I have a buddy who always jokes that he’d divorce his wife, but between the attorney fees, alimony, and the cost of finding a new wife and training her, it’s just cheaper to keep the one he has. (Hey, don’t yell at me, he’s the male chauvinist pig!)
I was reminded of that when dealing with Dish Network recently. During the burglary and vandalism of our RV, the creep or creeps trashed our Dish Network receiver and I needed to replace it.
We have been Dish customers for at least eight years, and have had the same old receiver forever. They are always advertising that new customers get a free whiz bang receiver that will watch one show while digitally recording another on a different channel at the same time, preprogram itself to record a show while you are out, and I think it will also rotate your tires and make your morning coffee, too. If you sign up for a long enough contract, they’ll give you two of the receivers. So you’d think they’d give a longtime customer who pays his bills on time some consideration too, wouldn’t you? Well, don’t bet on that!
I called Dish, explained my problem, and learned that for just $100, plus a $100 installation fee and a contract to keep on paying my bill on time, they will put me into one of those newfangled receivers. Huh? $200 big ones for what they’ll give some bozo off the street, who may or may not pay his bill and be a steady customer, for free? What kind of deal is that?
I pointed out that I am a longtime customer, but the English-as-a-second-language customer service rep I was talking to just kept repeating what he read off his cue card from a phone room on the other side of the world. I asked for his supervisor, who spoke even less English, but enough to tell me that as a good customer, I was indeed going to be penalized for my loyalty. No freebies here, fat boy! Now where is that guy we never heard of? We want to give him a houseful of electronic entertainment goodies!
Now, I don’t know much about a lot of things, from women to nuclear physics, but I do know a thing or two about business. And one of the first rules of business is that it’s much cheaper to retain a good customer than it is to go out and find a new customer. A new customer has no track record. He (or she) may or may not stay with you. They may or may not pay their bills. They may or may not constantly be in contact with you, complaining and wanting special services beyond what they contracted for, which costs you money to address.
Somebody should tell Dish Network (and Direct TV, which has the same policy) about that. Of course, it would have to be somebody who speaks the same language as their customer service reps, whatever the hell that is.
Tags: advertising, alimony, attorney fees, burglary, customer service rep, digitally recording, Direct TV, Dish Network, divorce his wife, electronic entertainment, English as a second language, longtime customer, male chauvinist pig, nuclear physics, rotate your tires, rules of business, vandalism