Green Bay Press Gazette: What’s Going ON with Sunday inserts?!

May 22, 2011 by
Filed under: Coupons 

I received a LOT of reports today that their Green Bay Press-Gazette available on newsstands did not contain coupon inserts.  At one gas station, a reader went through 9 papers and none of them had inserts.   Tracy at Tracy’s Groceries say of all the papers she ordered, only 1/3 had the Smart Source insert.  The papers that did contain the Smart Source insert did NOT have the Target insert.  Can you believe it?  Two-thirds of the newspaper that advertises “$$$ in savings in today’s paper” didn’t have what was supposed to be in there.

I’ve gotten reports of the same on the east side of town, too.  Subscribers I’ve heard from say they did receive one Smart Source and one Red Plum.

This has been an ongoing issue with our local paper. This is not the first time I’ve mentioned it and I’m pretty sure it’s not going to be the last.   I just happened to receive an email from a reader yesterday on this very subject.  Deb writes:

“It irritates me to no end when I check the ones I want… and then go to my RP or SS inserts for that week and the coupons ARE NOT THERE!  Or, we might not have even HAD a Red Plum insert that week.”

I can answer part of Deb’s question.  The Sunday coupon previews contain all the coupons that COULD be in the inserts, the coupons do vary by region and by newspaper. Clearly advertisers are not as interested in putting their coupons in the Green Bay paper.   I’ve often suggested to bypass the Green Bay paper because the inserts often contain less coupons than other cities and sometimes a particular insert isn’t offered at all.

That’s one issue.  What we’re talking about today in particular is  the matter of inserts not being in the paper when they’re supposed to be!

Based upon my many experiences with inserts missing in papers and then calling the Press-Gazette for satisfaction, I’ve had about a 50% success rate with the paper actually mailing me the missing inserts.  If you’re a repeat caller, the chances of being helped seem to go down.  In this day and age of declining readership, you’d think the newspaper would be more helpful.

With the popularity of TLC’s Extreme Couponing TV show and an economy that is very slow to recover, many want to rely upon their local paper for coupons.  But the Green Bay Press Gazette’s track record means many of us go elsewhere.

Just as an aside, I do find it curious that several months ago the P-G started putting Smart Source inserts in the Community Snapshots newspaper that some people get for free (my delivery is sporadic at best; haven’t gotten one myself in almost a year, my mother never gets one, my brother gets one every week–???)

I’ll going to make some phone calls tomorrow to find out what, if anything, non-subscribers can do since this seems to be a problem with newsstand papers only. I do want to hear from my readers on whether they received both inserts and whether it was from a subscription or newsstand purchase.  And please, share you success/horror stories with the other readers of Green Bay Consumer.  Or if you’d like, contact me privately.

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16 Comments on Green Bay Press Gazette: What’s Going ON with Sunday inserts?!

  1. BeckyA on Sun, 22nd May 2011 1:51 pm
  2. Again, only one smart source insert in the papers I purchased from the De Pere Walmart. Only once in the last 2 months have I actually found a red plum insert. I just thought we didn’t get them in this area until I saw the posts online!

    I was considering subscribing to the GB Press Gazette so that I would get all the inserts, but honestly this inconsistency makes me really hesitant to sign up.

  3. The Bargain Sleuth on Sun, 22nd May 2011 3:47 pm
  4. Red Plum definitely seems to be the one that goes to subscribers only and then if there are any leftover prints, they’ll put them in newsstand copies.

  5. veronica on Sun, 22nd May 2011 3:30 pm
  6. A couple of months ago the pg called 2 scribe 2 the paper so I would b guarented a insert what the heck I said I should b able 2 just get the sun paper and get my inserts. She said only if u get home delivery could they expect 2 get the inserts! Ill just check b4 I buy or find them elsewhere

  7. The Bargain Sleuth on Sun, 22nd May 2011 3:45 pm
  8. Veronica, that’s kind of what I’m suspecting. They’re doing this on purpose to drive up circulation numbers but all they’re doing is sending me and many others to other sources for coupons (ordering from a coupon insert service, off eBay, etc). The “best” subscription they have is a weekend subscription and I won’t pay for a Saturday paper–I read that edition at work every week.

  9. Christine on Sun, 22nd May 2011 4:26 pm
  10. Hey, After reading this post it got me to thinking. You mentioned the paper stating the dollar amount of coupons that are in it. Todays Sunday paper states that it has $510 in coupons in it. Shouldn’t that be expected then? I mean that is printed right on the front page of the paper. You go to the store and see that. Shouldn’t you then exect the paper to contain that amount of coupons. Not that in contains zero in it. To me that is false advertisement. Couldn’t that be an issue for the Press Gazette? And even if you did get the Smart Source does the coupons in just that flyer alone add up to $510? Or are they counting the Red Plum in on that figure too. I would think the Press Gazette should remove that advertising on the front page if it’s not going to be true.

  11. The Bargain Sleuth on Sun, 22nd May 2011 4:34 pm
  12. I know that when the PG uses those numbers, they are probably also talking about coupons that are also little ads in the actual paper. And they use a number that seems impressive but is not the actual total–they’re probably low-balling it to cover themselves. But that’s just my theory–not a fact.

  13. Christine on Sun, 22nd May 2011 4:29 pm
  14. You mentioned it looks like the red Plum is only going to subcribers. But are you for sure all subscribers are getting the Red Plum?

  15. The Bargain Sleuth on Sun, 22nd May 2011 4:36 pm
  16. It’s just a theory of mine based on anecdotal evidence; every time there has been a coupon issue with Red Plum missing in newsstand papers, I talk to friends and family who are subscribers and they always have them.

  17. Sarah on Sun, 22nd May 2011 6:12 pm
  18. I think part of the problem may be people stealing out of the other papers. I work at a store in GB and we had one customer we had to limit on coupons because she would come in w/ 50 of the same coupon for free items and clear us out for weeks. Turned out she delivered papers! Also, I’ve seen people digging in papers grabbing things out. My mom subscribes and got both inserts, I bought mine at the store and only got smart source.

  19. The Bargain Sleuth on Sun, 22nd May 2011 6:27 pm
  20. I don’t doubt that people steal coupon inserts from papers. That’s the reason the GBPG is not sold at Dollar Tree stores anymore. Press Gazette claimed that it was Dollar Tree customers stealing the inserts week after week. When I would find my papers without, I’d call the P-G. After the second time the P-G said I should buy my paper elsewhere. But I decided to go as soon as the Dollar Tree opened to avoid the pilfering and was the one who snipped the strap to open the bundle of newspapers. Guess what? Coupon inserts were missing–and those hadn’t been touched since they were bundled at the distribution center.

    In fact, two of the people who gave me reports today were the ones to actually open the bundles at their businesses only to find inserts weren’t in the papers. The newspaper blames the stores, and while the stores do have thieves, I think it goes beyond the 5-finger discount.

  21. Dana on Tue, 24th May 2011 4:17 pm
  22. I too have had the same problem. I have subscribed to the paper now to see if I receive the inserts. Why should saving money be a crime? That is what it seems like. So what if people are extreme couponing? It is a way of life and if we weren’t able to do it we might not even purchase the paper or shop at some of these stores. I don’t coupon in excessiveness but I do pick up a good deal if I see one and know I will use it! I am hoping that I will receive the inserts now.

  23. Cathy on Mon, 30th May 2011 7:59 pm
  24. This string of comments is really helpful. I’ve been confused about this issue for months now. One question … I have purchased the paper from the GBPG office downtown Green Bay. Do those papers have ALL the inserts or is that still a smaller # of inserts ?

  25. The Bargain Sleuth on Tue, 31st May 2011 7:20 am
  26. They should contain all the inserts that are available with that particular edition. At least that’s how it was when I worked for the P-G.

  27. Val Brice on Mon, 6th Jun 2011 12:14 pm
  28. I wrote a letter to the editor today as I am very frustrated as to why the Sunday paper is more expensive to non subscribers so we should be getting all the inserts not the subscribers as they pay less. I am glad I googled today to see if others had the same problem. At work two of my friends subscribe and got three inserts this week, I went all over town to various gas stations, Wal-Mart, and Festival and all had only one insert ,Smartsource. This sucks! I am couponing to save money.

  29. The Bargain Sleuth on Mon, 6th Jun 2011 12:49 pm
  30. I hear from readers every week with stories like yours; you shouldn’t have to drive all over town to find the newspapers with inserts! Yesterday a friend asked me if it was worth it to buy inserts from a service (which is what I do if I don’t get enough from family and friends) and I said “Absolutely!” I don’t waste a tank of gas looking for fully stuffed newspapers and in most cases the inserts contain more coupons. In case you hadn’t seen it, I did write two posts this weekend where I talked to the circulation manager of the Press Gazette who explains WHY this happens with their paper. Doesn’t solve the problem but at least answers your questions.

  31. Val Brice on Mon, 6th Jun 2011 1:36 pm
  32. Thank you I will be buying inserts instead of hoping the Press Gazette will give us the coupons we deserve, it will save me time,gas and frustration.

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