Was I out of line?

phoneDoes customer loyalty count for something? Don’t you hate it when you are the current customer of a company, maybe even for many years and you see a special incentive that company is offering new customers that they did not offer you? I hate it when that happens! Cable TV companies are famous for that.

I love it when a company I have been very loyal to, like American Express (since 1983), helps me out when I need it. When I was traveling and was a few days tardy on a payment they will not charge me the interest for example. I have been flying Delta for almost 2 million miles and am Diamond level status. They  always go the extra-mile to help me when there are travel problems from a weather or maintenance issue.

I have been a Sprint customer since 1999 – I have never left them.We have six lines and our bill is about $300 a month. Last week I was looking for a little help on something I thought would not be a problem. My wife has a Galaxy Tablet with a $30 month charge and a 2 year contract. Sprint sells the iPhone but not the iPad. She is a Realtor with Sotheby’s and needed to upgrade to the iPad. I called Sprint customer service, reminded them of my loyalty and history with them. We would have gotten the iPad and service from them but it was not an option. I asked them to let us out of the last 7 months of the contract on the Galaxy Tab. It was either pay for another 7 months or pay a $70 penalty to get out of it.

This was not about the $70 bucks to me. It was the principle that I am a valuable customer and deserve a break. No was the answer. I went to he next level. No. Although I did find out they are no longer charging for the Air Rave booster service I have in my home to boost the signal. They would not charge me anymore for that, but would not credit me for all the months they had been. At the next level the I talked about my loyalty and the approximately $35,000 I had spent with them over the years. The rep said I appreciate that BUT, wait for it…

We have to treat all our customers the same.

I admit I lost it when he said that. That is like telling your spouse I love you BUT.…..I believe I said that is bull poo poo or something similar to that. I asked him, really?  A customer with one line who has been with you a year is as valuable as I am? Silence…..he could not answer that one. I asked to talk to his supervisor. They were busy and would call me later in the day. I looked forward to their call.

I had to start over of course with the whole story and again, was told, we can not let you out of the contract. That is funny because we both know that anything is possible. I understand a reason for that policy AND not all customers are the same, are they? I do not think so. So, what happened? They would not let me out of the contract or the penalty and they did find a creative way to make me whole where I actually came out ahead. It was so complicated that I did not understand it.

It was a creative solution that could have been resolved on the first call. Was I out of line? Do you treat all your customers the same?

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