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Plain Dealer 'premium editions' cost more starting Sunday unless you opt out

Published: Sep. 12, 2016 at 6:23 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 12, 2016 at 8:44 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Plain Dealer refuses to call it a price increase, but "premium editions" will shorten your subscription unless you opt out. The first edition is coming Sunday.

A lot fewer people are getting the newspaper delivered to their doorstep these days. Online sources and social media have become the popular go-to source for information.

Jeff Shobe still prefers his printed paper.

He gets the paper on the days that it is home delivered, the so called "premium editions" on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.  As well as the Sunday paper.

So when he renewed his subscription he read the fine print and got quite a surprise telling us: "I said wait a minute these charges are ridiculous."

The PD says it will include up to four "premium editions" a year to your subscription, each at $2.99. The first one will be Sunday Sept. 18 and is an Investment and Retirement Guide. The paper's fine print says there is no additional cost but reading further it says "since the charge is applied to your subscription account balance, it will shorten your paid-through date."

So your subscription will end sooner, which upsets Jeff.

"How many elderly people especially aren't going to see through what I like to call a scam," Jeff complained.

Jeff wrote to George Rodrigue the editor and general manager of the PD.

He got a prompt reply stating, "There's no question that it's an extra charge." Rodrigue says the letter offers a way to reject the extra charge by calling the circulation line.

The number is in the letter, but there is nothing about opting out.

The Thanksgiving paper will take another $4 off your subscription. Call it what you want but the price is going up nearly $16 a year.  Unless you opt out.

The number to do that is 877-486-0726.

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