He reports that, as of today - the 21st of November 2011 - he has not received any reply.
(You're all lulzing, I know ... stop it!)
He has graciously agreed to my reproducing it here. It says everything I would want to say, far better - and an incredible degree more courteously - than I can say it.
I encourage other UT regulars to follow his lead.
Dear Mr. Talbot and Mr. Lauerman,
I have just recently submitted updated credit card information to Salon, thereby, formally rolling my subscription from a Premium account to a Core account. However, mine is a conditional kind of support. Frankly, I'm fairly unhappy with Salon at this point, and have made the decision to persevere on the thin hope that, within the coming months, you will demonstrate that you have your customer's interests at heart.
You've certainly unnerved a number of people by forcing them to subscribe with personal sources of information which are then managed by an unknown third party. Some "introduction" to that third party acknowledging people's privacy concerns might have indicated that you're aware that your readers have actually read the columns and reports regarding internet privacy you've published! As a paying subscriber, I've side-stepped that point of discomfort for now, but if/when I decide that Salon is as unresponsive as my elected congressman, I'll choose a different strategy for accessing Salon - if I even care to view it.
Your comment threads are essentially unreadable. I was agnostic on the issue of threaded comments, but I always believed that if they came they would come with the ability to collapse them, and some change-in-color/coded scheme to identify comments one had already reviewed. Clearly, that's not what we have. And, paginating this unreadable mess only serves to make the reading experience worse. The amount of white space devoted to individual comments, coupled with the narrow column these comments are allowed, the inability to collapse them, AND your insistence on paginating them makes reading them one of the most aggravating experiences I've ever had online. It is simply awful. And, who needs to pay/compromise their privacy for awful?
Then there is the nearly laughable experience I had trying to update my credit card information. Upon submission I was greeted by a totally blank screen - yards and yards of white space without a word to be seen. The only indication that this submission of information went anywhere was the URL https://[redacted] that appeared in the address window. Some affirmation that the submission had actually been completed would have been appreciated, and a Thank You would have been a real bonus.
Finally, I am undecided how to cope with your intent to bill my credit card account automatically each subscription cycle. I want out of that liability. It's astounding to me that you don't make your intent to recycle that charge every 12 months obvious and plain. It's taken me two phone calls and an unanswered email to confirm my suspicion that this was your intent. That unwillingness to make plain the financial liability your subscriber assumes is nothing short of creepy. I'd almost go so far as to say it's fraudulent.
Clearly, you have undertaken a major project. And, clearly, someone failed to understand the breadth and depth of the problems that would be encountered in doing so. Clearly, there would be bugs and, clearly, you would need time to sort them all out. But, what I'm describing are not bugs. These are, in my estimation, major design flaws which demonstrate an utter disregard for your subscribing readers. Clearly, I am unhappy. Clearly, I am trying to be patient. And, clearly, I have a thin hope that if I identify why I am unhappy, you might consider my complaint as a "canary in the coal mine" indicator for others who might be having a similar experience, but who might not take the time to email you. They might simply disappear, instead. And, before all is said and done, I might be one of them.
Thank you for your time.
Please, nobody, hold your breath waiting.
But, there's still Kiwi rock music: