Subscriber Sues Tribune Publishing, Accusing It Of Deceptive Billing

Tribune Publishing Company LLC, owner of Chicago Tribune and many other newspapers nationwide, has been hit with a lawsuit alleging deceptive billing practices for its print editions.  

The suit was filed in July by a Tribune print subscriber, Pat Arnold. It remains to be seen if the suit will attain class action status, and if there will be any real impact. The case is on file in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois, Country Department, Chancery division.   

Arnold alleges that the company “automatically charged subscribers who received print editions of Defendant’s newspapers extra for materials already included in the subscribers’ subscriptions.”

Also, the Tribune Company acted to “increase its revenues by charging subscribers extra for materials already included in their subscriptions (the “Miscellaneous Materials”) and paying itself for the Miscellaneous Materials from the subscription fees already paid by the subscribers,” the complaint continues, adding that it shortened the length of subscribers’ paid subscriptions as a result of the payments it provided to itself for the Miscellaneous Materials. 



It is not clear what these “Miscellaneous Materials” were; perhaps they consisted of supplements, or digital access. But the suit claims they were included in the price of subscriptions and should not have been separately billed.

Arnold has subscribed to the Tribune for more than 20 years. 

In addition to seeking class status, the suit asks for an order declaring that the Tribune Company violated the Consumer Fraud Act. 




2 comments about "Subscriber Sues Tribune Publishing, Accusing It Of Deceptive Billing".
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  1. T Bo from Wordpress, August 31, 2023 at 8:03 a.m.

    Please follow up on this suit--did Alden really deploy this fraud?

  2. Pat Dickelman from, September 7, 2023 at 1:47 p.m.

    I'd like to send info on deceptive tactics Tribune has been using since I started keeping track in 2019 - changing length of subscription periods and prices resulting in large, hidden price increases. I am a former Tribune reporter and my husband, who just died, was a Tribune reporter and critic for 32 years, so I hated to drop our subscription. However, when it ran out in April this year, I did not resubscribe but the Tribune kept on delivering the paper for two or three months (I will research my details if you are interested in pursuing) and has since billed me for about $190 although I told their phone subscription caller I no longer was subscribing. Yesterday I received a note from a collection agency. At the moment, I have my first bout of Covid so am struggling to respond to the collection agency, although I have written the editor, executive editor, etc. in the past about deceptive practices and the continuing loss of subscribers. (Several people in my 250-unit building, who have not yet realized the deceptive subscription practices.)

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