“Thank you for being a valued customer.” Haven’t we all heard this line a hundred times? They say we are VALUED but the truth is we often pay more than the new customers, who get the bait deals we see offered online or on TV. Valued customer? What does that even mean?
A valued customer is someone who is appreciated and respected by the company they do business with. They may be given preferential treatment or special privileges, such as early access to new products or exclusive deals.
Hm, how interesting! If I am so valued as they say I am, why don’t they treat me like it? And so I called our TV and internet provider. We axed cable TV a while back and ever since our internet bill has gotten up. The high-speed connection cost us almost $50 per month, which included $8.50 for the rented high-speed wireless modem on my desk.
As usual, I ended up talking to a nice gentleman somewhere in the Philippines or India, whose accent was worse them mine, which can make conversations downright comical, especially if I ask them to transfer me to someone who speaks English. (When I heard myself say it for the first time I almost wet myself laughing so hard.)
My instinct told me I needed someone on the line who was actually working for the company, and not a call center, and so I dialed the number again and pressed #5 to discontinue service.
Three seconds later a woman answered the phone, with a thick southern accent.
“Hi there, how are you today,” I asked her and when I verified our address, name, four last digits of my social and my shoe size, the conversation went on. I was in charge right from the start, that had been my plan all along. Play Alpha dog.
“I am so sorry, but I feel you guys are treating me wrong. I don’t think you do that on purpose, but it hurts my feelings.”
-Stunned silence on the other end. “I don’t understand,” she said and I could tell she sounded confused.
“You see, I found the flier in our mailbox, where you promise new customers the same internet service I have for $29, but I pay $20 more and I am with you guys for seven years, so I feel you are making fun of me if you call me a valued customer.”
“I really like you guys, so for how long do I have to be with another company until I will be considered a new customer again?”
“You want to cancel your service?”
“No, I wish I wouldn’t have to, but I don’t want to pay more than my neighbor either, so I thought I switch for a while and come back to you when I can be a new customer again. I don’t feel like a valued customer.”
Five minutes later our bill was lowered to $29 with all kinds of discounts. One week later I ordered the same modem we had rented for too long and lowered our bill again.
Finally, I felt like a valued customer.
It made me think. If it worked with our TV and internet provider, where else would it work?
For two days I made calls to our insurance companies, our phone companies, and everybody else who had underestimated our willingness to be unvalued.
We both got a better phone plan, one that isn’t offered, and even upgraded the service, when the costs were lowered. My husband got a $10 discount offered on top, even though we don’t have any contracts but go month-to-month. We got new discounts for autopay, and even our car insurance got lowered. It was an eye-opening experience!
All together it saved us $80/per month.
Ever since I call them once a year, mostly then when the discounts they gave me run out, and I play the same game, because that’s exactly what it is, a game they play with us.
We work hard for our money, we shouldn’t give it up that easy.
I would recommend checking phone plans, and all other payment plans at least twice a year and whenever you see a promotion -act on it. Be valued!