A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

News Ltd. throws QLD newsagents under the bus on newspaper home delivery

After decades of loyal, low cost, accurate newspaper home delivery service, News Ltd. is planning to send letters to subscribers in which they throw newsagents under the bus, inferring their service has sub-standard.

News Ltd. has send impacted Queensland distribution newsagents newsagents a package, including letters to be sent to subscription customers. This paragraph is from the second letter:

This is appalling wording. Improved customer experience? To do that, News Ltd. will need to:

  1. Be contactable 24/7. That is, human contact, not a recording or a computer system.
  2. Have people dealing with queries who understand local situations.
  3. Get the papers out on time – this relates to many complaints.
  4. Be a good listener as many customer complaints relate to matters under control of News Ltd.

Back to the paragraph from the letter, it suggests that News Ltd. has been delivering the paper, when it has not. Sure, there is a nod to the accuracy of newsagents – but News Ltd. claims this is their achievement, when it is not.

For a company in the communication business, this letter is appalling.

I feel for Queensland newsagents and what they, and their customers, are about to endure.

Newspaper distribution

Join the discussion

  1. Graeme Day

    Overall nobody does or did a home delivery as well as the newsagent-nobody. Those that cared did stop starts on a daily basis. Re-delivered, yes re-delivered the newspaper that the customer couldn’t find by not looking thoroughly (bushes etc are a part of the delivery they attract newspapers) or those geuniunely missed.
    The letter is a disgrace especially when their own track record of non service is so outstanding.
    This is public realations at its worst.
    Living proof that the relationship is over. Sad.


  2. Peter

    As was done in Sydney and it has cost them customers due to far poorer levels of services for delivery, account payment, new, changed or cancelled subscriptions. Further if they use the same delivery model as used in Sydney there will be issues with chain of responsibility laws for transport and potentially IR laws. However, I must remember Rupert does own a Government.


  3. Mark Fletcher

    I agree Graeme. Newsagents have, for decades, delivered the an excellent newspaper home delivery service. Local. Personal. Customer-focussed. What has made it great for customers is being ignored and lost by these News Ltd. moves.


  4. colin

    They should allow customers to contact NSW customers that they have lost due to the poor service the new system has provided. Those customers would confirm that their claims above are total lies!


  5. Vicnew

    Victorian metro newsagents have this to look forward to in 2021.


  6. Rob

    I have had excellent service from my local newsagent who has been delivering papers for decades. Easy payment of account.

    I predict contractors will be employed (How many) – what’s the difference from the newsagents who are familiar with the local areas and interact with their customers.

    Easy to stop and start if going on holidays.

    If I have to contact News Ltd, will I have to hang on for ages waiting for someone to answer. OR do it on line – will deliverer get notice in time?

    I also forecast the price of the papers will increase to cover the amounts paid to the contractors.

    It will also mean less business for newsagents who will eventually shut up shop from lack of custom. e.g visit newsagent to pay account and buy lotto tickets etc or other magazines and so on.


    • Chris Schumann

      We have had a 7day newspaper delivery for over 40 years. First by newsagent and in last 2 years by News Ltd contractor. The newsagent was excellent but the contractor is hit and miss. Some days we get paper some days not. It can be delivered anywhere fron 5am to 12 midday. Just recently it has been changed to a plastic sealed cover with paper being delivered flat. The driver must find it impossible to throw from vehicle. Our paper ends up anywhere from our neighbours yard to being on gutter or on the road. We also were told the late delivery is because the paper is coming from Sunshine Coast. Heaven forbid why we live in Brisbane.


  7. Graeme Day

    Rob, newsapapers will take their own course of survival and newagents today will adjust.
    in the fifties Milk Bars were the rage and strated to fade in the sixties MCDonalds came along and offered a different community type meal with an inferior hamburger and lousy milk shake. McDonalds grew Milk Bars faded except!!! for those that coverted…to Cafes.
    Newsagents aren’t dying because of the newspaper element it’s because they haven’t reached out for the community as did McDonalds and the Cafe (to a different society) plenty are behaving like the Cafe conversion and others like the McDonalds -in short they are reaching out for their “own” market place. The dying ones are closing for different reasons, failure to adjust, financially not adjusted to change and socially not as well.


  8. Mark Fletcher

    Chris thanks for sharing your story. The track record of News Corp suggests they are not interested. While they say home delivery is important, their actions suggest they are managing an expected ultimate shutdown of the service.


  9. Joanne Gough

    I work for an Aged Care home. We had an excellent newsagent who supplied and delivered to the home. We can have changes during any week, through death of a resident or a new resident joining our community. When we received advice of the change Newscorp introduced, discussions were had with newscorp and their requirements. One of which is advanced payment of 10 weeks delivery of papers. Then due to the nature of papers required by our residents, we would have to open not one but three different accounts. The other option was for the resident/representative to arrange their own account. Well cost to do this was not acceptable. We then had to communicate this to our residents and their family, explaining the situation and what was required. Well guess what, some residents do not have family or representative to assist with this because they choose to still be involved in their own business. Another problem, the residents don’t have credit cards, Newscorp, while all this was happening several phone calls were made to Newscorp to get something underway for a few residents who receive “extra service”. Our accounts lady believed things were moving, until she was notified yesterday that they will not issue accounts. Something our Head Office requests. Newscorp have put up one roadblock after another for our residents. May god help anyone in the future who wish to talk to someone of authority, because the person on the line you have been talking to will not put a call through. Request to speak with the complaints department, Newscorp don’t have one. Go on their website, confirmed I could not lodge complaint online to their complaints area. I was able to leave a comment and requested a call back, as they have a box on this page to check. Surprise, surprise NO One has contacted me. As caring workers in the Aged Care community we will not let our residents down. Newscorp, you have no idea how you have affected this community. They have read your product for many years, no doubt so too their mother’s and fathers. We won’t give up.


    • Anne

      I sympathise totally with you Joanne. You are expected to care for many loyal readers, I have one, my mother, who has had the ‘Courier-Mail’ delivered for 61 years! After health issues she has moved address and well the dramas we have had with non-delivery! Two helpful News Corp staff in the subscriptions department have tried, but to no avail. Guess what, if I were you, I would arrange for the appropriate number of papers to be collected from the local newsagency (purchased over the counter) and your residents would receive them (unwrapped, easier for arthritic fingers) to read before breakfast! Good Luck, you will need it.


  10. Mark Fletcher


    Thanks for sharing this story. I do know that some folk from News Corp read this blog. Hopefully they read of your experience.


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