According to Penn News General Manager Mark Stanley, West campus subscribers will be forced to used drop boxes in the dormitory lobbies, adding that subscribers have been sent letters informing them of the lock combination to access them. A similar system will be instituted in all North campus dormitories by the end of this month. Residents in the Quadrangle will continue to receive doorstep delivery, for now, Stanley said. Stanley said yesterday that the inability to pay deliverers a satisfactory wage, theft, and difficulties getting newspapers distributed by the vans early enough for student deliverers were the main reasons for stopping the popular delivery service. "For every newspaper that's going out door-to-door, we're losing money," he added. "In order to continue the service, we would have to charge more than cover price. I'm sure there are a lot of people willing to pay, but we wouldn't be providing what is an important factor for the majority of students, the discount price." Since Penn News' separation from Penn Student Agencies over the summer, the delivery organization has run into several financial and operational difficulties. Stanley said that in the past, subsidies from the University and from the newspaper companies have allowed for the doorstep service. He added that these subsidies were cut this year and since then, the agency has been unable to draw early morning deliverers with an attractive wage. Currently, Penn News -- which delivers newspapers to approximately 1000 students -- still hires van service from PSA to distribute the newspapers to the dorms. Stanley called PSA's service "marginal," but said that he hopes to work with PSA managers to resolve the problem. Tom Hauber, the associate director of Student Life Facilities, said that he was surprised that doorstep delivery was stopped. He also said that PSA has no plans to resume the newspaper delivery service. Students voiced anger that doorstep delivery was discontinued, and many said they were considering cancelling their subscription. "The good thing about it is getting it right at your door, said Bill Loller, a Wharton sophomore. "Otherwise, there's no point. I might as well go to a street corner and buy it." Richard Lau, the assistant director of the Penn Consumer Board, said that they have received numerous phone calls from students wondering what Penn News' contractual obligations to students are. (***CLARIFICATION: The Consumer Board's advice is based on the Pennsylvania Bar Association) He added that since Penn News has breached a verbal contract of doorstep delivery, students are entitled to a full refund of the undelivered newspapers. Stanley said yesterday that students who want to cancel their subscription will be entitled to a refund on newspapers for the rest of the semester but added that as of yesterday only 10 students had canceled their subscriptions. Dennis Lin, a College junior, said that the drop boxes are only the latest in a saga of bad service and inefficient delivery. "I feel cheated. I expected it to be delivered," he said. "There's not too much difference between going to Wawa and going downstairs."Comments powered by Disqus
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