NY Times Facing Rough Times

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Subscription scrutiny

A California resident is taking legal action against a company that is based on the other side of the United States.  In the resident’s claim, she states instances of deceptive business practices, committed by the New York Times.  The lawsuit is on the level of a class action, as more people than just the California resident are affected.  The resident, Maribel Moses, is concerned about two policies of the New York Times, one that involves automatic subscription renewals and the other that involves subscription cancellations.

Regarding the automatic subscription renewals, Moses claims that the New York Times is in violation of California laws that prohibit online vendors from charging a credit or debit card without prior authorization from the card holder. Not only does the company allegedly charge without consent, but it also has not evidently stated this procedure in company policy for the public’s knowledge.  Those who may not watch their credit or debit card statements as closely as they should may miss the transaction and may be locked into a subscription they may no longer need or want.

The second point in question is the New York Times’ cancellation policy, which has been described as difficult to navigate. Specifically, Moses claims that she has attempted cancellation of her subscription more than once, without success. It is reported that subscribers are directed to a chat feature for the company, but it is only operational during specific hours, with questionable response times.  Moses supports that claim with her own involvement, stating her online questions are never answered.  In an effort to improve the subscriber experience, Moses and others involved in the lawsuit are pushing for the New York Times to stop their current policies in favor of more transparent procedures. The lawsuit has been filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York.