A Dow Jones WSJ subscription: Where am I going wrong?

Posted By on September 13, 2012

I’m finding a nutty pricing structure for for my morning newspaper and a questionable explanation (or lack of one) from Dow Jones in my attempt to renew my Wall Street Journal subscription. It sort of reminded my of a Twitter conversation last week on how  Amazon sells some paperback and hardback books cheaper than they sell wsjcustomercentertheir digital Kindle ebooks (see image below) … but I’m getting off topic. 

For the WSJ publisher, they already have a long term customer who appreciates both the paper edition and the digital edition … but because of travel or leaving the house before the paper is delivered, there are often a few papers piling up each week. Because of that, I’ve been contemplating just the digital edition since it formats well on my iPad and also because I’m getting use to reading at night. After asking a few questions by email, the rep suggested I call the customer service center.

My first question…
Me: “I notice that I can use Skymiles to subscribe to the WSJ but didn’t see an option to specify either the paper version or digital, or possible both?” 
Customer Service:  “You can only use Skymiles to subscribe to the paper version.” 
Me: “Too bad, business travelers probably prefer the digital edition.”

wsjpaperdigitalMy next question… 
Me: “Well, if I opt for the Skymiles paper edition, how much to add the digital edition to it?” 
Customer Service:  “That would be $130/year to add the digital edition to your subscription.”
Me: “Hmm, paying the $213.72 for both might make more sense rather than burning Skymiles and still paying $130 for the online WSJ?”

Final exchange and the most frustrating
Me: “Well, maybe I’ll just go with the digital version and forgo the paper version all together. How much will that be again?”
Customer service: “A digital only WSJ subscription is $21.62/mo.”
Me: … thinking … “That’s $259.44/year. I mean, I can receive both the paper and digital for $213.72 per year, but would have to pay $45.72 more to subscribe to ONLY the digitally delivered version? That doesn’t make sense. Are you sure you are correct?”
Customer service: “That is correct. Can I help you with anything else?”

Here’s the image mentioned above clarifying my Amazon pricing of books.



Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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