A while ago, I meet a couple and we started to talk. The discussion drifted to a subject of how the newspaper companies go to so much effort to make sure the public get a newspaper. I quoted an example of when an HWT sales representative went to a newsagent with a few newspapers when the newsagent rang up, that he was running out. As I pointed out it made no economic short-term sense for HWT to do that but it was an example of how large companies look at the long-term.
Then the wife stated “Well that explains why we are still getting an SUN long after our subscription has run out!” I just listened some more but I have heard this story many times. Then I replied “HWT is not in the business of delivering free papers. I can guarantee you that every paper of HWT is accounted by them. Someone is paying for that paper. What I bet is the newsagent has mucked it up and he and/or she is paying for your free paper. If the newsagent knew they would not be happy.” Then I told them that “It would be nice to tell the newsagent”, I wonder if they did?
This problem has been around since newsagencies began. Someone somewhere has mucked up the delivery. The newsagency then delivers papers for nothing. Year ago computer solved this problem. So much so probably 10 years ago this problem no longer existed.
However since then subscriptions have taken over. Now days it is so easy to make a mistake with a computer, all it takes is one wrong keystroke. Once that happens, bang you are delivering a paper for nothing. Part of the problem is now there is no-one that knows what the customer should get. Ring up the newspaper companies and ask then whether xyz should be getting a paper and the odds are they are not sure. Someone needs both your and their records to work it out. Although the way the system works now day, it is not a problem to the newspaper companies although to be fair to them they are looking into solving this problem. However expect no miracle solution in the immediate or medium future.
We regularly change people from other systems to ours. So we have installers that do little else but set up new systems for clients. From conversations, I have had with them they say in a well run shop they expect about 1 error in about 200 papers delivered. In a conversation I had with a group of them once, someone reported that on his last install he found almost 10% errors, the others quoted sites like that too.
So let us say you had 400 accounts, the installer would expect to find 2 or more errors.
So say a paper for 7 days is about $9.40 a week that works out to about $1.34 a day. Over a year for two papers a day in error we have 2 (papers lost) x $1.34 (a day) x 365.25 (days a year) = $980.00 retail minimum lost a year to that newsagency.
Say the error rate was over two a year well that I will leave you to work out at the rate of $1.34 (a day) x 365.25 (days a year) about $500.00 a year.
The solution is auditing your accounts regularly. Go over them. Yes I know it is work but for $1,000 dollars saving so you can afford a few days of work. All you do is call the newspaper companies up, ask them to send a subscriber report. Then when it comes go over your accounts one at a time starting from A. Check the account is it being paid for. If yes cross it off the list and if no put a stop on the account. Next one and keep going to Z. If you check them, you will save.