Discounting Their Inability To Discount

, , , | Working | August 25, 2017

(For an number of years, we have been using the same service from a well-known cable company for TV and Internet. A new provider comes into town and offers a package of the same content at a significant discount. I call the cable company we are using to see what they will do. I ask to talk to the customer retention department.)

Me: “So [Competing Company] has just come into my neighborhood and is offering me a $99 package on a two-year price guarantee. It has pretty much the same features as what I’m paying $140 or so from you. I’m wondering if you’ll price match.”

Rep on Phone: “Well, we can offer you a discount. Let me look.” *a few seconds go by* “It looks like we can get your price down to $119.”

Me: “Well, $119 is still $20 more than the other company. You can’t price match?”

Rep on Phone: “No, that’s as far down as I am allowed to go. In order to get that price though, you’d need to sign a new two-year contract.”

Me: “I’m not doing that, thank you.”

(I get the new service in at $99 and am very happy with it and bring my old equipment into the store of the old company to return it.)

Rep At Store: “It looks like you signed on to a new two-year agreement to get your price lowered, so if you return your equipment and cancel your service you’ll need to pay a termination fee.”

Me: “No, I didn’t. I told them specifically I wouldn’t agree to their plan. It was still higher than the other company.”

Rep At Store: “Hmm, how much are you paying now?”

Me: “$99.”

Rep At Store: “Hmm, we could have price matched that. Did you call the customer retention department?”

Me: “Yep, that’s who told me they couldn’t get the price down that far.”

Rep At Store: “That’s odd. Well, if you want, I can lower your price to $99 now and you can keep your equipment.”

Me: “No, thanks. I already signed a two-year agreement with the other company and did the install. I just need to return all of this.”

Rep At Store: “But I can price match.”

Me: “But it’s too late!”

(I left there having canceled my service without paying a termination fee. Two days later I get a call. I think I recognize the voice but I’m not sure.)

Rep on Phone: “Hi there. I’m calling from [Old Company] and I see you recently canceled your service. I’m from the customer retention department and I want to see if we can keep you as a valued customer.”

Me: “I already have new service. I called before switching and the person said they couldn’t lower the price enough to match. So I switched.”

Rep on Phone: “That is odd, because we do price matching. Let me see the account. Hmmm, it looks like you talked to…” *pause* “…me.”

Me: “Then you were the one who told me they couldn’t do it.”

Rep on Phone: “Well, I didn’t think you’d actually leave. So can I interest you in coming back?”

Me: “No, thank you, and please don’t call again.”

(I still have the new company’s service and have been very happy with it. The old company has never called me again, but they send me junk mail all the time trying to get my business back.)

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