Friday, December 3, 2010

Today : The origin of the site

Back in the good ole days when the job only required roaming the streets of Luray at night I had set out to create a way to give back to the community. The idea I came up with was a site that promoted local high school athletes in a positive manner and a few adventures mixed in. Around The Valley in 60 Days was the name and there are nearly a thousand posts between the two sites.
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This site here was the original site and on the front page of this site is a link to the sister site we created. Sadly as the newspaper job became much more labor intense over the consolidations the time was no longer there to continue at the same pace. But we kept both sites up and running so that folks can still look back at the stories and pictures.
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The main goal of this site now is to allow me to try and communicate with a customer base that has us distributing 2,600 Sunday newspapers between Page & Shenandoah Counties. Any angle that allows CCD the opportunity to keep folks informed will always be pursued.
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Feel free to look back through the old stories or just read the Washington Post updates, either way as Paul Harvey was famous for closing with... Now You Know the Rest of the Story!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Today's Word - Billing from the Washington Post

One of the biggest changes that occurred during the past five years has come in the billing department. The split had been about 50/50 between the number of customers that paid their bills directly to the Post and the number that paid their distributor every four weeks.
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The change was made to take the billing 100% in house about 2 years ago. Every customer that receives the newspaper from the Post is expected to pay the Post directly now. The invoices are mailed back to Richmond, Virginia and processed there. While the Post has taken over complete control of the accounts and they generate the customer invoices they list my name and number on the top of the paperwork.
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The idea is to give the customer a local name and number to call if they have a question about their statement. Solid idea but it can lead to a bit of confusion when a call is placed to me with a concern because I was not the one to generate the bill. More often than not we can walk through the problem together without much delay.
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The only time that I am supposed to be actively involved with the billing is when there has not been a payment made within 30 days of the expiration date. It is my job at this point to verify that the newspaper is still desired and to arrange payment or to stop the account.
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One of the more confusing points comes about when an account reaches its cut off date. A large number of folks believe that the newspaper will simply stop coming as in the case with a magazine subscription. But the Post accounts are set up for delivery to continue until someone stops the account- whether it is the customer or myself. This can be one of the more troublesome times and Thankfully it does not happen but so often.
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I hope that I have been able to shed a little light on this topic and welcome any questions concerning the billing process.