A real estate guy disses newspapers

By Steve Outing

Over the years of Craigslist‘s meteoric growth, I received many e-mails from newspaper people (because I’ve written much about Craigslist) claiming that free classifieds can never be as good as classifieds that people pay for in newspapers. To which I say, bullshit.

Here’s an e-mail I just received from a real estate broker (who probably read one of my old articles):

“I advertise in Craiglist and on the Seattle Times Online (NO PRINT). For every 70 hits I get from the Seattle Times online real estate section, I get 700 from Craigslist. I stopped advertising in print awhile ago and I may stop my paid online real estate ads soon as well. …

“I recently moved from one house to another, I paid the major newspaper 40 bucks for a print ad and got zero response. I then put the exact same worded ad on Craigslist and had everything sold in 48 hours. There was more than one buyer for some items as well.”

Newspapers really need to figure out how to step up the value proposition. They continue to get beat by free. And when real estate professionals note this, that can’t be good for the newspaper industry.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!

26 Responses to "A real estate guy disses newspapers"

  1. Chris Dowell
    Chris Dowell 11 years ago .Reply

    I’ll get more hits on my online ads over print ads anyday. The consumer likes the ads better also. I can put links to my webpage, add pictures and put an e-mail so they communicate to me at all hours of the day.

  2. […] A real estate guy disses newspapers. An anecdote from Steve Outing that should send shivers through newspaper advertising offices. […]

  3. nopea
    nopea 11 years ago .Reply


  4. Tim
    Tim 11 years ago .Reply

    Expand your Pandora experience at…


    Pandora profile: http://www.pandora.com/people/pandorastations

  5. silverbear
    silverbear 10 years ago .Reply

    I had the same experience with XM: no option to cancel online, long hold times to cancel via phone, abd transfer from one XM rep to a specialized \"arm twister\" who tried to talk me out of cancelling. The whole satellite radio industry is just too sleazy to bother with right now. It seems to be following an AOL business model: Make it easy to sign up and hard to cancel. My iPod gives me a much better listening experience and doesn\'t come with a recurring monthly fee.

  6. Brenda Malone
    Brenda Malone 10 years ago .Reply

    Steve, So glad to be able to chime in on this.
    I USED TO be a Sirius fan–but their billing practices and customer service SUX. In December they charged my credit card for the quarterly service AND the yearly service. All of the reps admitted that it was a mistake, but I had to make over a dozen phone call wasting over 2 hours of my life on this issue which was never correctly resolved.

    But lately, I have noticed that the programming itself SUX. Pay attention, the music stations play the SAME SONGS EVERY DAY. There are enough songs in existence that the same song should not be repeated at least weekly–but EVERYDAY I was hearing the same songs OVER AND OVER. Why pay $13/month for that??

    I had to wait on hold for five minutes before being allowed to cancel. I NOW HATE SIRIUS.

    I will do as you do–listen to my IPOD in the car and the Pandora at work.

  7. jim riley
    jim riley 10 years ago .Reply

    i cancellec my service and was charged for the time i didnt have radio service, they shut off my radio but still charged me for a month of service, they said they dont reimburse monthly service.They should have cancelled my service when the month was up.. it seems that there sould be some class action law suit. i ll bet there are a ton of people they have done this to.

  8. Skippy
    Skippy 10 years ago .Reply

    What Jim Riley said! I prepaid for 12 months\' of service and let it lapse, assuming my contract was over. Am now being told I owe for 2 months of service plus a late fee. In the Payment section of their Tems and Conditions, they say you must prepay for service but in the Cancellation section of the same document it says your contract term is indefinite and that service will renew for additional terms of the same length as your original contract until cancelled. I spoke to an attorney, who looked at the langauge and said that this could be considered ambiguous and conflicting. Regardless, I am about ready to throw in the towel and pay these idiots to stop the 3X daily phone calls. Let this be a warning to any others who THINK they are letting their contract lapse but in fact will get stung. I\'m way done with these guys

  9. Lane
    Lane 10 years ago .Reply

    I am fed up with sirius.I called twice in the same day and waited 28 mins the first time and 18 mins the second time,all the while preparing my noose.The next day i called and decided to select option 5 ,which is to purchase a new radio, and to my amazment i was on hold for about 30 seconds.They know whats important,new customers! If you are an existing customer you might as well tighten the noose,it will be less painfull

  10. Eric Stauffer
    Eric Stauffer 10 years ago .Reply

    I have tried to call the number the \"Customer Care Specialist\" told me to call to answer. I have dialed at least 30 times, each time it is busy. My solution was to change the credit card number on file to an older expired card. My guess is that they will get ahold of me when the payment doesnt go through. Wish me luck…

  11. Mitch Walsh
    Mitch Walsh 10 years ago .Reply

    Man these guys suck.. sirius has charged my credit card for the past five months without authorization. and managed to get my new card #from my bank dispite canceling three times. Sirius SUCKS!

  12. Dylan Turnbull
    Dylan Turnbull 10 years ago .Reply

    I hate Sirius as well, and from what I have read the fact that they have been billing us without authorization could constitute fraud. I would like to investigate the option of a class action lawsuit. If anyone is interested could you please email me at dylanturn@gmail.com.

  13. B Field
    B Field 10 years ago .Reply

    Sirius Sucks. I have even bought expensive antenna but it still justs comes and goes. What a waste.

  14. Larry
    Larry 10 years ago .Reply

    What a friggin\' joke Sirius is!

    They have a special number to call… 1-866-527-6040… if you wish to cancel…. This number, SHOCKINGLY, is ALWAYS busy!

    After an hour of messing with this b/s, I call back to the main number, explain my frustration, and the customer service rep \"transfers\" me to the correct dep\'t to cancel… Apparently to Sirius, \"transfer\" consists of placing the customer on hold for 15 minutes of easy listening and then disconnecting the call.

    After this, I figured I\'d give the cancellation line another try… Still busy… I\'m stunned.

    I call the main number for a THIRD time, talk to \"Ashley\", who tells me, she can cancel the subscription.

    When asked why the first two rep\'s could not, Ashley has no answer.

    After this train wreck of an afternoon, I went online and searched for \"Sirius cancel busy\"…

    Not surprisingly, I quickly came to realize this \"waiting out the customer\" policy is standard operating procedure over at Sirius.

    Very classy. Why not just get a mask and a gun and knock over a couple of 7-11\'s while they\'re at it!

    I honestly enjoyed my time with Sirius, the service is well worth the money, and I sincerely hope the merger goes through so I can enjoy the best of both worlds (switching to XM because of baseball programming).

    But something HAS to be done about all those b/s hoops they make you jump through when you wish to cancel.

    There is something VERY questionable (or is it just down right sleezy?) about a company that allows you to sign up and pay online but refuses to allow you to cancel that way.

  15. MLH
    MLH 10 years ago .Reply

    I just spent an hour trying to cancel. I got the same run around of being \"transfered to the cancellation department\" even though I selected \"Cancel My Subscription\" from the phone menu? Their excuse is that people sometimes accidentally select that menu option when they don\'t mean to, that\'s why the customer reps there have to transfer you to a cancellation specialist.

    Then the 30 minute wait time for a cancellation specialist and hang up. I call back and more wait time, then the arm twisting and deal offering, and I\'m finally able to cancel.

    My local radio is better, and I can listen to my iPod in my car. The first customer rep actually told me that \"Oh, well you can\'t get talk shows on your iPod.\" No shit, Sherlock.

  16. Robert
    Robert 10 years ago .Reply

    My wife and I both had Sirius radios installed by Volkswagen. I\'ve had both, Sirius and XM and I can state with confidence that XM has fewer choices in programming but a much stronger signal. Also, XM\'s customer service is decent compared to Sirius\', which is abyssmal.

    I went to the website to cancel my wife\'s radio since she traded in her car and to my surprise you can\'t cancel the account. This is THE sleaziest tactic in the corporate Book of Infinite Greed.

    So, I call the customer number and after 45 minutes I give up and send them a scathing email demanding my account be terminated and in contradiction to my written request they actually refused to do it and have forced me to call them and wait for as long as they like or they\'ll keep stealing money from my bank account.

    As a side note, when I finally did contact a customer service rep she hung up on me when I told her I wanted my accounts terminated.

    I\'ll be filing complaints, both state and federal, to whichever consumer advocacy agencies have authority over Sirius for their immoral and predatory practices.

  17. Measuredup
    Measuredup 10 years ago .Reply

    Great comment.

    We created Measuredup for people like you that are involved consumers that want to say something and get their voice heard.

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    It is free, easy and fun to use. Measuredup is a great way to complain or praise a company and your review is indexed on the internet so people searching for a company on Google or other search sites can come across your review.

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  18. Nathan M.
    Nathan M. 10 years ago .Reply

    I have had the same problems that everyone else has. After getting told that i have to call the \"misery number\" (866-527-6040), and only gettin a busy tone i became very upset. I eventually spoke to some idoit that said that i cannot cancel my service! After cussing him out he offered me to speak to his supervisor. Speaking to this person was great, got my money returned to my credit card, with out any more hassle. My advice is to press to talk to the supervisor, that is all that seems to work.

  19. Mike in Colorado
    Mike in Colorado 10 years ago .Reply

    Yeah, I waited on the phone longer than 40 Minutes to cancel my service. I should also note, when I signed up, I did NOT allow for automatic renewal to my card and one day I am balancing my account and walla, there is this charge for Sirius. I tried to call them but could not get through. I also, from day one, tried to log onto the internet site but never could. Called them repeatedly, but never could and they would not fix the issue ever…but, since at the time I liked the service I took it until I got that unexpected charge. Tried to call and call but could never get them on the phone (guess I didnt take enough time out of MY LIFE for them) until I had just had it and had a day off and time to waste and finally did get them to talk to me. They did the age OLD AOL thing and tried to sell me swamp land to get me to stay and about 45 minutes later, they finally said ok and would issue a refund. I have now waited over 4 months for that to happen. In the meantime, my bank card was reissued and it had a different card number. So, tonight (in fact, 20 Minutes ago) I called them AGAIN, and got the sales pitch (ohhh, I should also note, from the day we cancelled, they have called us atleast 2-3 times a day until we answered tonight and heard the message AGAIN they would give the store to get us back…..yet, not one cent refunded yet)……so, I tell them the card is no longer valid and it was when I cancelled but now its not…they tell me to call the bank since they \"issued the refund\" (yeah, right!!!) This company SUCKS!!! In fact, they are worse that AOL was to cancel. Atleast you could talk to AOL even though they did the same thing and all but threaten you about cancelling service. I paid for the damn unit and thus I should be able to cancel it anytime I like!!!. IF you ever get one, NEVER NEVER NEVER give a card number to them. Even if it is more expensive, keep buying the prepaid cards ONLY!! If you do NOT, you will live to regret it and also be with less cash on hand.

  20. Matt
    Matt 10 years ago .Reply

    wow, you guys had me prepared to wait 20 min. to cancel my account. I was connected and canceled my monthly sub within 5 minutes of calling. The customer service rep offered me 3 free months but I turned it down because serious siriusly sucks.

  21. Jubal
    Jubal 9 years ago .Reply

    I\'m almost in the same boat as you guys, only i cancelled my account in february 07. Now a collection agency is calling me saying that i owe a measely 20.94 to sirius. How this happend i don\'t know, but now i\'m forced to call SIRIOUS to work out the issue, not the collection agency. So now i sit, calling their cancellation # getting nothing but busy signals. If this affects my credit rating in any way i will be filing a lawsuit. This is rediculous. I\'m not jumping through hoops for these assholes.

  22. D. Merrick
    D. Merrick 9 years ago .Reply

    I\'m having a simliar experience, I\'m at the point that I\'m going to report my credit card as lost so these shits can keep stealing money from me. I haven\'t had an account with them for two years, and they charged my credit card. I\'m faced with a blank face of nothing for this crap ass company.

    I can\'t log into my account because it doesn\'t exist anymore, but I can\'t cancel without an accout. There\'s something seriously wrong here. How is this not criminal

    If I took $150 out of your wallet, you could call the cops on me. I feel like I have no recourse for these THEIVES.

  23. Steve
    Steve 9 years ago .Reply

    I had the same problem. Hours on the phone with them trying to cancel but to no avail. Ended up canceling my card. No get this, they mailed me a notice that my service is not terminated but low and behold 3 months later my radio still works????

  24. shotgun 1
    shotgun 1 9 years ago .Reply

    i wish i had read this sooner!my experience with sirius has been a total nightmare for the last 6 months.yet they kept charging my bank account,so i closed the account,yet they persisted. after 2 call,both over 22 minutes on hold,i finally managed by luck, and the threat of legal action to get it canceled!the \"customer service representative hung up on the 1st call,so the next call was to the supervisor,with a little better result.
    The bottom line,without going on forever,is
    NEVER,NEVER get tangled up with this mickey mouse operation.there still may be a call to the attorney general over this,but thank God its canceled,the receiver in the junk,the antenna removed,and the bank account closed.

  25. robbed
    robbed 9 years ago .Reply

    Same thing as others have said. Called in to quit the service twice and go put on hold for over twenty minutes both time. Then I was by the Serius automated system and indicated I did not want the service I was put on hold by the system and the call was not picked up. The Serius policy is the system automaticaly renews. I do not know how this is legal. My account went to collection also. I wish I knew the policy for filing a complaint with the attorney general. Maybe when Serius goes under they can become mortgage bankers.

  26. Siriusly angry
    Siriusly angry 9 years ago .Reply

    I've been on hold now trying to cancel my account for 20 min, I just got to the first customer service rep now I'm on to the cancellation speciallist. I was only going to cancel until my finances got better, but after this I'm never going back.

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