marcel barang

A waste of Times

In English, Reading matters on 18/05/2011 at 4:08 pm


I’ve already mentioned here (‘Why Saneh? Why not Chart?’, 27.04.2011) how the Times Literary Supplement or TLS for short is squeezing subscribers dry by demanding €20 a year on top of a hefty subscription price – €420 for three years in my case – to access the ‘subscriber only’ online service.

This morning, I receive a letter from TLS Subscriptions Manager Sharon Foxon (I don’t make up names) saying:

Dear Mr Barang,
… Your renewal instructions are currently
[sic] being processed. [I believe she means ‘ignored’, as with the letter comes a crummy ‘free book bag’ I had specifically instructed not to bother sending – my next garbage bag, thanks anyway – though I was spared the ‘and TLS note cards’, whatever those are.]
If you haven’t already registered to use the subscriber only section of the TLS website, all you need to do is go to and click on the “SUBSCRIBER ARCHIVE” option on the right hand menu. To complete the “SUBSCRIBER REGISTRATION” section you will need your subscriber number, which is 00002…

Reading this, I rejoiced: they must have seen the light!
But when I try the link – why don’t you? – it automatically turns into and no amount of tracking of that ‘subscriber archive’ or ‘registration’ corner yields anything but a demand for registration to The Times – at €1 a month, which works out at €12 a year. €12 for a daily publication, a hypothetical but very much demanded €20 for a weekly?
At this rate, it may have been foolish of me to subscribe for as long as three more years.

  1. At first sight (I am not sure but…) it looks like a website design problem…

  2. Indeed. As of today, I noted that they have reworked their website. No more direct link to the TLS and no more browsing allowed. They seems to have lock up everything on the site or so… But the subscriber’s link seems to work perfectly well. Perhaps you want to try your new access code again…

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