miss_s_b: (Britishness: Tea)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Just over a week ago I decided I would plump for the two month's free trial. Two months is loads of time to evaluate it, right? And free is my favourite price. OK, so you have to put your card details in so they can charge you after the 2 months is up, but that's normal... And I do genuinely believe that quality journalism is worth paying for, so I would have happily spudded up my £12.99 a month after my free trial if I thought that the content was worth it and I got on OK with the app.

Here follows a list of the problems I have had:
  1. The first major problem: they charged me. Instantly. £12.99. This does not fit my definition of 2 months free. And when I checked my account on the "manage your account" page it said right there it was going to charge me again on the 27th of May. Nope nope nope.

  2. Speaking of managing your account... You can't do this within the app. You can't actually do much within the app. Want to send a letter? Nope. Comment on an article? Ha! Nope. Flip back and forth between sections? Not for you, my friend. There is a menu structure, but it's not user friendly at all.

  3. On top of the UI problems the crossword section is buggy. It will type words across for me, but for down clues the only letter it will input is S. Obviously not all the answers to all the down clues are SSSSSSS. I mentioned this to support, having had to search to find a support email address, because, of course, you can't actually contact Support from within the app. Exactly a week later I got what looked suspiciously like an autoreply from someone called Daniel who said they were looking into it. A week! And even then, no proper actual answer, not even a request for more information, just "we'll look into it".

  4. I have some issues with the content. Don't get me wrong, the news coverage is pretty good, for a London-centric Westminster-bubble-gossip paper, and so is the comment. Everything else seems pretty light. And the Sport section is AWFUL. There are very very few non-football articles - a maximum of one or two per day out of ten or twelve total articles in the sport section. Every last one of the football articles are men's football. No women's at all. Women are occasionally mentioned in the one-or-two-per-day non-football articles, but not very often. This does not fit my definition of sport. Why not just rename the section "overpaid fitba men" and have done with it?

  5. Even in a paid for app, halfway through each section and between the sections there are adverts. So you have to wait for a painful 2 or 3 seconds while the sodding advert loads before you can move on to the next article. Every single advert this week has been one with that purple muppet on for 3. Every single advert. But it's not cached, so you still have to wait for it to load every time you come across it.

  6. Sharing. A digital app should allow you to share the articles, right? Free advertising for the paper and informedness for you and your friends. Except if you share an article from the digital Indy it shares the link to the subscription version. The actual text of this article is the same as the one on the Indy website, but it has the word "edition" in the url so non-subscribers will not be able to read it. So if you want to share a version people can actually read, you have to open your browser, search for "Independent" + the headline of the article, and hope that it's not one of the many, many articles which they changed the headline for on the main website - presumably to frustrate subscribers who want to share with non-subscribers
So I have today gone and pressed the "cancel autorenew" button on the "manage my account" page, which appears to be the nearest you can get to cancelling your sub. And if they charge me again on the 27th I shall be furious. I'm actually, at this point, tempted by The Grauniad, despite Moonbat and Toynbee. Damn you, Indy, for making me be tempted by the Grauniad. But at least they cover cricket. Sometimes even women's cricket!

(This ranty post was brought to you while I sit festering on hold to some godforsaken company at work. Have you all in the UK who are registered been and voted yet? If not, why not? GO VOTE. Do it now before you forget!)

Date: Thursday, May 5th, 2016 01:57 pm (UTC)
sir_guinglain: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_guinglain
I rather like Toynbee's article today calling for electoral reform.

The digital Independent seemed lackadaisical in their proposition and I could see Lebedev giving up in the not too distant future, depending on how long producing the Evening Standard as a Boris-and-Zac love-in for London can be made to work.

Date: Thursday, May 5th, 2016 02:24 pm (UTC)
sir_guinglain: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_guinglain
As long as Polly accepts that her constitutional convention can throw out her points 1, 2 and 3 (because you're right, they are awful, and shows how far the debate has been corrupted) then I'm OK with her mentioning them.

Point 2, indeed, comes rather close to the overnight residency franchises abolished in 1832...

Date: Thursday, May 5th, 2016 02:49 pm (UTC)
sir_guinglain: (Default)
From: [personal profile] sir_guinglain
I fear she does tend towards the idea that her part of the Whig aristocracy should decide most things first.

Digital Indy

Date: Thursday, May 5th, 2016 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ffrancsais.blogspot.ca
- and the obituaries have gone, one of the innovative features of the original print Indy, not to mention the medium-length reports and those from El Pais and other linked journals. The city coverage has been halved. (I trust that James Moore was not sacked because he is wheelchair-bound.) There is far less "meat" to it.

I cannot see it lasting much longer. But where will John Lichfield and the great Middle East reporting team go then?

Date: Friday, May 6th, 2016 07:50 am (UTC)
tree_and_leaf: Isolated tree in leaf, against blue sky. (Default)
From: [personal profile] tree_and_leaf
I'd been wondering about subscribing, but I'm not now. Shame....

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