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NYT - Digital - Dirty Pool?
Old 07-23-2014, 09:18 AM   #1
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NYT - Digital - Dirty Pool?

Every business has the right to charge whatever the market will bear for their services. Dirty pool refers to unsportsmanlike conduct.

While there are all kinds of dirty pool in the digital marketplace, some burn more than others... In this case, IMO, the New York Times.

Today's email had an offer for NYT access for 12 weeks for $5. Since the regular weekly price is $3.75... this sounded like a good deal. Why not try it our. Here's the offer...The New York Times: Get a Digital Subscription

Why not sign on for the 12 weeks... save the $45, then cancel? I can't afford $195/yr, for sure.

For the next 45 minutes, I did some clicking on the many legal links, and have come to the conclusion that the "contract"... doesn't allow cancellation, is open ended, and will result in a $3.75 monthly credit card charge ad infinitum, after the 12 weeks.
Now, a lawyer reading the terms may come to a different conclusion, and perhaps there are some ways get around the contract, but I gave up trying to read the many pages of "terms".

Quote:
TRY IT TODAY FOR JUST $5 for 12 weeks
NYTimes: Web + Smartphone App
Unlimited access to NYTimes.com and the NYTimes smartphone app.*
That's $0.42 / week for the first 12 weeks
($3.75 / week thereafter)

Your subscription will be billed every 4 weeks thereafter
You must sign up/sign on to the subscription page, with billing information and go to the "I have read..." part. That leads to these pages.
Quote:
Terms of Sales, Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Cancellation and Refund Policy.
Each a substantial read.

I could find no way of cancelling the subscription, nor any period of time for expiration.

I used to say "My momma had an ugly child, she didn't have a stupid child". Dunno, maybe I was wrong, and coulda been both. Anyway, end of NYT rant...

So, either the NYT, or perhaps some other on-line offer that you perceive to be a little unfair... Caveat Emptor --- Dirty Pool
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:35 AM   #2
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I subscribe to the NY Times digital service. It can be cancelled anytime and online by the user.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:42 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
I subscribe to the NY Times digital service. It can be cancelled anytime and online by the user.
Yes... Your are correct. After some more checking I found this at the in section 2.1 of the updated terms of sale.
Fair is fair...
Quote:
You can change or cancel your digital subscription at any time by calling Customer Care at (800) 591-9233. For international customers, please email us at help@nytimes.com. Group Subscription billing cycles and terms of cancellations may differ and are governed by the terms set forth in the Group Subscription Purchase Order. Digital products sold as an add-on to your home delivery subscription, such as Times Premier, may have different cancellation or refund policies.

Monthly and 4-Week Subscription

When you cancel a subscription based on a monthly or 4-week cycle, you cancel only future charges associated with your subscription. You may notify us of your intent to cancel at any time, but the cancellation will become effective at the end of your current billing period.

Cancellations are effective the following billing cycle. You will not receive a refund for the current billing cycle. You will continue to have the same access and benefits of your product for the remainder of the current billing period.
Yeah... now for sure... ugly and stupid...
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:16 AM   #4
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I'm not sure why you thought it couldn't be cancelled, but on a related note:

I watched a segment of a local news program "Chicago Tonight", and one segment was on these digital contracts. A law professor held up a 30 foot long printout (in 8.5 point text!) for a popular legal agreement ("click to accept these terms").

The professor went on to make the case that consumers do need some of this standardized information disclosures to make a good decision. But it has gotten to the point that no one can actually take the time to read them or understand them.

The 'funny' thing was, that 30 foot long printout was for a 99 cent iTunes purchase! Things have gotten out of hand!


-ERD50
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:43 AM   #5
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What I want someone to explain to me is what the fine print flashed on TV ads is for. I think even if you DVR and freeze frame it you couldn't read it; I suppose with high def yes. That and the incredibly fast talk on car ads at the end. And those drug ads.."tell your doctor about any blah blah blah you may have." Really? legally and morally if there are bad effects and interactions it's the patients responsibility to point this out to the Dr? He or the pharmacist doesn't ask?

Any more we rarely watch TV "live" but record it and FF through the obnoxious ads. Do watch evening national news and it amazes me how much marketing the ED drugs get!
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:19 AM   #6
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My NYT complaint was misplaced... it should have been directed at Comcast.

I'd suggest you take a quick peek at this Comcast agreement for Residential Services. Subscriber Agreement. Comcast Agreement for Residential Services

Some interesting points.
- The Declaration of Independence contains 1137 words.
- The original Constitution of the US contains 4543 words.
- The Comcast agreement contains 14,764 words.
- The Comcast agreement also contains 15 links to other selected part that are included in the cited agreement. Some of these links have thousands of additional words, plus even many more links that would be required for a full reading.
- Readability estimates the average reading time for the basic document, based on the number of words, to be 58 minutes. (that does not include the links or links to links.).
-An example of just one of the sublinks, here:http://www.comcast.com/Corporate/Cus.../Policies.html


Nothing to be done about any of this, but sometimes, it's good to let off some steam.

Here's the simple basic analysis from the "Word Count" website.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg comcast contract.jpg (19.7 KB, 125 views)
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:22 PM   #7
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For what it's worth, for most subscriptions, I use VISA's "SafeShop" feature, which lets me generate a custom credit card number with it's own spending limit and expiration date. The card is locked to the first merchant that makes a charge, so even if stolen the number won't work anywhere else.

I'll set the spending limit to how much the subscription costs, and the expiration date to shortly after I expect the card to be charged. When the vendor tries to 'automatically renew the subscription so you won't miss any issues', if I haven't added funds or extended the expiration date, they can't charge me again.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
For what it's worth, for most subscriptions, I use VISA's "SafeShop" feature, which lets me generate a custom credit card number with it's own spending limit and expiration date. The card is locked to the first merchant that makes a charge, so even if stolen the number won't work anywhere else.

I'll set the spending limit to how much the subscription costs, and the expiration date to shortly after I expect the card to be charged. When the vendor tries to 'automatically renew the subscription so you won't miss any issues', if I haven't added funds or extended the expiration date, they can't charge me again.
Many thanks... Am looking in to this now. Looks to be a good solution for a number of subscription-type services... of all kinds.
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Old 07-23-2014, 05:58 PM   #9
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I'd really like an NYTimes digital subscription too but the price seems out of line with the value. Wish they had a limited articles plan or some such.

Right now I just go with the limit of 10 per month. I guess one could use another browser to get more. And also maybe use private browsing a bit.

Our local paper carries some of the NYTimes articles as well.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:36 PM   #10
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At least according to these reports for the tablet edition, imoldernu's initial fears have some real world basis....
http://www.amazon.com/The-New-York-T...DateDescending

FWIW- I have no personal experience with their subscription service. Never been a fan of the publication.
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Old 07-23-2014, 06:53 PM   #11
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I scan that paper's online version about quarterly. Never would subscribe. At each look I remember why I named it the NY Whines.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:14 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
I'd really like an NYTimes digital subscription too but the price seems out of line with the value. Wish they had a limited articles plan or some such.

Right now I just go with the limit of 10 per month. I guess one could use another browser to get more. And also maybe use private browsing a bit.

Our local paper carries some of the NYTimes articles as well.
You can go to news.google.com and search on the headline for NYT articles and get the free version almost every time I think.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:26 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
For what it's worth, for most subscriptions, I use VISA's "SafeShop" feature, which lets me generate a custom credit card number with it's own spending limit and expiration date. The card is locked to the first merchant that makes a charge, so even if stolen the number won't work anywhere else.

I'll set the spending limit to how much the subscription costs, and the expiration date to shortly after I expect the card to be charged. When the vendor tries to 'automatically renew the subscription so you won't miss any issues', if I haven't added funds or extended the expiration date, they can't charge me again.
I've used that too, and usually worked.

One time I set one up and it didn't didn't work. The vendor said the card didn't go through. I called the bank and they said that the vendor put through a test transaction (not the right term, but basically and amount to see if it would go through, but since it was a test, wasn't an actual transaction). The problem was I set the card up for $20 when the subscription was $17.95 or something, and the test transaction was for more than $20. So I think the vendors are trying to fight back on these ShopSafe things. Not that I'm going to quit, but it's worth knowing.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:13 PM   #14
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Just one more point about the NYTimes. I really want to pay them some for their excellent reporting. It's just that they have decided their rate structure is going to be so single minded. Seems to me they are missing an important revenue stream. Oh well.

This seems to be a general problem with "broadcast journalism". No way to establish a real two way communication path. You just have to accept the situation and move on.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M Paquette View Post
For what it's worth, for most subscriptions, I use VISA's "SafeShop" feature, which lets me generate a custom credit card number with it's own spending limit and expiration date. The card is locked to the first merchant that makes a charge, so even if stolen the number won't work anywhere else.

I'll set the spending limit to how much the subscription costs, and the expiration date to shortly after I expect the card to be charged. When the vendor tries to 'automatically renew the subscription so you won't miss any issues', if I haven't added funds or extended the expiration date, they can't charge me again.

Interesting, I never knew about it, but I do have the same concerns. That is why I only pay for these types of things by paper check.


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