Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Getting Behind The Grupo Nacion Paywall

In our articles we link to sources, some, if not most of the links, are behind paywalls. One of those is Costa Rica’s leading Spanish language newspaper La Nacion and its financial site, El It must be frustrating, I know it is for me.

Screen capture of today’s La Nacion. The pay articles have the key symbol.

But, here is a hack to be able to get behind that wall and read the articles. I am not suggesting that you shouldn’t purchase a subscription, rather, a weakness in their paywall that allows you and I and everyone else not to have to pay. And I want to share that with you.

I wouldn’t mind so much paying the ¢600 colones for the first month and then ¢3,000 monthly thereafter. But there are a few things about their policy that really, really irks me.

- paying the bills -

One, if I am paying to see content on pages they want to be paid for, why am I subjected to ads? And those videos that open automatically? Many of the sites I visit behind a paywall spare me the ads.

Two, their billing. When you purchase a Grupo Nacion subscription, it says only one subscription required to access all Grupo Nacion websites, in my experience that has not been the case. I have had to purchase a separate subscription for each La Nacion and El Financiero and have to use different emails. That is separate accounts and another charge for what there should have been only one.

I complained. I was told it would be fixed. It wasn’t.

Screen capture of today’s El Financierio. The pay articles have the key symbol.

I was promised the second billing would be stopped. It wasn’t.

- paying the bills -

When I complained again, I was promised the charges would be reversed. They weren’t.

To complicate all of this, my subscriptions were purchased with my BCR (Banco de Costa Rica) card. Ever tried to get through to the BCR by phone? Try it, it is a wonderful experience. Not.

Finally, the only way to stop all the nonsense and the ¢3,000 colones, times two, debited monthly from my account I had to drain the account and keep it to a balance below the ¢3,000 to avoid getting charged.

I took only like five months for Grupo Nacion finally giving up and not trying to debit my account. How do I know? They stopped sending me emails, emails, to that effect.

Now, wanting to access the articles behind the paywall, I stumbled upon their weakness and then was able to figure out how to keep away from their paywall permanently. Not a genius, just a frustrated user.

Here is the hack. The and websites, like all websites, use cookies. If you delete the sites from your cookies stored in the “options” of your web browser, you will get an annoying little box telling you the sites use cookies, but no paywall.

- paying the bills --

The tip works on Firefox and Chrome browsers guaranteed.

It should work on other browsers as well, use the comments section below to let me know how that works out for you if you are not using Firefox and Chrome.

To be clear, I am not against purchasing subscriptions to content, I pay monthly a number of them, I just don’t get the Grupo Nacion way of thinking, asking me to pay more than double and triple the cost of say the Washington Post.

And then double billing me?

When they fix that, I will gladly become a subscriber again.

PS, If you come across an article on a website that is behind a paywall and not just ready yet to purchase a subscription, a hack that works often is to: copy the title, Google it and then click on the article and the entire article (for free) is available.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

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