Legacy.com is apologizing for its part of not making things clear about charges at the New York Times. The Chief of operations said it all involved a bad link at the webstite. NOT ADDRESSED IN THE APOLOGY WAS THE CHARGING OF GUEST BOOK SIGNERS FOR GUEST BOOKS, AND THE HIGH COST OF OBITUARY, AND DEATH NOTICES.
Last weekend, an artist and programmer named Maciej Ceglowski published an item to his personal blog headlined “The Great Legacy.com Swindle.” Following the suicide of a friend, Ceglowski encountered the paid obituary services of Legacy.com and The New York Times website. He was not pleased.
In a follow up e-mail, Ceglowski told me “the online obit market is something I gave zero thought to until my friend died, but strikes me as quite interesting (and somewhat sinister) now.”
He was especially upset at the Times’ failure to alert users to the $79 fee for a death notice before charging them for it — a problem Legacy.com has since corrected on its partner site with the Times. He was also bothered by an automated reminder seeking up to $79 to preserve his friend’s guest book “in perpetuity.”
Katie Falzone, Legacy.com’s director of operations, e-mailed Ceglowski early Sunday to apologize for the lack of disclosure on the Times page, a problem she attributed to an incorrect link. By the time I went to the site later Sunday, the link had been fixed and Ceglowski had updated his post to include Falzone’s e-mail.
This is all part of an income crunch that has come to the Newspaper Industry and the Funeral Industry. More and more newspapers are charging to view their on line content, even the death notice and obituary. Death notices and obituaries often cost above $400 dollars which amounts to price gouging by the Funeral and Newspaper Industry.
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