Release Date: December 7, 2020
DATCP Media Contact: Ti Gauger, Public Information Officer, (608) 224-5007
DOJ Media Contact: DOJCommunications@doj.state.wi.us, (608) 266-1220
MADISON – Under an agreement between the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP,) the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ,) and Lee Enterprises Inc./Madison Newspapers Inc. (Lee/MNI,) Wisconsin subscribers may be eligible for an account credit or digital access to a Lee/MNI publication. Eligible Wisconsin consumers should have received an email or letter notifying them of the offer, and may need to take action in order to claim it.
“This agreement is a great example of how DATCP works to help resolve disputes and make sure Wisconsin consumers and businesses can operate in a fair marketplace," said DATCP Secretary-designee Randy Romanski. “If you've received an unsolicited email or letter from Lee Enterprises/MNI, make sure to read it and follow the instructions to claim your offer."
“Wisconsin DOJ stands up for consumers when they are harmed and have no other reasonable recourse," said Attorney General Josh Kaul. “Working with our partners at DATCP, Wisconsin DOJ has secured relief for many newspaper subscribers."
The agreement between DATCP, DOJ, and Lee/MNI provides relief for current Wisconsin subscribers in the form of a 23-day credit. Current subscribers who renewed their subscriptions between February 18, 2017, and May 31, 2019, are eligible. These subscribers do not need to take any action to get this relief and should have received notification of the credit to their account by December 6, 2020.
For eligible former subscribers, the agreement provides relief by offering 45-days free digital access. Eligible former subscribers are those individuals who had a subscription between February 18, 2017, and May 31, 2019, and acted to renew a subscription during that period. The agreement requires Lee/MNI to have sent an email or letter by December 6, 2020 to eligible former subscribers, with instructions on how to claim the 45-day free digital access. The free digital access for former subscribers is not contingent on a renewed subscription.
Current or former subscribers who enrolled in "EZ Pay" or another form of automatic renewal during that period do not qualify, nor do subscribers who only renewed online during that period.
DATCP regulates unfair and deceptive business practices to ensure a fair marketplace for Wisconsin consumers. Consumers who are having trouble resolving a disagreement with a business can contact DATCP's Consumer Protection Hotline at DATCPHotline@Wisconsin.gov or through our toll-free hotline at (800) 422-7128. Additional resources for consumers are available online at www.datcp.wi.gov.
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