They won't STOP delivering the newspaper!

This is the third time I’ve had to ask my local paper NOT to deliver to my house.
I don’t want the paper. I’m not their target market anymore - I don’t believe that Dancing With the Stars is front page material, but my paper puts it there.
Also, I pay by the bag for both trash and recycling. So getting the paper costs me money, even if I’m not paying for the subscription. I’d rather not have them waste the paper and ink printing something that I’m just going to put right into the recycling bin.

The first time, they sent me a notice saying my subscription would expire if I didn’t pay. I had decided that I didn’t want it any more, so I didn’t pay. After two weeks of still getting the paper, I called to complain. They agreed to stop, and told me how much I owed for the two weeks of service. :dubious: I pointed out that they sent me a notice saying my subscription ended…I didn’t ask for the service…and they can’t charge me for something I didn’t request. They eventually agreed to “write off” the charge.

Fast forward a few years. For some reason, I received the paper for about a week. I don’t know if it was to increase their circulation numbers, to try to convince me to get a subscription, or some other reason…but as I mentioned, I actively want to NOT get the paper. I e-mailed customer service, explained my position, and asked them politely to stop littering on my property. It stopped a day or two later.

Now this week, they’ve been delivering the paper again. I just fired off another e-mail.

I wonder if I can actually have them cited for littering.


After my mother passed away, it took three years for the paper to stop. And this was after numerous phone calls and a few in-person encounters . . . and several unpaid bills. Then they tried to lay a guilt trip on me, by saying that the delivery person had to pay for the ones I wouldn’t pay for.

I’m having the same problem. They’ve thrown the sunday paper on my lawn for almost a year . They were leaving it on the porch, but they must throw it out of the car while moving now. It’s just trash that I have to pick up and haul to the dump every week.

I called them, they tell me that so-and-so(person who used to live in the building) subscribes at that address. They flat out refused to stop sending it unless she called to cancel.

I’m sure she’s not paying for a paper she doesn’t get, so why do they keep sending it? Is this some trickery to keep their subscription numbers up? Just keep sending it, and eventually write it off as a loss?

I put up with that crap for a few years, then finally sent a letter via certified mail threatening legal action. Occasionally I will get one, but for the most part it has stopped.

I have a friend who works in a small-town daily’s circulation department. The paper is second-class to the likes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

You would not believe what a backwards sort of operation the circulation department is. It’s barely computerized (if it is, I swear it’s a couple of Windows 95 machines printing to dot matrix), lots of people involved with the managing of subscriptions and the delivery of papers. Way too much stuff done by hand with pencil and paper. Amazing that the newspaper gets delivered at all.

Not an excuse for shitty circulation management, for sure. But from what I’ve heard of how it works there, I can say I’m not surprised when you have problems like the OP has.

Come to think of it, my neighbor was just complaining last week about how she can’t get the Plain Dealer (as I said, a paper larger than my friend’s daily) to stop delivering to her.

Surely some wackiness involved in fudging subscription numbers, but also just a poorly managed department.

Could be an attempt by the paper to keep their circulation numbers up. After all, they make most of their money by selling ads, and with circulation dropping like a rock in recent years they’re probably hesitant to take subscribers off their rolls, even if they’re no longer paying.

Yeah…my best guess is it’s for circulation numbers. But it doesn’t change the fact that

  1. It costs me money to get rid of the paper, since I pay by the bag for trash and recycling
  2. It wastes natural resources
  3. It’s littering on private property

AMAZING update:
I just checked my driveway, and not only is there not a paper from this morning, but the last two that I left there also vanished! (I left them out in the hopes that they’d realize that I didn’t want them.)

I wonder if the paper company reacted to my note or if one of my neighbors thinks I’m out of town and is ‘protecting’ me.

If they are doing this to keep circulation numbers up, isn’t it fraud? If newspaper ad sales guys are quoting paid subscription numbers, they shouldn’t be able to include the copies that haven’t been paid for yet. There is a big distinction between free and paid subscriptions. The ad rates of a free paper are much lower than a pay newspaper.

Do you have any neighbors paying for the paper? If you’re getting the paper for free, why not convince your neighbor to drop their subscription and take your free paper? Seems like win-win, lost sale for the harassers, you don’t have to pay for recycling, and your neighbor wins too.

Much less amazing update:
I just got back from a jog, and noticed that the papers, including today’s, are neatly stacked leaning against my garage door. If I hadn’t gone running today, I probably wouldn’t have found them until after I left for work in the morning. 50/50 chance they’d fall in a way to screw with my garage door.

If they won’t stop delivering the paper to him, why would it be any different for his neighbor? Seems to me the better idea would be to find a neighbor who doesn’t already get the paper, but would like it.

As to the OP: I had a similar problem many years ago. I signed up for a trial subscription, I think it was supposed to last a month. At the end of that time I hadn’t been reading them, so I decided I didn’t want it. I think it was six months later before they finally stopped delivering it; I never paid them a dime beyond the initial reduced-rate for the trial. And this was back when newspapers were still a Big Deal, before the Internet took over.

<minor hijack of my own thread>
Is it ethical for me to take (and use) the Sunday coupons, while complaining about not wanting the paper?
</minor hijack of my own thread>

Well then the neighbor could find someone who already had a subscription then they could cancel it and pay it forward yet again, and so fourth.

In short eventually the paper changes it’s ways or free papers for all!

In my city, there are three major daily papers: The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post. I pay for the Globe, but for weeks all three were being delivered - in spite of the fact I never asked for the other two (and in fact called them to stop delivering papers I had not requested and did not want).

I finally got them to stop by telling them that my bird died and I no longer had a need for the newspaper.

Call the newspaper and get the name and phone number of the person who delivers to your house. Call that individual and tell him/her to come get their garbage out of your lawn.

If that doesn’t work, send the newspaper an invoice for $50 each and every time you have to throw away one of their papers. Photograph each of the papers lying on your lawn, then open them and photograph the front page with the date. Sue them in small claims court if they don’t pay up and show the pictures to the judge.

Wow. Awesome.
If this keeps up, I might try that.

I’ve had that problem, too. They just finally stopped, I don’t know why.

I used to deliver a newspaper, and periodically the paper would have us throw papers to ALL the houses on the route, as a “promo” to try and get new subscribers. A real PITA, esp. when they opted to give out free SUNDAY papers! :mad:

And one lady nearly attacked me one morning because I threw a paper into her yard on accident (I swear, it was like 5 am and she was laying in wait for me!). I was aiming for the neighbors yard, but this section of the route was on a busy road, poorly lit, and my aim was a bit off. I was new to the route at the time, but she’d obviously been having the problem for a while and took it out on me.

You might try laying in wait some morning and confront the person delivering the paper if possible…sometimes it is that they simply haven’t been told of the changes OR they are throwing out of habit (you really tend to get into a groove on your route and it becomes reflex).

Good luck getting it stopped…my feelings exactly when I cancelled (or tried to) my subscription. Just more recycling. :mad:

A month ago our local paper started showing up on my doorstep. It went on for two weeks. (I hadn’t ever subscribed, either.)

I gave a call and it was stopped the next day and never started again.

Yes, it is. The paper is basically useless by the time it’s been delivered, other than the coupons. It’s not like the delivery person can pick up the paper and give it to someone who wants it, and you’d just recycle the paper WITH the coupons in it otherwise, right? So take and use the Sunday coupons.