A couple of months back, this writer subscribed to the newspaper as it was offering a discount for two months. All was fine until a decision was made to unsubscribe at the beginning of this month.
The WSJ sets accounts to renew automatically and this writer had no desire to continue reading material that has become markedly right-wing since the publication was bought by American media titan Rupert Murdoch.
But it was not possible to cancel one's subscription as the software used by the WSJ to manage its digital subscriptions refused to recognise the email address that had been used at the time of subscribing - even though the same email address was present in the customer details.
"Please kindly contact Wall Street Journal Asia Customer Service with your subscription number and/or login details. Our customer service representatives will be more than happy to assist."
The catch is that Australian subscribers can only call the number provided from a landline or from BT's mobile network. Exactly why BT was specified for Australian customers is unknown. The WSJ apparently still thinks Australia is a British colony.
An email was then sent, asking if the WSJ built up its subscriber numbers by preventing people from cancelling subscriptions when they wanted to.
A phone call from someone who could barely speak English followed and somehow this individual was made aware of what was being requested.
The WSJ seems to be stuck in the past if it expects people to have a landline these days. Sure, Australia is backward in many ways, but a landline?
If a publication of this vintage cannot get its online setup right, and wastes people's time with incorrect information, why is it offering digital subscriptions at all?