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All the Dude ever wanted was his newspaper back… Vol. 2

So, yes, my efforts to get a replacement paper from the Kansas City Star worked (see previous blog entry). I’m no less angry about the corporate nature of the paper, but it has possessed a corporate nature since William Rockhill Nelson established “a paper for the people (but not really)” in 1880. 

William Rockhill Nelson
Publisher and president Mi-Ai Parrish forwarded my note to a man who seems very nice and patient, Ken Batrick. Mr. Batrick is the Star Vice President of Audience Development. Mr. Batrick is a 32-year employee of the paper. I say that if you need a vice president, you can find one from within the ranks. 

And Batrick delivered the paper to my doorstep himself. I have to like, laud, and celebrate his effort at contacting me and going above the call of his office. If I’d known he was coming, I would have warned him about the dogs that, I’m sure, barked their lungs out.

Now I could go on about the corporatization of job names but, instead, will allow our correspondence speak for itself. 

The E-mails between Batrick and me about the matter are below.

Mr Dobson

Ms Parrish forwarded your note to me. 

I do apologize that you didn’t receive a paper today.   I will be sure your carrier is aware of this, in case he neglected to deliver one to you this morning.  

For future reference, customers who notify us by  8:00 am Monday – Friday, 8:30 am Saturday and 10:30 am Sunday may receive a same day replacement copy if they request one be delivered.  Customers who contact our customer service department after these times have their choice of either credit or delivery of the missing or incomplete paper the following day.  You should have received this information when you registered your delivery issue on our customer care site this morning, but I have asked a member of our management team to confirm that functionality is working properly.  

Finally, you might enjoy reading our replica edition of The Star if you report a missing paper after these cutoff times or when you are out of town. As a subscriber you have access to E-Star, which allows you to stay connected though our replica edition of each day’s paper anywhere in the world.  To activate, 
  1. simply go to, click ‘Digital Star” in the top rail, 
  2. then click “existing print subscriber? Activate your membership” 
  3. and follow the one-time activation steps. 
You then will have full use across your devices to our E-Star, our website and all our apps. There is also a one time sign-in on each additional device (smartphone, laptop, desktop or tablet) that you use.  Personally I love reading the replica edition of The Star on my android phone when I am out of town.  I hope you consider giving this a try because I really think you will love it.  

Thanks for reading The Star and kind regards,

Ken Batrick, Kansas City Star
Ken Batrick  |  Vice President of Audience Development 

The Kansas City Star  |   1729 Grand Blvd.   Kansas City, MO  |  64108
P: 816-234-4585  |  F: 816-234-4422  |  E:
Administrative Assistant  |  Kathy Butts  |  P: 816-234-4609  |  F: 816-234-4422  |  E:
Mr. Batrick,

Thanks for taking the time and energy to get back with me. I’m am grateful, too, for your patience. This is the first time I’ve actually communicated with a real human being at the Star in years.

This was the whole of the information I received from the Star this morning:

“Thank you for contacting the Kansas City Star. Customer Service has received your message, and will be processing your request.”

Derek Donovan, Kansas City Star 
Public Editor: Worn out dude.
I used the Web site avenue for getting a replacement paper. I didn’t dare call the “customer care” line due to the completely negative experiences I‘ve experienced there in the past. Corporate systems of efficiency and profit under which they work (yours and the call center owners’) limit their inability to care for my customer concerns. In the past, I’ve gotten routed to the public editor, who also seems extraordinarily constrained in what he is able to accomplish. Poorguy.

For all my effort this morning, I thought my hometown newspaper again left out in the cold again or was going to send me me to talk to some overworked-underpaid kid(mother, father, uncle…) in India, Singapore, or Pakistan–or to an inmate ofthe Louisiana Department of Corrections.

Foreign call center from “The wonders of ‘outsourced’ technical support,”
The Guardian, a real newspaper
Before I leave you, I want you to know that I hold my delivery people in highest esteem. They have only ever been friendly, helpful, and punctual. I also believe that people (including inmates) working in contract call centers are doing their best, considering their circumstances, workload, and demands on their energy and patience.

My complaints lie not with workers who print, deliver, and do the chores of the corporation, but with the way the corporation deals with the customers to whom the paper’s advertisers hawk their wares.

I also thank you for the information about E-Star. is arcane beyond my time and intelligence. I had no idea. I love the feel of the paper in hand but will use the digital edition when I am out of town.

I would also be more than happy to take today’s paper, tomorrow.

Thanks Mr Dobson. We appreciate your feedback. I delivered a paper to your front porch around 4 pm today. regards, Ken Batrick, Vice President of Audience Development

Mr. Batrick, Now, that was really, really cool. Patrick

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