How about loyalty rewards?

We’ve all seen the advertisements from our cell phone carriers, cable TV operators and others.  “Sign up now and get first six months at half off.”  Or, “Discount pricing for new subscribers.”Is it only me, or do other people get annoyed?  After giving a company hundreds, perhaps thousands of your hard-earned dollars for their service, the “thank you” we get is to be cut out of any special deals.  I get why, of course.  They want new customers to sign up and the best way is to give them a deal.  But doesn’t that say to loyal customers that they already made their money from you, and now its time to move on to other people?

What about showing some appreciation to customers who have been loyal; paying their monthly bill month in and month out?  Does that account for anything?

More than once I have seen special offers from companies that I patronize and get excited.  “Wow,” I think.  “I can reduce my bill with this special offer.”  However, when I make the call, the answer is always the same.  It’s only for new customers.  Existing customers don’t count and don’t matter.

A few companies are bucking the trend.  Discover Card gives cash back bonuses based on purchases regardless of how long you’ve been a customer.  Recently I got a call from Discover Card (never like getting a call from my credit card company as it scares me) but it was a customer service representative telling me I had earned $100 in cash back bonuses.  He just wanted to know how I wanted my money.  I said apply it to my balance.  Next month, there was a $100 credit on my bill.  Now that’s a great way to show customer appreciation.

I am sure other companies do the same, but too few.  And, the most egregious violators are cell phone and cable companies that make their money on numbers of subscribers.  They want more customers while at the same time never showing any gratitude for the one’s they have.

And not to mention keeping current customers on hold for hours on end, but that’s for another post.