KC Star carrier’s retirement leaves some readers waiting for their newspaper

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BUCYRUS, Kan. -- Harold Jansen has been taking the Kansas City Star seven days a week for more than 30 years. He read it regularly until October 27 when his 81-year-old newspaper carrier retired.

His copy of the Star hasn't been delivered since.

"Nothing," said 66-year-old Jansen.

Every time he's called the KC Star's customer service number to report the problem, he gets the same answer.

"We'll get right on this and we'll be sure you get a paper tomorrow," Jansen said he's told.

What annoys him most is that the missing newspapers contain all the postseason coverage for the Kansas City Royals, including the World Series.

"That's important to me or I wouldn't have the paper," Jansen said.

He even tried calling his now retired carrier for help only to discover he was one of more than 35 customers who were having trouble.

That retired carrier, Ron Miller, told FOX 4 Problem Solvers that he had heard from some of his old customers three or four times -- all wondering why the paper stopped arriving.

Miller said he offered to show his old route to the new carrier, but never heard back. Miller said it can be difficult to find carriers who are committed to the job.

"It was a pretty good business until seven years ago," Miller said.

But as the newspaper's circulation dropped, he said it became difficult to make enough money to make the job worthwhile. He said carriers are paid per paper they deliver.

Miller said he has called the KC Star's circulation department trying to help his former customers who haven't received their newspapers.

"I haven't had much luck reaching anyone," he said.

That's why FOX 4 Problem Solvers paid a visit to the Kansas City Star, hoping to speak to someone who could solve Mr. Jansen's problem. We didn't make it further than security where we were handed a phone to speak to a man responsible for customer care.

We asked him what customers should do when calls to customer service don't help. His suggestion? Call customer service again.

That's not an answer frustrated customers want to hear, but that's the only advice he offered. However, a spokeswoman for the Star told us later that the newspaper is aware of problems customers are having and is working hard to solve them. She said a new carrier has been hired to handle delivery for Mr. Jansen's route, including parts of Bucyrus and Louisburg.

Here's the good news. The day we spoke to that KC Star customer care manager, Mr. Jansen received all his newspapers (nearly a month's worth) delivered to him personally by that same Star manager. The following morning, Mr. Jansen woke up to find a newspaper exactly where it should be, on his driveway.