The Times: Goodbye, almost
Only a couple of weeks ago I was writing about my subscription to The Times digital edition and wondering when the axe would fall. For over 18 months I have been enjoying seven-day access for a reasonable £2 a week. Even I, try as I might, cannot complain about that. I knew that in 2013 the price would be going up and I have already stated that I will not pay a penny more.
This week the letter arrived, advising me that from July 1 the cost would rise to £4 a week. No need to do anything, it said, we will automatically apply the increase to your direct debit. And pigs might fly.
I lost no time calling to tell them what to do with their £4 a week. Not unreasonably, according to my prejudice, I said I would continue paying the £2 and if that isn't enough then they can cancel my sub. It's not that I can't afford the doubling of the subscription, nor do I suffer from end-stage parsimony. No, it just isn't worth it to me. I can get most of what I need free from the internet in any case.
This is probably not the first similar conversation the boys and girls on the subscription switchboard had heard. My man was quick to offer a three-months' extension on the basis that the iPad app “had had a few issues of late” (it had and has). So I am reprieved until September 30. I hoped he was recording the conversation and I absolutely forbade him to charge my bank account with any more than the current £2 a week.
It now remains to be seen what will happen in September. Really, it is entirely up to The Times. They can have my £2 a week or not, I don't much care. At least if I stop the subscription I will be spared the paper's endless campaigns on cycling safety and the rather unhealthy and opportunistic concentration on Scottish affairs to the neglect of the Welsh, the Northern Irish and the Isle of Man (not to mention the Channel Islands, Wight and the Scillies).
In the meantime I am still getting my valued RSS feed from The Telegraph with no immediate sign of a paywall vasectomy. And the Mail on Line is an cracking read provided you can look beyond the daily bigotry and populist rabble rousing. There are others according to taste, including The Guardian and The Independent. The message, Dear Thunderer, is that I can and will do without you if you try to double my subscription.