11 August 2008

Unim-Press-ed Gazette

If there's one thing I really hate, it's crap customer service. And I'm not the only one when it comes to Press Gazette keeping its subscribers in the dark. The weekly hack rag has a lot of very pissed off readers right now.

As I've already blogged, PG has been in trouble a while. It took the national media to break the news that the UK's only weekly industry magazine was to go monthly. This was a week ago. PG responded last Friday by publishing a statement of sorts on its website, but there was no mention in the print edition (which arrived belatedly on Saturday because of technical glitches). The comments underneath indicate how annoyed subscribers are at being kept in the dark.

Now it's Monday and there have been developments. Once again, Media Guardian broke the news that PG will publish its final weekly edition this Thursday. Over on Press Gazette's own website, there is no mention of this latest twist. Did they learn nothing from the comments on their website that readers would like to be told by PG itself what the current state of play is, instead of hearing it elsewhere?

Ex-editor Ian Reeves mentioned in his Guardian piece the thorny issue of subscription refunds. Last week, I was firmly in the camp of "I've paid for my year's sub, I'll give the new format a chance". Today, like many others, I feel infuriated that PG's owners lack the courtesy to tell us what's happening. I'm so exercised about their contempt for their loyal supporters, I am indeed tempted now to ask for a refund. We have paid up and supported Press Gazette through all its recent ups and downs. We deserve to be told first. I'm struggling to understand why PG can't publish news on its current status on its own website. It's supposed to be a journalism publication for journalists, after all. So why is everyone else but PG keeping its own readers better informed?

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