In August of 2016 the Plain Dealer announced a plan to offer subscribers "premium editions", in essence special editions of the paper up to four times a year and Thanksgiving. They said there would be no additional cost, but since accepting them would shorten your subscription length many saw it as a price hike.
Rocky River resident Jeff Shobe was one of them.
"I said wait a minute, these charges are ridiculous," Shobe said.
In the months since a lot of folks opted out of the premium editions, which cost about four bucks. So when they began checking their bills some wondered why their subscriptions were still shortened.
Michael Trzinski was one of them.
"We're losing a months worth of subscription. For the same price," Trzinski said.
Cleveland 19's Paul Orlousky noted he also opted out of the premium editions and in February paid for three months, through May 31. When the new bill came it said he only paid through May 7. Trzinski boiled it down this way
"To me the whole thing comes down to, it's integrity and being credible. The Plain Dealers been an institution for Cleveland for 100 years. I was just very disappointed that this. To me it seemed underhanded, there's no other polite way to say it," Trzinski said.
Trzinski called the paper and got things straightened out. He said they were very courteous and said people should check their bills and if they don't want the premium editions they can opt out.
An email to George Rodrigue, the President of Plain Dealer Publishing was returned with a promise to check with the billing department.