Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Did you get your discount for a Star-Advertiser renewal subscription?

by Larry Geller

Did you just pay full price to renew your Star-Advertiser subscription? Sorry about that.

Update:  Best deal reported so far: 6 months for $50. See comments.

I knew that one day my sub would be up for renewal. What to do?

There’s a lot to like in the S-A and a lot I think is problematic. On balance, in many ways, I think they may be doing better than the late lamented Honolulu Advertiser just before it got gobbled up.

My dilemma was—should I renew? To set down what I like and dislike about the paper would take some time and a bit more thought than I’ve given it till now. Suffice it to say that frequent breakfast table debate hadn’t settled whether we should re-up when the time came.

Last week they called. Our subscription had expired in October. Yes, I got a bill just a few days earlier, but I didn’t really read it, expecting it would be for a future expiration date and I could deal with it shortly.

I refused to commit. They said they would call back.

One of my bitches is that they offer a steeply discounted rate for new subscribers. Another: if the paper is inferior in some ways, should I be paying more than the Advertiser cost, anyway? I could read the local news on-line at the S-A and other websites. I know how to find the comics on-line. I can do without the stupid ads that seem to drive how they lay out the front page of the paper, though if that’s keeping the business afloat, ok.

Today they called back. I refused to decide (they will keep your sub going for quite a while even if you don’t renew). Then the caller offered the discount rate.  Quick conference over the table and we decided to renew.

I’ve had a morning newspaper my whole life. I picketed along with others to save the Star-Bulletin. The newspaper means a lot to me. I’ll decide again in a year.

But if you get your bill, you might want to demand the $180 annual rate. They also offered me partial year discounted rates. If you’ve just renewed, you might try to get some back, though it probably won’t work.

I wish they had been up-front with the discount offer. But I also wish they had kept Helen Altonn on staff and I wish they did many other things better. They are doing so much right, however, IMHO, that I hope they succeed.  And I hope they do even better, of course.


Larry, I just got an offer to renew for $50 for 6 months! Maybe because I had a 1 yr sub with the Star Bull for $50/year, which just ran out in November. Wow! Wildly different rates for different folks...

Hmmm... I know I'm not a very good haggler. I should have said to the S-A rep on the phone, "Is that the best you can do?" I might call them back tomorrow and demand that they match your rate, but I'm not hopeful.

Thanks for posting the deal you got. Let's see if others get the same, or what they can do.

A couple of months ago, before the SB bought the A, I got a call from the SB offering a year for $40, which I turned down. I could get them free if I wanted from several nearby shops.

In supporting any journalistic endeavor,

The real questions are for whom does the paper write for? What is their bias? Do you want to fund that?

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