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Why does Rogers have such contempt for their current customers? It's good for business.

cat and mouse

I just got off the phone with Rogers after changing my internet plan from the Extreme Plus (45Mbps/4Mbps/150GB @ $74.99/mo) plan to their 300GB Express (25Mbps/2Mbps/300GB @ $71.99/mo).

You see, Rogers raised their prices today, and my bill was getting a bit pricey. I don't need 45Mbps, and if I did I would use up that 150GB pretty quick. The new price is about $30 more than their competitor, who ironically leases their lines from Rogers.

When they raised their prices they sent me mailer to inform me. It listed all their plans with the old and new rates. When I saw the 300GB plan I was pleased to know I could get twice the volume by sacrificing some speed (I've been burned by overage charges and didn't want to pay an extra $20 a month for 80GB more on the chance I went over my monthly allotment) .

So I called up customer service. The rep said she couldn't offer me the 300GB plan. Oh for fuck's sake. I read between the lines. I've played this game before.

OK, I'd like to cancel my service please.

I'm sorry to hear that. You'll need to call this other number for cancellation.


Hi, yes, I'd like to cancel my service.

No problem, we can take care of that, but I'll need to put you through to another department.Hi, yes, I'd like to cancel my service. I need more volume and I don't want to pay more.Well, I have a 300GB plan I can offer.

Of course once I got through to the retention department (as it's called in the biz) I was easily able to get the plan I wanted, and both the rep and I knew we were just going through the motions of this stupid cat-and-mouse game.

Everyone in business knows that it's so much cheaper to retain an existing customer than find a new one, and yet companies like this show contempt for their customers by offering new customers 6 months of cheap rates and other incentives; and only offering value to existing customers when they threaten to leave.

It's also well known that both customer and employee satisfaction increases when front-line employees are empowered to offer the best solution possible to their clients.

That means the only logical explanation is that Rogers has done the math. This isn't a misguided policy. It's a business strategy. They know their policies piss off existing customers; they willfully bend over for new customers; and they're willing to accept the consequences of trading loyal customers for new ones, because there is a net economic benefit. They use the same strategy in their wireless, cable TV, and even magazine markets.

Do Rogers' executives adopt this strategy at home too?

Honey, I know we've been married for 10 years, but I'm not willing to put any more work into this relationship. I think I'm ready for someone younger and more naïve.

You've got to be kidding. If you're going to be a prick, I'm leaving. I want a divorce.

Oh. That sounds expensive and inconvenient. What if I let you drive the Lexus. Will you stay?

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