Globe, sir? No, thank you.

How to lose a newspaper subscriber in three somewhat easy steps:

Step #1: Nine months ago, I noticed an odd item show up on my credit card bill—a charge from the Boston Globe for $14. Not knowing what this was for, I called them up and found out that (a) the discounted subscription plan I had previously been on had expired, and that (b) they had auto-renewed me on a month-by-month basis at the full $14/month for Sunday-only delivery. (Keep in mind that I could walk down to the corner store and get a Sunday paper for $2.50. Do the math—it ain’t $14 for a month of this.) I asked them to rectify this; they agreed to extend me for another 6 months on my previous terms. They also removed my credit card number from their records, which meant that a snail mail renewal notice would come at the end of the new 6-month term.

Step #2: Three months ago, sure enough, a renewal notice came in the mail. It offered to renew me at a discounted rate—but for a 3-month term at most. OK, fine. Odd, but fine.

Step #3: A couple of weeks ago, another renewal notice came in the mail. This time, however, no discounted rate for Sunday-only delivery. In fact, the notice didn’t even provide an option for Sunday-only delivery. So I called them up again to ask what was going on. The CSR on the other end said that this (the lack of a discounted rate being mentioned) was “intentional” so that I could call them up and “let” them offer me the best rate available at the time. What?? Not wanting to have to go through this every six months, I asked him two questions: (1) What is the longest discounted delivery period you can offer? (Answer: Six months.), and (2) Am I going to have to call the Globe again after six months to get your best rate again? (Answer: Yes—and again, it was mentioned this was intentional.) So let me get this straight… you can offer me a short-term subscription (they are the only paper to which I have ever subscribed that does not have the option of a year-long subscription for Sunday-only delivery), and as an added bonus, I have the privilege of calling you at that time and begging for a better rate? Gee, let me think…

So with that, I am no longer a subscriber to the Boston Globe. I cannot believe that I tolerated such a dysfunctional subscription policy for so long, but it is no longer my concern. I will now be content with receiving home delivery of the other paper to which I subscribe to a print edition. You know, the one that offers me (and has always offered me) a year-long discounted subscription. You know, the one that mails me a renewal notice offering me their best (and I’ve called to verify their rates, so I know this) discounted rate. You know, the one that operates like any and every other newspaper to which I have ever subscribed. You know—the normal one.

Bye-bye, Globe. Be reading you online from here on out. You’re not going to make me beg to be allowed to do that, are you?