL 34673-0879

  • 490 1st Ave S 

    Saint Petersburg, FL 33701-4204(727) 895-1181
    (727) 893-8385
    (727) 893-8927
    (727) 893-8289

  • PO Box 1121 

    Saint Petersburg, FL 33731-1121

Industry Comparison ChartX

The information in the table below represents an industry comparison of businesses which are of the same relative size. This is based on BBB's database of businesses located in West Florida. Businesses may engage in more than one type of business. The percent of time the business engages in a type of business is not accounted for. There is no known industry standard for the number of complaints a business can expect. The volume of business and number of transactions may have a bearing on the number of complaints received by BBB.

*Times Publishing Company is in this range.

X

Types of Complaints Handled by BBB

BBB handles the following types of complaints between businesses and their customers so long as they are not, or have not been, litigated:

  • Advertising or Sales
  • Billing or Collection
  • Problems with Products or Services
  • Delivery
  • Guarantee or Warranty

We do not handle workplace disputes, discrimination claims or claims about the quality of health or legal services.

X

Additional Phone Numbers

  • (727) 869-6212
  • (727) 893-8207
  • (727) 893-8461
  • (727) 895-1181
  • (727) 893-8385
  • (727) 893-8927
  • (727) 893-8289

Additional Fax Numbers

  • (727) 893-8685
X

Additional Email Addresses

X

BBB Complaint Process

Your complaint will be forwarded to the company within two business days. The company will be asked to respond within 14 days, and if a response is not received, a second request will be made. You will be notified of the company's response when we receive it (or notified that we received no response). Complaints are usually closed within 30 business days.

X

BBB began including complaint response text in BBB Business Reviews on October 1, 2012. BBB reports the complaint response text for all reportable complaints against a business that are received electronically.

X

Industry Tips for Newspaper Companies

X

What is BBB Advertising Review?

BBB promotes truth in advertising by contacting advertisers whose claims conflict with the BBB Code of Advertising. These claims come to our attention from our internal review of advertising, consumer complaints and competitor challenges. BBB asks advertisers to prove their claims, change ads to make offers more clear to consumers, and remove misleading or deceptive statements.

X

What government actions does BBB report on?

BBB reports on known significant government actions involving business' marketplace conduct.

X

About BBB Business Review Content and Services

Some Better Business Bureaus offer additional content and services in BBB Business Reviews. The additional content and services are typically regional in nature or, in some cases, a new product or service that is being tested prior to a more general release. Not all enhanced content and services are available at all Better Business Bureaus.

X

Thank you for your feedback.

Help us improve by taking our survey.

As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.

X

What is a BBB Business Review?

We offer free reviews on businesses that include background, licensing, consumer experience and other information such as governmental actions that is known to BBB. These reviews are provided for businesses that are BBB accredited and also for businesses that are not BBB accredited.

X

BBB Reporting Policy

As a matter of policy, BBB does not endorse any product, service or business.

BBB Business Reviews are provided solely to assist you in exercising your own best judgment. Information in this BBB Business Review is believed reliable but not guaranteed as to accuracy.

BBB Business Reviews generally cover a three-year reporting period. BBB Business Reviews are subject to change at any time.