Fair warning dear readers, this post is a bit of a mini-rant.
The subject is a long-standing policy of the Wall Street Journal to restrict it'spaying online subscribers from being logged into the online WSJ on multiple computers. By long-standing, I mean long before Rupert Murdoch acquired the WSJ's parent, Dow Jones.
If you're an online WSJ subscriber, you know what I mean. You get a screen on one of your computers, that looks like this:
Here's a news flash, WSJ,
This is 2008.
Most web users access the web through multiple tabs in multiple browsers via multiple computers, cellphones, and other web appliances in a household.
And this is a trend that is only going more mainstream faster than your strongest wishes to the contrary.
Please stop asking your customers to remember to close every browser tab on every one of their computers displaying your precious content, as they go through their busy day. Please stop adding this seemingly minor, but hugely inconvenient point of friction in their accessing something they've fully paid for.
And please, please don't make your customers take time out of their frenetic lives to call your toll-free number to fix a problem that really only exists in the minds of your accountants. In fact, get them to run the numbers again, this time WITH the cost of toll-free support and customer aggravation balanced against whatever incremental revenue you think you may get by continuing this policy.
But if you still insist on restricting the number of windows open with the WSJ, then ask for a supplemental fee.
Some folks might pay it, many will not.
But it' shows more respect for your paying customers than unilaterally denying them access for something they're paying for.
I know you're trying to stop piracy of your content and preserve the subscription pay wall that is increasingly becoming the exception rather than the rule amongst your peers. Figure out other technical solutions that can achieve the goal of restricting pirated passwords without impinging on the normal usage by paying customers.
For the record, I'm one of your biggest fans and longest standing customers. I have multiple WSJ subscriptions, both online and for home delivery, for multiple locations and for multiple members of my family.
I even pay you a separate subscription fee to access the WSJ online via Amazon's Kindle.
So I'll probably pay a multiple browser fee if you deign to charge it, but you'll definitely get it with incremental resentment.
And I know I'm not the typical WSJ subscriber, but this policy of restricting access on multiple browsers and computers for all your paying online subscribers is archaic, and petty, not to mention penny wise and pound foolish.
You've been chipping away at the good-will I've had towards your product, service and brand for decades, every time this inane and utterly inconvenient screen pops up on one of my computers.
This policy is the definition of "Evil" in the Google sense of the word, in my humble opinion.
I know I'm not the first of your customers to complain about this issue, and certainly won't be your last (See this TechCrunch post on this issue from earlier this year).
Please do the right thing here. And listen to your customers.
Rant over. We now go back to our regularly scheduled programming.
P.S. Please pardon any typos above. TypePad spell checker is down.