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Calls about circulation issues

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Smallpotatoes, Jul 21, 2007.

  1. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Anyone here ever get calls from people about delivery problems?
    Yesterday, I received one from a person (it always seems to be old people who do this for some reason) who said she was not getting a complete paper.
    She said she had called an 800 number she saw in the paper and ended up talking to somebody in the Philippines. She ended up reaching me, I guess, because she called our main number and somehow ended up getting my extension. It took a little legwork, but eventually I found another number she could call. I hope that helped her.
    At my last job, we were told not to answer the main line between 6 and 8 because most of the calls were "I didn't get my paper"
    It's also strange how the circulation people always seem to have gone home for the day when these calls come it.
    Has any publisher ever figured out a way to ensure these people end up calling the right people and actually speaking with somebody who could help them?
  2. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    With our phone system we got a few years ago, after-hours calls get a voice message telling callers how to get to where they can leave circulation complaints. Now, we rarely get any.

    When they were introducing the new system, one of our circulation people said, "Good, we won't get any calls for sports anymore." My response was "Good, we won't get the 100 calls a day from people complaining about our terrible customer service."

    When we were getting those calls, a lot of those people were really pissed. One old guy called every night for a week, and demanded that we call a cab and have the cabbie bring the paper out to him. "You used to do that years ago," he said. One of my part-timers said, "Well, years ago we sold the paper for five cents, but we don't do that anymore either." God, was that guy pissed.
  3. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    I'm convinced people call sports with circulation issues because they think we all work in the same place. I have tried so many times to tell the caller I have no idea how to get them a paper, but I can transfer them to circulation. The caller never fails to understand why I can't get a paper and drive it out to them.
    I also love it when the pressroom workers' buddies call the sports number and demand to be transferred to some guy's phone who I have never heard of.
  4. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    I used to get them every Friday night at my old place. It was our earliest deadline, and of course it seemed like everyone in their mother never received their paper and decided to call at once.
  5. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    I was a nice guy one time.

    Stopped in the office one Sunday afternoon, an elderly woman called from a town about 20 miles from here and said she didn't get a paper. She lived about five blocks from my parents' house, and I was heading there for dinner, so I dropped a paper off at her house. She was happy that I did that.
  6. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    Did you give you a tip?
  7. JBHawkEye

    JBHawkEye Active Member

    No, but she did call the publisher the next day and tell him how nice it was.

    I would have rather had $5.
  8. times38

    times38 Member

    the first paper I worked at was a twice-weekly, and the first paper we put out after I got there one of the carriers started her route (which was about 300 papers) and after about 20 decided she didn't want to be a carrier anymore. the first two months I was there while they trained a new carrier I had to take an average of five or six papers per day to people's houses who had been missed.

    and Angola!, my last stop I had calls demanding to speak to the stuffers every freaking night, at least three or four, and it was always an "emergency."
  9. Angola!

    Angola! Guest

    And it is my experience that no matter how many times you tell them the correct extension to call, they just call sports again the next time.
    It is very obnoxious and seems to happen a lot on deadline.
  10. times38

    times38 Member

    well, the worst part was they had taken away the phone back there because they were getting so many calls, so people kept calling the newsroom.
  11. Football_Bat

    Football_Bat Well-Known Member

    We have voicemail, but every once in a while one will sneak through to us. We just transfer the call to the circulation department's answering machine.
  12. patchs

    patchs Active Member

    This thread resurfaces every 6 months, why not make it running?
    Hey, I answered my share of circ calls over the years.
    I still feel you could put out the world's best paper and if your circ people suck, the readers would still cancel their subs.
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