Paying out now to win the customer tomorrow…

Published by Tony Quinlan on

I’ve usually resisted telling stories of poor customer service on this blog – there are plenty out there and many have good lessons in them.  I’ve just chosen not to focus on those and to move on instead.  [Well, that’s the theory – the practice tends to be more difficult…]

However, I’ve just had an example of counter-intuitive customer service that’s worth noting.

My mobile supplier, 3, recently sent through an invoice that showed the standard charges for my tariff, rather than the long-haggled-over special charges that I qualify for.  Having rung them to point out the mistake, we learned that, while those charges apply for the agreed 18 months, they need to be “renewed” every six months.

I wasn’t impressed – and pointed this out.

The response was fascinating:  rather than change the tariff back and ask me to renew again in six months, we agreed that they’d credit my account with the total difference over the next 12 months between my tariff and the standard – and charge the standard tariff against the account.

The result will be that I pay out the expected amount over the course of the contract, but that they won’t see any revenue in the short term from me at all, as the credited amount is eroded by the monthly charges.

It’s a great solution from my perspective, I feel that they’ve taken action having understood the hassle their system causes and they’ve forgone the short-term numbers in favour of a long-term converted customer.

I’m impressed.  Bravo 3!


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Categories: Cognitive science