March 18 2013 12:00 AM

Rate increase delayed — if you know to ask

MONDAY, April 30 — Facing threats of cancellations because of a home delivery price increase Tuesday, the Lansing State Journal is giving some customers a three- to six-month extension of their current rates.

But subscribers will apparently have to ask for it. In a telephone call from a customer today inquiring about rates, a customer services representative did not bring it up. But once she was asked if customers could keep current rates, the representative said yes if they otherwise planned to cancel.

The customer service representative said the extension is only temporary while subscribers are given an opportunity to try out the Journal’s website and other digital enhancements. An online paywall is scheduled to go into effect Tuesday.

The Journal’s publisher, Brian Priester, notified subscribers by letter two weeks ago that seven-day home delivery rates were going up to $23 a month, which is a 40 percent increase.

“Effective May 1, as a subscriber you will have full access to,” Priester’s letter said. “This is a privilege that will now be reserved exclusively for subscribers.”

He also announced “new apps” that will provide a digital edition to smartphones and tablets.

The Journal is also raising newsstand prices to $1 daily and $3 Sunday, up from $1.50.