Some Business Advice for _______

(I originally had the company’s name in this story, but then realized, the company name really doesn’t matter. Lots of companies do this. So you can fill in the blank with the company name of your choice.)

Every six months I call __________. They offer promotional rates to sign up new customers… $119 for a service that’s identical to the one I have (but I’m being billed more). I call every six months to let them know that I don’t think it’s fair that new customers should get to pay significantly less than customers who have been using __________ services for almost 10 years. I’m not trying to get more services, just the same ones I’ve had for the last 2+ years. And after a while and being put on hold so the person I’m talking to can talk to their supervisor, they offer me the discounted rate for six months. And then, six months later when I get the bill for the increased charges, I call again.

So this time I tried to explain to the customer service rep that the cost of having long-term, bill-paying customers is less than the cost of obtaining new customers. She had her supervisor call me back.

I explained to her supervisor that the cost of having long-term, bill-paying customers is less than the cost of obtaining new customers. I later got a call back from a representative in the Escalation Services Department.

I explained to the Escalation Services representative that the cost of having long-term, bill-paying customers is significantly less than the cost of obtaining new customers.

So here’s my advice to __________: charge your long-term customers less. Reward them for their loyalty. Don’t make them feel like they’re subsidizing your new customers. If I’ve used your services for 10 years, I can’t be costing you nearly as much as what you need to do to get new customers. By lowering my bill because I’ve been a customer for so long becomes a new marketing opportunity. Or offer the same rate to everyone.

Look, I know business is tough. I’ve been a small business owner for almost four years. And if Substance was a commoditized services company had the scale and volume and provided essentially identical services to hundreds of thousands of customers, I’d reward my long term clients because I know it is because of them that my company is successful. But Substance isn’t in the business of providing a commodity service. __________ is.

__________, talk to you in six months.

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