Apr 9 2019
12:40 pm

So we got a new bill from the Knoxville Gannett McPaper for our online plus Sunday delivery subscription. It was $96 for six months. Previously it was $58.

Not only that, the $96 includes a $9 adjustment for a "change of rate." The Mrs. called to find out what that was for. She explained that we had paid for a six month subscription in October for service through April 30th. She was told that there was a rate increase on Feb. 23 and that the $9 reflected an adjustment for the new rate.

So let me get this straight. We had an agreement for six months of service through 4/30 and paid it in advance. Now they are billing us for a prorated rate increase for the service we already agreed to and paid for. Is that even legal?

When the Mrs. told them it probably wasn't legal because we had a contract, they agreed to remove the $9 charge.

That still leaves us with a new bill for $87.01 for six months of online plus Sunday delivery, paid in advance. That includes the $72.01 "service" rate plus an extra $15.00 charge for special editions, which we did not request and do not want or need.

(Good luck finding these actual rates and fees on their website. All they show is the "teaser" rate. Even if you subscribe, it just says they will bill you the "then regular rate" after the promotional period is over. They never say what that is.)

Sorry, this newspaper is no longer worth the price. I read maybe two or three articles a week. The Sunday editorial section is so disgusting I can't even look at it.

So that's it. We've had a subscription for over 40 years, even when we lived in Florida, and ever since we moved back nearly 20 years ago. No more. That's it. The quality of the "journalism" is bad enough, but the price increase and the shady billing is too much.

Rachel's picture

Right there with you.

Right there with you. Haven't yet pulled the trigger because I hate to abandon local journalism.

Oh wait....

R. Neal's picture

Compass is cheaper and has

Compass is cheaper and has actual local journalism. Round that out with KnoxTNTtoday and wbir/wate and there you go.

jbr's picture



bizgrrl's picture

I thought I might call the TN

I thought I might call the TN Attorney General to find out if a company can back charge for services that were already paid for based on a billed rate.

I went to the TN Attorney General's web site

I see there is a link to "File a Consumer Complaint."
Not sure if this is where the question should be asked, but I'll try.

I click on the link and am taken to a new web page to "File a Consumer Complaint."

I see there is a link to
"To file a complaint against a company, an individual, or a business entity, go to DCA's internet complaint form here.

I click on the link and am taken to a new web page for the TN Dept of Commerce and Insurance.

On the TN Dept of Commerce and Insurance web page there is a link to "File a Complaint.
I click on the link and am taken to a new TN Dept of Commerce and Insurance web page for "File a Complaint".

There is a link on this new page for "Online Complaint Form."
I finally get to what appears to be the beginning of an online complaint process.
It looks like a person may have to login, but there is a link to "Continue as Guest."

Then I find out that this type of complaint is for types of businesses/professions that are licensed by the state.
Not a fit.
Guess I'll have to make a phone call.
I'm really curious to find out if this type of billing is legal.

R. Neal's picture

Try the "consumer affairs

Try the "consumer affairs complaint" section in the dropdown. Looks like that's for general types of complaints.

WhitesCreek's picture

I bit on the $9.99 per month

I bit on the $9.99 per month online subscription. I finally decided it wasn't worth even that. Even though I signed up online I found no way to unsubscribe online. I sent an email and was told I would have to call a customer service person to unsubscribe. Still working on unsubscribing. Nothing yet.

LeftWingCracker's picture

Sad but true

Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville have all been GANNETTIZED. there are good reporters at the Commercial Appeal here in Memphis (mostly younger and cheaper than the ones they replaced) but I refuse to subscribe as long as Gannett owns them. we have the online Daily Memphian, to which I do subscribe.

Besides, for Vol news, there is always 24/7 sports!

xmd's picture

Well, I just looked up my

Well, I just looked up my account. I pay about $120 / year for 7 day delivery and everything else. That includes online. Who knows what it will be when my bill is due again. About the only reason I keep it is the comics. I found a comic web page that can take it's place for $2 month once I cancel KS. I will truly miss not having an actual paper to read in the morn. Moved to K'town for good in '82. Got the Journal in the Morn, Sentinel in the afternoon. Loved both of them.

R. Neal's picture

Huh. We're paying a lot more

Huh. We're paying a lot more than that for Sunday only plus online.

Rachel's picture

How the heck are you getting

How the heck are you getting away with that price? We get 7 day delivery plus online and we pay WAY more than that.

bizgrrl's picture

Yeah! I talked to someone

Yeah! I talked to someone else and they are paying $297/year.

fischbobber's picture

Tell them.

Tell them if they don't lower the price, you don't want the paper. Don't be afraid to say "Screw you guys." I ended up with a guy confessing he didn't even know where Knoxville was, he was working in a call center in Colorado (similar accent?). I'm a newspaper guy, but enough is enough.

PM Parris's picture

Sad To Say

I gave up on KNS a long time ago....as in years ago. It just seemed to be more filler and less news at some point. As a native, I find that kind of sad. That said, once I found I could get the New York Times (NYT) delivered locally -- in my case around 2004 or so -- I went with that and continue to do so and dropped KNS. I can get whatever local news I want mostly from reading online stuff that has ads included -- like WBIR, KnoxTN Today, or whatever -- and feel just as informed. I'm much more interested in the density of coverage and news provided by NYT. Yes, it is expensive relatively speaking, but I like a real paper in my hands every day. I think the KNS might print the NYT locally. Just another example of the world changing to more of a "national" or consolidated model in many ways for media.

bizgrrl's picture

We are lucky to have a

We are lucky to have a wonderful, adorable, local paper in Blount County, Maryville Daily Times. We get it in the morning, thus still have a paper in hand just like I prefer.

Perry Aubric's picture

Gannett Kills All It Touches

Unfortunately, I knew this was coming to Knoxville when the Gannett McNews operation gobbled up the News-Sentinel. They ruined the Tennessean years ago and finally have completed the process of getting rid of virtually anyone and everyone who has any knowledge whatsoever of Nashville or the State of Tennessee longer than a couple of years at most. I dropped my subscription a few years ago, and every time I happen upon a copy, I realize that I have missed absolutely nothing -- because Gannett offers absolutely nothing of substance.

Sad for Knoxville and the East Tennessee area. RIP to a real newspaper and condolences to the public. I cannot envision why anyone would think the KNS is worth the subscription price.

ATSF616's picture

Indianapolis Star

Indianapolis Star jumped from $21/mo ($252/yr) for online plus Sunday print to -- supposedly -- $28, but my first post-increase billing actually showed $36 ($432/yr!!!). My e-mail inquiry got a a wholly unsatisfying reply barely discernible as being written in English. It's almost bill-cycle time again, so if it repeats they're getting a phone call this time.

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