Rupert Murdoch doesn’t want my money

Besides the Sun and Sky and the News of the World there is this wonderful little part of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire called „The Times Literary Supplement“, where Martin Amis onced worked, where T. S. Eliot was a contributor. Today I read in the TLS that most of the population of imperial Rome were former slaves, that faked diaries of NKVD-head Lavrentiy Beria are a bestseller in Russia now. I love the writing, but I don’t like getting it printed on paper, delivered by mail from the UK to Hamburg. That takes some time, sometimes the TLS doesn’t arrive at all, and I can’t highlight text and type notes like I am used to on my kindle. The e-paper of the TLS is a joke (worse that paper for notes and highlights).

So I was delighted when I read six weeks ago, that the TLS will be available on the Kindle. And I was surprised when I learned later, that the digital Kindle edition of the TLS is only available in the UK – they insist on shipping it printed on paper to the rest of Europe. That doesn’t make sense. That must be a mistake. Rupert Murdoch wants to sell journalism online, the Times has a paywall, the WSJ does, there is the The Daily. Why is it not impossible to buy a decent digital edition of the TLS? I have been asking this the TLS customers support for the last six weeks. I find their answers kind of funny, I find them kind of sad:

From: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
To: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
Date: 05 February 2012
Subject: TLS for Kindle for German customers
Ladies and Gentlemen,
it is not possible to subscribe to the Kindle edition of the TLS in Germany. Why not? I want to pay and read.

From: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
To: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 06 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
I have asked the question for you and you would have to contact the kindle services as we do not support subscriptions to the TLS on the kindle. I trust the above answers your enquiry. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries.

From: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
To: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
Date: 06 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
Hello and thank you for your reply. Amazon says Publishers decide where and what they publish. My question is: Why don’t you publish your kindle edition in Germany? It would make sense, you know. It takes longer to ship paper copies to Germany than to the Uk and that’s why I would pay for the Kindle edition if you would offer it to me.

From: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
To: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 07 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
I am very sorry to advise we currently do not offer subscriptions to be viewed on the Kindle. I can confirm there are special offers available at various rates advertised both within the magazine and online. Some subscription promotions feature a discounted rate and others advertised at the standard rate, may feature a gift.  We cannot automatically allocate the latest offer with every renewal. All offers are open to both old and new customers alike on an annual basis (subject to eligibility) but cannot to be combined.
The latest offers are displayed at: www.subscription.co.uk
If you would like to renew your subscription via a promotion you have seen, please advise me of the ‚Offer Source Code‘ and I will be happy to process it for you at the correct rate.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries

From: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
To: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
Date: 09 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
Perhaps I did not express myself clearly: I have a print subscription. I do not want to transfer it. I want to pay for ANOTHER subscription for my Kindle. I want to go to amazon.de, type Time Literary Supplement and to subscribe for my kindle, just like your British customers can do it today on amazon.co.uk. My question: Why is this not possible in Germany?

From: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
To: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 10 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
I need to make further investigations to ensure your query is resolved to your satisfaction.  Please be assured I will be back in touch within 2 working days with an update for you.

From: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
To: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 14 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
May I firstly apologise for the problems you have experienced. Unfortunately we are unable to assist with the Kindle version and would kindly ask that you please contact Amazon directly.  Have you tried to contact amazon.co.uk to see if they are able to assist. I apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any further queries.

From: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
To: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
Date: 14 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
Hello again, it is not Amazon’s decision if the TLS Kindle version is available on .de besides co.uk – that is your decision. Why did you decide not to offer it in .de?

From: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
To: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 15 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
We are forwarding your inquiry to the appropriate department for handling and someone will contact you shortly.

From: XXXX *****@newsint.co.uk
To: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 21 February 2012
Subject: TLS (kindle edition) in Germany
I believe you sent through a query to some of my colleagues recently regarding the above. Can I firstly just say thank you for your email and feedback.You’re correct in that the Kindle is not available through .de yet, however, we are currently in the planning phases of rolling this out across rest of world. Have you tried to subscribe using amazon.com?

From: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
To: XXXX *****@newsint.co.uk
Date: 11 February 2012
Subject: TLS (kindle edition) in Germany
Yes, I tried amazon.com, it says: „Kindle titles are available for DE customers on Amazon.de. Continue shopping on the Kindle Store at Amazon.de.“

From: XXXX *****@newsint.co.uk
To: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 21 February 2012
Subject: TLS (kindle edition) in Germany
Ah, OK. In that case, I will try and get back to you with a time-frame for this. In the meantime, have you used the TLS e-paper – and electronic version of the e-paper?

From: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
To: XXXX *****@newsint.co.uk
Date: 21 February 2012
Subject: TLS (kindle edition) in Germany
I had a look at the e-paper. That’s not what I want. I want to read and highlight in the train, on my couch – eg, not on a laptop with the cumbersome interface and limited functions of that e-paper.

From: XXXX *****@newsint.co.uk
From: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 21 February 2012
Subject: TLS (kindle edition) in Germany
I completely understand. Once I have more details of when it will be launched in Germany, I will let you know.

From: The Times Literary Supplement *****@subscription.co.uk
To: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
Date: 21 February 2012
Subject: The Times Literary Supplement – Subscriber Number: Em Ref: TPS443*****
We aim to consistently deliver a professional service to our customers and I would like to state that on this occasion the level of service you received was unacceptable. I have passed your details onto the relevant department and you will be contacted in the next 2 working days.
I have no idea what the email above is about.

From: Konrad Lischka *****@klischka.de
To: XXXX *****@newsint.co.uk
Date: 1 March 2012
Subject: TLS (kindle edition) in Germany
Any news on that? It can’t be so difficult to flip the switch for Germany… I would really like that, since this week I have not received my issue of the TLS once again. It is ridiculous to insist on shipping paper to the continent as the only option for subscribers when you even cannot get it shipped every time.

 

I haven’t heard anything since then.

But I got this letter. It says I should extend the paper subscription I am enjoying so much:

tlsabo