Posted by: thescoundrel | April 4, 2012

Quad-Cities Online – Stupid is as Stupid Does Management Decisions

I have previously mentioned that I was a carrier for the Moline Dispatch when I was a kid back in 7th and 8th grade. My parents and other kin had been subscribers for years before that. Some of us still are. Some like myself, even have their Internet service through the Dispatch/Argus’ Quad-Cities Online branch. So I am more than a little perturbed at their recent decision to involve a third-party into the mix. If I had wanted to take the blonde instead of the red-head to the dance, I would have sought her out in the first place.  It seems as a way to increase revenue they have made the decision to start charging for access to their journalism articles. Okay – I get that many whom read the QC Online stories are not subscribers, so they want to get a little pocket money from the readers for their journalistic efforts. I disagree with their thinking, perhaps it will work or perhaps all it will do is alienate non-subscribers whom visit their website and are potential customers for their advertisements.  They will not know how it will effect the bottom line of net revenue until they experiment. But I am already a subscriber to their paper and Internet services. Supposedly this new deal is designed to not effect access for their regular full-time subscribers. However – their decision does effect those of us that are already full-time subscribers. The following is part of the information explaining the new online access requirements-

Beginning Tuesday, April 3, will go to a “metered” system, where users will have access to the full site for up to 7 articles (or “clicks”) during a 30-day period. After viewing 7 articles, you’ll need a subscription to access most articles and our archives.

If you’re currently a Dispatch or Rock Island Argus 7-day print subscriber or have a digital subscription, you get unlimited digital access at no extra charge. Just click  to register and select the “Total Access for 7-Day Print Subscribers ” option.

You will be asked to create a Press+ account by giving an email address and creating your own password. We will link you to a account number, and telephone number to your Press+ account, and you will receive full access to all content as you are signed in. Once your account has been created, you can log in from any computer. You will not need to enter any card information if you are a current Dispatch/Argus 7-day home delivery subscriber. It takes only seconds and you’re in. Existing digital subscribers should select the same option.

If you are a Weekend-Plus Dispatch/Argus subscriber you can add unlimited online access for a small additional charge….

So according to this information –despite my already subscribing to their newspaper and their Internet service– I must now register with a third party called Press+ just to use the service I am already paying for. Huh! What a large load of BS that is!!! I actually wandered through the registration section and to sign-up I have to register my name, actual delivery address, my phone number as well as my e-mail address to this third-party in order to use the service I am already paying the Dispatch/Argus for. Now that is a crock of stinking $hit, now matter how they spin the information!!! Quite frankly – my name and other personal information is no business of a third-party to my media transactions. It is just one more weakening link opportunity that allows loons to break into your personal information. Plus as always if you read the fine print in the terms of agreement – you are agreeing that Press+ plus is not liable for any nasty results to your life that may come from your releasing your personal information to them. So unless those of us QCOnline/Dispatch/Argus subscribers are willing to gamble their personal privacy on the integrity and security of Press+ with our personal information – the QC Online Internet services will be of little to  – no use, when it comes to reading and commenting on their journalistic labors. I suppose, like other subscribers, my next decision will be to determine how to proceed with my Online and newspaper subscription -especially- since the idea of offering up personal information to a separate entity, than the one I am doing business with, is not a risk I am currently willing to take.  I suppose it is time to weigh my Internet media options.



  1. That might cause some problems for us because we went to Sunday only lately. If the paper wants to charge for something we can elsewhere for
    nothing, we’ll go elsewhere.

  2. I take the weekly option along with their Internet service. Though I have been considering switching from their Internet, which is only available in dial-up service format, to a faster option. But the way I figure it – the grocery coupons I get from the HyVee advertisements and other sources throughout the week, more than pay for my newspaper subscription. Plus WalMart, Aldi and Save-A-Lot usually have their ads in the paper. Plus the Sunday edition has the TV-Guide section and other advertisements and coupon offerings. The weekly paper more than pays for me getting the daily news. I just wish Schnucks and Rock Island County Market had their ads in the Dispatch. I used to get the RI store but then they quit putting it in the paper. So far the only noticeable difference in the change has been the inability to post on their story forums. And that is because I refuse to fill out the Press+ BS. I like reading some of the news online as I can increase the font size to accommodate my vision issues. Plus the being able to comment on article was a great component but that is probably a thing of the past for me. But the deadtree version is a much superior format for finding and reading articles, other than the font issue. Maybe it is because I grew up reading the newspaper but I find the online version more clumsy to navigate and find articles. Even if I were to change Internet providers I would probably keep the deadtree version.

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