Gannett Online Subscription System Fraught with Bugs

If you need an online subscription to more than one of Gannett’s newspapers be prepared to be very, very frustrated as their online sign up system seems to have been designed by high school freshmen rather than professional programmers.

The first flaw in the system is that you can’t subscribe to more than one paper with the same email address. The Empire Page needs to subscribe to all of the NYS papers…which means creating a bunch of one-off email addresses, e-mail to which will never land in our in-box.

Then their customer service system can’t distinguish which paper you are calling about. If you call about your online subscription, the first thing they ask you for is your mailing address, which is irrelevant when it comes to online subscriptions…or one would think so.

When I called about fixing a password problem with one paper, since they didn’t know which paper I was calling about, they changed the password at the wrong paper and I had to call back.

Finally, and this is the piece de resistance, when I tried to subscribe to the Ithaca Journal’s online subscription, their system rejected me because I don’t live in their delivery area. I thought a major benefit of offering online subscriptions was to service people who can’t get your print product. Not apparently for Gannett!

I don’t object to their charging to access their news, but this isn’t the dawn of the computer age folks. Can’t you test these things before you unleash them on the unsuspecting public?!


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