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I Don’t Think The Wall Street Journal Gets It!

By JLP | November 3, 2006

Sorry for the rant but I just have to get this out of my system.

When I first started subscribing to the Wall Street Journal back in 1997, it was $175 per year. Over the past several years it has consistently gone up every year. Today I got a 1-year renewal notice for $249! That’s $34 HIGHER than the $215 I paid for this year! That’s a 15.8% increase! What the hell is wrong with them? Are they trying to lose customers? This is a BUSINESS newspaper! Don’t they know that the newspaper business is in the toilet and that one of the main reasons for that is DECLINING CIRCULATION? So why would they then proceed to raise rates that much, especially on their loyal subscribers? I don’t get it!

Another thing that ticks me off is I got my first renewal notice in September even though my subscription doesn’t renew until February. Who wants to let go of $249 to renew something that doesn’t expire for five months?

I LOVE the Wall Street Journal but there’s a limit to that love. I just can’t justify spending $249 on a newspaper, no matter how great it is.

Topics: Budgeting | 15 Comments »


15 Responses to “I Don’t Think The Wall Street Journal Gets It!”

  1. Dimes Says:
    November 3rd, 2006 at 4:58 pm

    But trees! You crazy bloggers don’t respect trees! ;-)

    Maybe they have the idea that by dramatically increasing prices you can create a more exclusive image. If your reaction is any indication, I’m sure it will backfire. Unless they’re trying to go out of business, of course.

  2. JLP Says:
    November 3rd, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    Hey, I only subscribe to ONE newspaper. I know it sounds crazy, but I just can’t read a newspaper online. But, I guess I’m going to have to get used to it because I’m NOT paying $249 per year.

  3. kurt Says:
    November 3rd, 2006 at 5:26 pm

    Heheh. Just wait. They’ll lower their renewal rate. Mine is much much much lower than yours ($159, I think. Just got it in the mail today).

    What do they have to lose by throwing out such a large number? Some people might just pay it and move along. Calm down and wait. It will save you money and reduce your chances for a heart attack. :-)

  4. Foobarista Says:
    November 3rd, 2006 at 5:27 pm

    I subscribe to their web version. It’s lots cheaper and I don’t have to worry about recycling it…

  5. Mateo Says:
    November 3rd, 2006 at 5:49 pm

    I just checked my new-subscriber price from a few months ago…$107. I’ll bet that’s the retention rate too.

  6. Danielle Says:
    November 3rd, 2006 at 6:31 pm

    Call their customer service line and tell them you won’t renew @ that rate. I’m sure they will come down in price instead of losing a loyal customer. I did this with Money Magazine and they gave me the lower rate.

    Good Luck!!

  7. Carlin Says:
    November 4th, 2006 at 12:21 am

    The new subscriber rate is like $99 for more than a year with the free weeks they throw in. I’d bet if you called them they’d drop it. Or just let it run out, and resubscribe under your wife’s name or something. Work the system.

  8. jim Says:
    November 4th, 2006 at 8:28 am

    WSJ is just employing a smart pricing strategy… they’ll probably send you a letter a couple months beforehand offering you a much lower rate that you’ll likely sign up for becuase it’s under the going rate in your mind of $249.

  9. Scott Says:
    November 4th, 2006 at 8:54 am

    Hang tough. I only paid a little over a hundred dollars. $249 is their opening bid, not their final offer. :)

  10. MoneyFwd Says:
    November 4th, 2006 at 9:18 am

    Magazines and newspapers seem to be trying to get you to renew earlier and earlier. My mom once kept receving renewal notices for Reader’s Digest about every 2 months no matter what. The sad part is, some people keep paying and don’t even realize it.

  11. Trent Says:
    November 4th, 2006 at 9:25 am

    Jim is completely correct, and this is a new trend in the newspaper and magazine business. They send out a renewal notice five to six months in advance of the end of your subscription, detailing a very expensive renewal offer. Of course, if you resubscribe at that price, they’re overjoyed, but the real reason for that first offer is to convince you that the newspaper/magazine is actually worth that much. Then, as the end of your subscription nears, they send you “slashed” renewal notices, which use their original valuation as a psychological tool to convince you that this “slashed” rate is really a stellar deal, when it’s actually not all that great.

    My advice is to just wait for a while and see what else they send you. If it gets close and they’ve not sent you a low offer, then give them a call.

  12. Nagel Says:
    November 4th, 2006 at 11:09 am

    If you can have only one I would go with IBD.

  13. Tim Says:
    November 4th, 2006 at 12:20 pm

    15.8% is a decent return on their investment. It allows them to easily improve profits and they probably charge more for advertising too. Lucky for me, I get to read it free at school everyday in the library.

  14. sam Says:
    November 4th, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    I haven’t subscribed to a paper paper for at least a decade. I get my news on the internet from a variety of sources, including this blog. That way I can pick and choose what I read. I don’t watch network or cable news on TV either, for the same reason, although I do watch the local news. Works good for me, and saves a tree or two.

  15. VG Says:
    November 6th, 2006 at 7:45 pm

    A lot of airline mileage programs allow you to redeem miles for magazine subscriptions. I recently subscribed to the WSJ using Delta’s program. I don’t fly that often, so my miles were expiring. So if you have extra miles that might expire before you can use them to buy plane tickets, just buy subscriptions.

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