Napa couple's one-year subscription ends after eight months

NAPA, Calif. (KGO) -- How does a one-year subscription end up lasting only eight months? That's what one Napa County couple wanted to know, and so did we.

To be fair the newspaper did disclose the subscription could be cut short. However, it's being criticized for the way it made that disclosure.

Norine Moses counts herself as one of those critics. She and her husband Donald have been loyal readers of the Napa Valley Register since 1980.

Donald enjoys solving the Sudoku and cross word puzzles. Norine loves catching up on the local news.

"I have been raised on the Napa Valley Register and I look forward to it everyday," she said.

Back in December 2016, Norine paid for a full one year subscription in advance.

The Calistoga resident was surprised to learn 8 months later that her subscription had expired.

When she complained, the paper advised her to look at page 2 of the paper.

There she saw a notice in fine print that special editions published by the paper would be $5 each.

"These charges will be reflected in your account and may accelerate the expiration date of your subscription," the notice read.

"I got irate at them and told them to cancel the subscription," said Norine.

Joe Ridout of Consumer Action understands Noreen's frustration.

He says it's logical to think a one year subscription will run for a full year.

"Introducing new supplemental issues that a subscriber can't reject, or opt in or out of, that's not a very fair way to chop one year of service into a lesser amount," said Ridout.

Noreen says if she had been given the option, she would have rejected the special issues.

Her husband suggested she contact 7 On Your Side.

She did and we contacted the Register.

Publisher Brenda Speth told us the same disclosure about the special editions is also made in the bill customers receive.

"Mrs Moses is a long term subscriber and we wish to continue to make her a happy customer."

The paper restored the subscription to one full calendar year.

"I'm glad it worked out the way it did because Norine really enjoys the paper," said her husband Donald."

"Thank you 7 On Your Side," said Norine. "Thank you, Napa Register for being such a good newspaper."

Written and produced by Randall Yip
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