Tavares, FL June 5, 2015
Lake Countians: This information is updated from a memo sent to some recipients yesterday.
Update: Today, Saturday, June 6, my paper is missing again for the fifth day. The Daily Commercial is really botching up every newspaper's credibility. I got through to an operator at 7:45 am and they will deliver it later.
- The Daily Commercial just got a contract to deliver the Orlando Sentinel, Wall St. Journal and USA Today, plus their own subscribers.
- For four days (Update: Now five days), hundreds of subscribers (unverified) did not get their newspapers.
- I was one of them.
- Problems include lack of planning to hire enough delivery couriers, and changing delivery routes to confuse existing couriers.
- The circulation phone number for reporting missing papers is overloaded and put people in endless loops where they could not talk to a staffer or even leave a message.
For the last four days, many Lake County subscribers to the Daily Commercial, Orlando Sentinel, Wall St. Journal and USA Today have not received one or more papers.
I called to DC Publisher Steve Scaggs yesterday, who said the DC received a contract to deliver all those newspapers in Lake County (I assume). They apparently botched the implementation so that routes were changed, and a shortage of carriers disrupted delivery capabilities.
In my case, four days ago, Tuesday the 2nd, my paper didn’t arrive, but I called around 7am, and left a message, and it arrived later.
Then on Wednesday, no paper at all, but I didn’t call in.
Then yesterday, again no paper. I had to call and call to finally get their voice mail system to let me leave a message at 7am this morning.
As of 10:30 am, no paper and no call back.
So, yesterday I called the Daily Commercial's publisher, Steve Skaggs, and he actually answered.
That is when I found out about the new contract and their delivery muck up.
Apparently the Daily Commercial just got the contract to deliver papers for the Orlando Sentinel, Wall St. Journal and USA Today, plus still deliver their routes.
So, according to publisher Steve Skaggs, their carrier force doubled and they have to work out new routes. Skaggs arranged for the missing Wednesday and Thursday papers to be delivered to my door.
They are so overwhelmed that their circulation phone number is running loops and it is extremely hard to even leave a complaint about a missing paper.
I suggested to Skagss that they at least have a greeting message to tell people what the problem was and MAKE sure the customer could leave a message that would be responded to.
Based upon my experience, there were probably many missed papers but it was so hard to leave a message that many might have given up.
So, I have to wonder which paper got priority for deliveries? The new guys, or Daily Commercial. I didn’t get mine.
So, if you get a newspaper, I hope you got it without problems. If your paper is missing, now you know why… call Steve Skaggs at 352-365-8213. I get the impression they got the contract with little notice and had no time to plan, or train new carriers.
One friend wrote back he has had terrible delivery problems with multiple newspaper subscriptions. He even dropped off a copy of Thursday's paper for me.
But, that didn’t help today, Friday, June 5 –AGAIN, NO PAPER.
I called the circulation office of the Daily Commercial today and got several looped calls where I was told to press 1 to leave a message, and then it would not take a message.
So after several minutes, a REAL person answered, and will deliver my paper later today.
I was told they got 800 ( EIGHT HUNDRED) phone calls this morning about missing papers.
They have hired 50 new carriers who had been Orlando Sentinel carriers.
The staffer had no idea why planning was so bad that the Daily Commercial did not plan the implementation of the new contract in a better manner. Why did they wait until AFTER getting the contract to hire new carriers, then restructure all the delivery routes?
So, Daily Commercial, your ability to plan operations doesn’t have much credibility with me.
So, I am hoping I will get my paper by tomorrow. And I am stuck reading the ads and world news again in the Triangle News leader (which did come yesterday). and also watch BBC online.
Let’s see how many more days we have to go through this readership crisis.
And, only the people who get through the voice message system to a real person get a credit for the missing papers. I think they should give an automatice 1 week credit on ALL subscriptions for this muck up.
The first rule of crisis management is to confess, take responsibility and offer a benefit to those who were disrupted. Now, they might have done that in the print paper, but because I HAVE NOT seen it, I don’t know. Don’t skip people from getting a credit because they could not get through your storm of complaint calls. I think the Daily Commercial needs to hold a press conference where other media can cover this issue.
And, perhaps since the new County waste management vendors actually show up on time, perhaps the Daily Commercial should arrange for those vendors to deliver the papers. (:-)