OC Register Employee: 30,000+ Complaint Calls This Weekend Over Delivery Screwups

Aaron Kushner, in happier times
Aaron Kushner, in happier times

How disastrous of a weekend was it for the Orange County Register? Not only did their new print times royally screw over the Sports section, not only were customers royally pissed off about missed deliveries due to the Register's new carriers--carriers hired in a hurry after the Los Angeles Times told Reg owner Aaron Kushner they would no longer deliver his paper just a couple of weeks ago because the Kush hadn't paid his bills--but customers were REALLY pissed off. How pissed off?

Yesterday, the Register announced via Facebook it was handing out its Saturday and Sunday editions for free as penance for their fuckup. Whoa, you're just giving it away now--just like us!

Here's the Facebook post, along with the subsequent angry Reg reader feedback:

Craziest thing? The offer came at around 4:30 in the afternoon, meaning Kushner held the giveaway for a grand total of half an hour. What a gracious Sun King!

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How bad of a weekend was it for the Reg? Dig the below email from a Register employee in customer service who, of course, requested anonymity. They gave us a peak behind the curtain that is this clusterfuck. For the tl;dr crowd: over 30,000 calls complaining, many canceled subscriptions already, and no end in sight for the problems. Enjoy!

So here is what's happening in customer service. We are located in Colorado and answer subscriber calls, emails and chats. Let me tell you, what a mess. We were only told Thursday OC decided to change carriers for better delivery. We were asked to work OT to help knowing there would be a few missed paper deliveries.

Saturday morning, within 5 minutes, we soon discovered this was going to be a very long day. The phone lines, email and chat soon became impossible to answer due to the volume of customer calls. This continued into Sunday. We were told to log all missed delivery complaints and tell customers we would have deliveries made. We were told not to give our normal 69 minute re-delivery time frame. We had over 29,500 calls into our call center on Saturday alone. That number does not include emails. If you were able to get through on the phone lines and request a call back about a missed delivery you were very lucky. If you got that call back from us, go buy a lottery ticket.

[This Sunday], it had been passed through the grapevine that some of these subscribers may not have a delivery or regular service for days at the least. Many cities in OC do not even have a driver hired for their area. Yep. No driver. And we can't even tell the customers they have no driver and we will not be attempting to re-deliver the missed papers.

Let's just say I have been called a few choice words over the last two days. We stayed late and came in early. We really are trying to help but our hands are tied. If you do get a customer service agent, please be kind--we are human, too.

Yes, we handle the cancellations for the subscriptions as well. Can I just say this is going downhill fast? I can confirm if you request a refund, it can take 10 weeks if you paid with a check. Yes: as your customer service agent, this seems crazy to me too.

I don't know what to tell the customers. The truth is, this is a royal mess and I expect to answer a whole lot of phone calls in the next few days from people cancelling the paper.

CRAZY!!! And so we'll leave you with one of the many angry posts already left to the Reg's Facebook page this morning:

HA! For the few remaining Kushner apologists out there--behold your fearless leader's feckless fuckery.

Email: garellano@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @gustavoarellano.

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