Columbia Flier Confusion!!!

UPDATE: I recently received new information from the Baltimore Sun about the phasing out of free delivery. 

“Currently the plan for Columbia Flier is a mix of free distribution and paid subscription.  The ratio will change over time.  In first quarter 2016, we will be stopping approximately 2,450 deliveries in 21044.   The majority (77%) are bulk-drop to apartments.”

From this I glean that they will slowly stop delivering free copies of the Columbia Flier throughout Columbia, eventually only delivering to paid subscribers. If you are no longer receiving the Flier for free, you should now consider whether you want to pay to receive this newspaper.


You probably received something in the mail recently from the Columbia Flier about their change (again!) to a subscription newspaper. There was probably a bill for $19.54, and it was probably addressed to an incorrect first name with the correct last name at your address. Sound familiar?

It’s like a bad flashback to August 2012 when the Flier did the same thing to Columbia residents (but I think they got the names right that time). It’s confusing, sounds like a scam, and prompts many questions.

  • What will happen if I don’t pay? Will I still get a paper?
  • Is this legal?
  • Is this a scam of some kind?
  • Didn’t they try this a few years ago?

As you may recall, they kept delivering the Flier to everyone back in 2012. However, they are now actually phasing out FREE delivery of the Columbia Flier to every home in Columbia. If you are still getting a free paper every Thursday, great! You don’t need to subscribe… yet. Eventually, sometime during the next year or so, they will stop dropping free papers at your house. At that point, you will need to decide if the Columbia Flier is worth $20/year to you. Start thinking about it….


10 thoughts on “Columbia Flier Confusion!!!

  1. …wonderful publication? Those things in plastic bags that litter everyone’s lawns without permission? What an odd way of describing it! I read this article in the hopes that I would find that I would no longer be receiving it, or that perhaps there might be information on how to stop receiving it. Disappointing,

    If someone does happen to know of a way to discontinue service of this wretched waste of resources and litter on all of our property, please share. It should be an opt-in service, or at least provide for a way to opt-out, but that of course would lower their publication numbers.

    • I suggest you call the Flier and tell them you don’t want to receive the paper anymore. I have also seen people put up “No Free Papers” signs in front of their homes. I don’t know if either of these would work, but it’s worth a try.

      While you may not enjoy receiving the Flier, many Columbia residents rely on it for news about what’s happening in our community. It’s something that they have come to expect every week. We also rely on it for delivery of our paper newsletter, The Log. This post was written in response to the many calls we received in our office from residents who love the Flier and were worried that they would no longer receive it free of charge.

      I guess the Flier is having trouble making ANYONE happy these days! 🙂

      • I dont know about Skout but homeowner association bylaws prevent me from putting a sign in my front yard. I don’t know that I would want to have to stick a sign in my small garden to stop a company from forcing delivery of their paper upon my household.

        I called the Columbia Flyer several years ago and asked them to remove me from their delivery. The paper was delivered, with force, directly into my garden beds on several occasions, destroying new plants. I was informed by the Flyer that since they are a free publication they didn’t have to stop, even if I asked them to. Sure enough, they have never stopped. It goes directly into the recycle bin, and has for 15 years.

        Now I have received a fake bill attempting to trick me into paying for a paper that I don’t want, can’t stop, in spite of my requests, and has only cost me time and money. Underhanded, is the first word that comes to mind. Jerks, is the second word that comes to mind. And those are at the politest words I have for them.

        They could probably save a great deal of money, and emnity, by delivering the papers to the village centers where interested residents who love it can easily pick it up while those of us who would rather not receive it will be spared.

  2. I contacted the Baltimore Sun last night (10/26/15) because I have not received a copy of the Flier for two weeks now. I just received a reply:
    “Thank you for contacting The Baltimore Sun.

    We apologize that your newspaper was not delivered for two weeks now. Your delivery contractor has been notified and instructed to ensure the delivery of your newspaper every scheduled day. On another note, The Columbia Flier used to be a free newspaper but our management decided to convert it to a paid subscription and you probably received a bill for this service. We understand that this is a big transition after getting the subscription free for so many years. You may disregard the bill may received and take advantage of the delivery until we notify you that we will stop your subscription.

    For additional information or assistance, you may also call us at 1-888-539-1280.

    Jeffrey G. Amistad
    The Baltimore Sun Customer Service Advocate

    So I guess it is free until they decide it isn’t free anymore (based on email above, where they say they will notify me that they will stop my subscription). I did reference your article (I provided a link to this page) in the email I sent them. I have no idea how much longer it will be free…

  3. It is quite interesting that Mr. Armistad states that people that have not subscribed to the flyer will continue to get it until further notice. I did not subscribe to it and have not received it in 6 weeks as of today, 2/11/16. In addition, some people who have not paid on my street are still receiving it. When I called the Baltimore Sun about it, the staff person said she could not help me and when I asked to speak with a supervisor, I was disconnected. Why does the previously free flyer cost $19 annually when “The Baltimore Sun” Sat. and Sun annual delivery is only $9.38?

    • This post describes a conversation I had almost a year ago. The most recent information is that they are starting to phase out free delivery throughout Columbia. They are starting with “drop areas,” like apartment and condo buildings. However, I don’t know exactly which areas are being dropped. It’s entirely possible that they have stopped free delivery on your street. I am hearing more and more reports of situations like this. The whole situation is unfortunate.

  4. I haven’t seen the COLUMBIA flyer at my address for at least 6month or more is there a reason we don’t get the flyer anymore ??????????? 5495 cedar lane COLUMBIA Maryland

    • They are phasing out free delivery to all homes in Columbia. If you want to continue to receive it, you will have to subscribe now. It’s about $20/year.

  5. We havenot got the COLUMBIA flier and 6 months or can some one give me a answer why please and thank you 5495 cedar lane COLUMBIA Maryland 21044 –Harper house over hundred apts in the hi rise

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