Hogan's Alley

Thursday, September 22, 2005

TimesSelect Still Not Operative

Forget what you think of the value of TimesSelect or the efficacy of the Times' decision to wall off their opinion makers. As far as this subscriber is concerned I have still not been able to access these articles.

As a home delivery subscriber I am supposed to be able to obtain access at no cost. After days of failed attempts, I successfully registered on Monday, the first day of the new regime, but didn't get back a screen confirming it as the timed out after two minutes. My suspicion is that I should have received a cookie identifying me as a registered user. Subsequent attempts to register lead me to a screen advising that I am already registered and cannot register again. Yet, when I attempt to access a TimesSelect piece, I am advised that I must register and this screen provides no place to sign in manually. The classic locale between a rock and a hard place.

One call to the Times produced a suggestion that I reboot my computer to clear the cache. Did it, but it didn't fix the problem. Then, following a suggestion found on the web, I signed on to the Times website using my email as user ID. That didn't work.

An email to the Times last Sunday, which promises a reply in 24 hours has yet to produce a reply.

Then I called the Times again, yesterday afternoon, as was advised that a supervisor would have to call me back to "walk you through the process." As of this afternoon, no such call.

Frankly, I give up. I'll focus on the vast array of free opinion columnists out there. I really feel sorry for the 500 Times staffers who are losing their jobs, but clearly the Times' management is not up to the challenge of the new media environment.