The Wall Street Journal Subscription Puzzle

by Ian Rosenwach on 6.27.2012

I tried to cancel my Wall Street Journal print subscription today, but couldn’t bring myself to it.

From what I could find the only way to cancel was the call their toll-free # or mail, so I called. I was informed by a very nice customer service representative that I would have no cost savings if I cancelled the print edition. Apparently I had signed up as part of a special offer and had a “great deal”.

I don’t want the print edition, but after being told that I was essentially getting it for free I didn’t cancel. It’s free! Even if I read the print edition once a month, it’s worth it.  I am a fan of the paper and won’t unsubscribe, but this just seemed odd.

Who does this impact most? WSJ Advertisers.

I can’t help but feel I’m being used to boost print subscriber numbers so the WSJ could sell more print ads. But I’m not even engaging with these ads.  Not the best deal for the print Advertiser nor the customer, which is rarely a good long term strategy.

Then again, this is an ever-present inefficiency in the print world where impressions can’t be measured.  It just doesn’t add up.

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